Healthcare ministries are increasing, with the fastest growing creating partnerships between congregations and established clinics and medical personnel, reports Advance, the online newsletter of Leadership Network (April 11).
There are four models of healthcare ministries that churches have embraced: the traditional clinic, which uses the church structure or separate building to house an actual health clinic; parish nursing, where nursing professionals provide medical support for the congregation and community.
The “clinic without walls” model is the fastest growing, as actual physical space is not needed. Rather, the churches coordinate the treatment of clients in doctors’ offices, while the healthcare ministry provides patient management, transportation and clerical support. The fourth model that is becoming popular is the “navigator” approach. This model is used by churches with few health professionals and it focuses on helping people in their communities navigate the paperwork and variety of healthcare services that may be available through federal, state or local government, or through other charitable sources.