The Blog of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

May 06, 2013

A Strategic Calling

Connie Jarlsberg, R.N.

If you or someone you love has ever received medical treatment, you know how crucial a good nurse is—one who’s not only skilled clinically but also demonstrates holistic, compassionate care.

For over 60 years, Nurses Christian Fellowship (NCF) has helped nursing students and nurses develop spiritually and professionally. Together they embrace their calling as caregivers who express Gods love to people in the midst of rigorous classes and demanding workloads. NCF is a strategic ministry of InterVarsity.

This week is National Nurses Week, so we want to honor the nurses and nursing students among us who serve as God’s hands and feet in emergency rooms, intensive care units, or African medical clinics.

Connie Jarlsberg is a Missions Specialist with NCF who has served in all these settings. A longtime medical missionary with WorldVenture, she is returning to Uganda to teach and minister to students and nurses. Connie offers nursing students a few parting words below—words that we can all take to heart as we serve the Lord with passion and purpose in our own vocations.


Nursing is far more than an occupation.

From my early student days when I was involved in a Bible study with Nurses Christian Fellowship, I understood that God had called me to nursing for more reasons than just making a living, developing good clinical and observation skills, and giving excellent care. God wanted me in nursing because he had a strategy in mind. Nursing is that place where I can be obedient to God’s call to follow him, to be a disciple and make disciples.

Each of us is strategically placed where God can use us. He calls us to obedience. And as we obey, he transforms us. He asks us to give of ourselves—to see, listen to, and meet the needs of those in our care.

Why do any of us do what we do? I hope that we who are Christian nurses would say it’s because God has given us meaningful work where he can use us. In other words, he’s given us not an occupation but a vocation, one in which we have opportunities to trust God to send us into mission wherever we are, caring, giving of ourselves, and meeting needs. It’s also a calling to discipleship—to go and make disciples wherever we are.

May we all go with an attitude of worship to the place God has called us to, whether in homes, in an inner-city clinic, in a large academic hospital, overseas in a mission hospital, or in a classroom teaching basic community health. And may we return at the end of our shift knowing that we have worshiped well as we’ve lived out the vocation God purposed for us.

Moreover, for all of us who follow Jesus, may we follow the exhortation of 1 Corinthians 10:31, letting our occupation be our vocation as we bring glory to God always.

Read more about Connie here.

You might also be interested in:

Glorifying God in Every Vocation

Helpful resources for nurses and nursing students:

Find a Nurses Christian Fellowship group near you.

Journal of Christian Nursing

NCF Nurses Blog


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