Not long ago I attended a seminar during which the presenter asked, “What are you famous for?” I don’t remember details about the presentation, but I remember this question. Perhaps because it made me uncomfortable.
My natural shyness prefers a quiet, unassuming, and largely unnoticed existence. Add in our teachings on Christian humility, and my mind repels from anything coming close to fame. But for some reason that question has stuck in my mind. What am I known for?
My thoughts turned to Scripture. Many of the “big names” in the Bible are well recognized, even outside of Christianity. Consider Noah and the Flood, David and Goliath, or Moses at the Red Sea. Centuries after their passing these biblical heroes can still be considered famous. Couldn’t Hebrews 11 — the Hall of Faith — also be called the Hall of Fame? And wasn’t Christ famous? Matthew 4:24 and Mark 1:28 state that His fame went far and wide after His miraculous works of healing.
But I still found this unnerving. Although Christ was famous for His ministry, as were many of His dedicated servants, it’s just not what strikes my fancy. Then I discovered verses in Acts 2 that helped me better understand this concept.
The apostles began to preach, teach, and heal as per Christ’s instruction (see Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-18; Acts 1:8). Numerous people had come to Jerusalem “from every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5, KJV) and on the very day of Pentecost “the multitude came together” (verse 6, KJV), and “they were all amazed and marvelled” (verse 7, KJV) as the disciples talked about “the wonderful works of God” (verse 11, KJV).
The fame the disciples experienced really wasn’t about them at all, was it? Because of their dedication and zeal and personal knowledge of Jesus Christ and all that He had done, they just could not help having the spotlight shone on them. And as they continued in ministry, we are told that they “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6, KJV).
I wonder: How does this apply to health ministry? Could the church become famous for the wonderful healing works of God? The Adventist Church no doubt has renown in this area — but is there more?
In Acts 3 a man who was born with a disability experienced healing through the ministry of Peter and John. With great joy he held on to them while exuberantly praising God. And as he did so, “all the people were astonished and came running to them,” to which Peter responded, “Why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? . . . The God of our fathers has glorified his servant Jesus” (Acts 3:11-13). “It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him” (verse 16).
This healing work directly resulted in an opportunity to proclaim the power and goodness of God and faith in Jesus Christ. This is my burden for health ministry.
For this purpose we are launching a new initiative this year called “Health Everlasting,” which has three goals: identify a role for everyone, establish keys for a healthy ministry, and provide for strategic evangelism. Much of the groundwork will be laid at the North American Division Health Summit on April 2-8, 2023, in Lexington, Kentucky. We recognize that none of this can happen in fullness without the power of God, so our theme for the Summit is “Power to Heal.”
What about you? Do you desire a purpose in life? Do you want to be part of declaring the wonderful works of God? Then come join us at the Health Summit and be part of sharing Health Everlasting with the world.