Our everyday lives—our careers, our commutes, the work that fills our days—can often seem incongruous, or even counteractive our faith. PCBC members Stan Kwan and his wife, Dr. Karen Kwan, find the tension all too familiar. Stan serves as the Director of the Southwestern Christian Fellowship (SCF), an innovative ministry that PCBC supports on the campus of UT Southwestern Medical School. He invests in a close-knit group of medical students, residents, and professionals through organizing various weekly Bible studies, medical mission trips, and other opportunities to grow in faith through relationships. Dr. Karen Kwan is a family medical physician with Baylor Scott and White, and also serves alongside Stan to grow SCF’s ministry at UTSW. The Kwans talked with us and shared more about their experience of making disciples in the workplace.
Q: There is a perception by many people that the medical profession—and the field of science in general—is an unlikely place for faith to thrive. Has that been your experience?
A: (Stan) The medical field and the Christian faith can definitely seem at odds. In general, it's discouraged to be open with your beliefs in our work…it can be a dark and uncertain place to be as a Christian. But how is it possible to remove your faith from an industry so tied up in life and death? So many people—medical professionals and patients—want to know where God is in times of suffering.
Q: How have you seen God work through the ministry of SCF to speak into the lives of medical professionals and patients?
A: (Stan) The compassion of Jesus is being integrated in interactions with patients— through prayer, empathy, and work ethic. Our belief in Christ and what God can do—that’s a tremendous way to minister to people physically and spiritually. A pediatric surgeon shared during a meeting that being emotionally invested in patients makes him a better doctor. One of our med students went with us on a medical mission trip. We didn’t know it at the time, but God used it to change her life completely. Now she’s active in Bible study and attending church regularly. An ER doctor regularly asks to pray with his patients. One time when he was praying, he was being observed by his boss, who he wasn’t aware was in the room. He was afraid he would get fired. Later, she told him how much she appreciated what he was doing.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to be more intentional about living out their faith in the workplace?
A: (Karen) The first step for me is always prayer—that God would open my eyes to opportunities during the workday. I pray through schedules, appointments, meetings, and people. I ask God for wisdom in my conversations. If people are serious, accountability really is key. Share with someone else your goals in Connect Group and ask them to pray with you and ask you how it’s going. Do not get discouraged. Know that you are in the process of sanctification and that change will not happen overnight. God is always growing and stretching us.
(Stan): You don't need a paid position, or a title at a church to serve. As we grow in Christ, God fills us with the desire to serve by loving those around us. That spills out everywhere, including—and especially—in our work.