The Church Is Not Like The Hospital – Full Stop



How effective is our care assessment in the church (Hospital) as church leaders?

As a health care professional, I attend to different types of patients in the hospital. Some come with dementia, diabetes, strokes, mental health challenges, women health, kidney infection, abdominal pains and many others just to mention few.

As medics, we don’t treat all patients with same drugs. For example, you don’t treat a cancer patient with the same medicine for tooth aches; neither do we treat leg ulcer with constipation drug. Each patient is assessed based on their health needs and diagnosis.

Now; when I hear some church leaders referring to the church as hospital, I wander why they treat their members (patients) with the same medicine (word)? What assessment is carried out to know whether sister A needs a husband or brother B needs money? That could not be their reason for coming to church unless, their needs are respectively and accurately assessed.


Many people come through the door of the church with diverse spiritual needs, physical and emotional needs. Do we actually take the pain to assess the patients (members) that come into our care to determine the type of medicine appropriate for each member?

How do we say the church is like the hospital when we are failing to attend to our patients (Members) care needs (ADLS – ACTIVITY OF DAILY LIVINGS.)?

Good assessment leads to effective care to patients. Preaching solely on prosperity message all year without assessing as to whether all the patients need that sort of medication is not helpful? Some of the members may need encouragement, inspiration, motivation, empowerment to press on in their Christian walk. The journey of faith needs a lot of motivation and encouragement, while others need empowerment to pray and read the word of God and to develop relationship with fellow church members.

Assessment is very vital in determining the decisions we make in ministry regarding the spiritual needs of our members. Church members come into church with marital and relationships needs, family and psychological needs, issues of faith, discipleship challenges, youth and adolescent pressures, bible reading issues and doctrinal confusions, evangelism and soul winning difficulties, faithfulness and loyalty issues, membership and servanthood problems, etc.

The question is how do you effectively assess, implement, review and evaluate the success of your care to respective members in your church as a pastor, Bishop, evangelist, prophet or a teacher?

Most often, we get confused about the needs of the church members and assumed they all need the same things. Each member has different needs and spending time to know them will help us as leaders to discover their  purpose, goals, aspirations, beliefs and convictions, interests, attitudes, feelings, activities, and/or worries, problems, and obstacles they face as individual member.

In Jesus Christ’s ministry, He did a lot of miracles but with different approach. He ministered to each person that came in contact with him. He healed the blind man with sand he spat on, mixed it and applied on the eyes of the blind man. He later told him to go and wash it.

He told the people at the wedding to pour water into the pots and He turned it into wine. At one point when He was approached by the Pharisees with the lady caught red handed in the act fornication with a man, Jesus Christ applied wisdom in assessing the situation before making His judgment. He was presented with different situations, but he didn’t apply the same or preach the same sermon to them all.

What is the baseline of your church growth and how do you determine what sort of programs, leadership training and discipleship training needs of your patients (members?)

On like in hospital, assessments are carried out to know which patient needs medicine, therapy, councilors, physiotherapy and occupational interventions to make them improve and grow better.  How effective is the praise and worship service including, teaching and prayer, fellowship and pastoral care?

Failure to carry an effective spiritual needs of our members will result in them not growing and later leave the church to other churches and the cycle continues.

As leaders of our respective ministries and churches, we must invest in the spiritual growth of our members not only one aspect of their needs (PROSPERITY, CARS, HOUSES, MARRIAGES AND MIRACLES). We must not ‘brush’ everybody that comes into our churches with the same brush or feed them with the same food and with the same spoon at the same time.

All things are possible and achievable only if we are ready to put aside pride and ego to ask other professionals within the church to take their leadership roles to contribute to the growth and development of our members. We must learn to share the task within the church to avoid stagnation of member’s destiny.

Life is meant to live forward and God expects the church to grow and affect the world positively. This can only be possible if the leadership of the churches these days understand the need for change and move away from selfishness and control of other people’s destiny within the church. If the church sees itself as a hospital, then, it should be ready and prepared to open up for corrections, criticisms and rebuke just as most hospitals do in order to be effective and significant to society.

No one goes to a hospital that does not provide quality care and patient centered care. In view of this, any church that does not care, provide and share the true love of Christ to its followers or members should question it existence in society. Members should not be seen or regarded as objects rather, as valuable souls that were bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. The church must not be regarded as hospital rather, must be left as church, the body of Christ and bride of Christ.

Most hospitals close or shut their doors to patients when it deem so necessary due a vast infections outbreak within the hospital. This is to prevent the spread of infection or cross infection among patients and staffs. Now, if we regard the church as the hospital, are we going to church or close it down when we suspect an abuse, intimidation and control of church members by their leaders? No. so, let’s leave the church alone and let if function as the true church.

We must stop associating the church to a hospital. The hospital has its meaning and purpose and the church too has its own purpose and meaning to society. Let’s not just open the doors of our churches because we want to operate just like hospitals. Rather, let us open our heart, mind and spirit to love those within the church to extend that love to the world by shinning our lights for preserving lives with the word of God we have heard and loved. The role of the Church in our society can’t be compromised nor linked to hospital as its purpose is far from the church of Christ.

Health care professionals work together to provide ultimate care to patients in their care. These people involves the ward clerk to the cleaners just to ensure patients are well cared for professionally. Now, what prevents churches from working together as a team, bearing in mind all the fivefold ministries and the TONGUE SPEAKING we do just to ensure the spiritual wellbeing of the Saint ( patients) are provided for?

Doctors don’t curse nurses for playing their roles in patient’s care neither do physiotherapists rain down fire and brimstone on occupational therapists for assisting and accessing patient’s ability to cope and manage at home when discharged? Why can’t we the church do the same but we are happy to associate it to the hospital? A house that fights against each other can’t stand. Time to rethink to rebuild the house of God in unity.

Ferdinard Senyo Lawson Author




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