Are You Oil or Sand? Resolving Conflict in Christian Global Healthcare


  • David Stevens CEO, Christian Medical and Dental Associations



conflict, conflict resolution, peace making, forgiveness, medical missions


Drawing from his experience as a cross-cultural health worker in Africa and his roll in training others for similar missionary service, the author discusses common sources of conflict at a local level inside a larger pressure chamber of political differences, economic tensions, religious extremism, corruption, crime and even armed conflict. Almost all Christians serving in global healthcare are providing care in the midst of some level of conflict.  Conflict at the interpersonal level ultimately impacts the effectiveness of teams, organizations, institutions, governments and nations.  He gives practical wisdom on handling conflict toward productive, cooperative and sustainable work leading to widespread healing impact.

Author Biography

David Stevens, CEO, Christian Medical and Dental Associations

Dr. David Stevens is the Chief Executive Officer of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), the nation’s largest faith-based organization of doctors. As spokesman for more than 17,000 doctors, Dr. Stevens has conducted hundreds of media interviews. Prior to his service with CMDA, he served as medical director of Samaritan’s Purse. From 1985 to 1991, Dr. Stevens served as executive officer and medical superintendent of Tenwek Hospital in Bomet, Kenya. He helped to transform Tenwek Hospital into one of the premier mission healthcare facilities in that country. 

Dr. Stevens' experiences provide rich illustrations for inspirational and educational presentations at seminars, medical schools, conferences and churches.  He serves as a spokesman for Christian healthcare professionals and has done over 2,000 radio, TV and print interviews on bioethical, public policy and scientific issues. He is the author of Jesus, MD; Beyond Medicine: What Else You Need to Know to Be a Healthcare Missionary; Leadership Proverbs and many book chapters and magazine articles. He has serves on the Board of Asbury University and World Gospel Mission. He is a Fellow of the Wilberforce Forum and help found the National Embryo Donation Center.  He was a catalyst for starting the Global Missionary Healthcare Conference, trains new healthcare missionaries three times a year and annually leads a Summit for executives of mission organization doing healthcare ministry.  

Dr. Stevens holds degrees from Asbury University and the University of Louisville School of Medicine and is board certified in family medicine. He earned a master's degree in bioethics from Trinity International University in 2002. He and his wife Jody have three children, all of who are involved in domestic or international healthcare ministry.


Sande K, The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Books; 2004.

Stevens DL, Beyond Medicine: What Else You Need to Know to Be a Medical Missionary. Bristol: Christian Medical & Dental Associations, 2013.




How to Cite

Stevens, D. (2015). Are You Oil or Sand? Resolving Conflict in Christian Global Healthcare. Christian Journal for Global Health, 2(1).