Christian Music and Dentistry
By Krystal Donaldson | January 30, 2018
by Krystal Donaldson
“I like this song” were the starting words of what turned into a 10-minute conversation about Jesus. In September 2017, I went on my first of three externships where I felt like a “real dentist.” I saw upwards of six patients a day—I know, probably not a lot for those already practicing, but coming from two patients a day at school to six is a step in the right direction! In addition, the faculty members were more hands off and trusting of my clinical judgements. I was externing at a community clinic with my own operatory room, which included a TV. My first day at the clinic, I turned to Pandora and found a contemporary Christian station. I wasn’t sure if this would be allowed, but I was going to play the music until someone told me otherwise.
I would receive the patient into my operatory room, do my initial work-up and then prepare for whatever procedure the patient needed. Throughout the day, most patients would comment on the music. Some weren’t even believers but just liked the positive atmosphere the songs created. Before I even got into dentistry, I would get to talk to patients about their faith or lack thereof, where they were in their walk and encourage them to live for Christ if they weren’t already doing so.
The patients were always the initiators of the conversation, then I would capitalize on the opportunity, leading the conversation to spiritual matters. I recall a patient who sat in the chair and saw the word Jesus on the screen (Pandora showed the name of the song and Jesus was in the title of the song). He immediately got excited and we had a great conversation, talking about the Lord throughout most of the appointment. There was a time or two during my externship when I wanted to play my own Jamaican reggae Christian music. However, realizing most individuals would not be able to understand the lyrics, I stuck with the contemporary Christian station, seeing it has a ministry tool.
The idea of playing Christian music in my own clinic or office isn’t a new thought for me. Wanting to be a dentist at age 10 and being saved at 13, from a young age I wondered what a Christian dentist would look like. The image of playing Christian music and having Christian literature permeated my thoughts. It is through the action of playing music that I hoped people would know I am a Christian and then somehow figure out the gospel.
However, growing in my faith I began to understand how essential it is to actively evangelize and speak with individuals about the gospel. I realized it was more advantageous to give someone the gospel instead of hoping they got it via osmosis—if the right song played at the right time and they weren’t anxious by whatever dental work I was doing, then hopefully they would get the gospel. With that mindset, I began to minimize the impact Christian music could have and played it at the externship merely because I always like background music during dental procedures.
However, throughout the two-week externship I was blown away by the responses I received from patients. I had so much joy in not only providing for my patients’ oral health and growing more confident as a clinician, but also getting to partake in conversations that will have an eternal impact. Through my externship, the Lord humbled me and took me back to the basics. All it takes is a mustard seed of faith in something as simple as playing Christian music for an amazing move of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 17:20). He showed me how actions (playing Christian music), when used with words (capitalizing on patient’s comments), can have a significant impact in accomplishing the Great Commission. The music also uplifts my spirit personally and keeps me in a mindset of praise unto the One who is worthy of all the Glory!
Psalms 96:1-3 reminds us:
“Sing to the Lord a new song!
Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples” (NKJV).
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