Monday, February 1, 2021

Quadruple Bottom Line for Brian, a Paramedic

At the beginning of January, I started writing one of five booklets that Discipling Marketplace Leaders is putting together for the ministry.  The booklet I'm working on is focused on the Quadruple Bottom Line.  In some intensive work that we did in 2020 to examine the outcomes and impacts of DML, we have realized that the real behavioral and belief changes that we want to see will be measured by the application and living out of a quadruple bottom line by each Christian in every job.  

The quadruple bottom line is tied to what we call the Three Great Directives from God:  

  1. The Great Commitment from Genesis 1 and 2 (God commits the earth to us and in turn we commit to be fruitful, multiply, fill, reign, subdue, work and care for it) gives us an economic and environmental bottom line.  Our goal here is to help customers and employees to flourish.
  2. The Great Commandment gives us a social bottom line as we seek to love people in our workplace.  
  3. The Great Commission gives us a missional bottom line as we seek to be a disciple as well as a disciple maker.  

For this booklet, I started to write out the stories of people I have talked to over the years who are living out a quadruple bottom line, some without even fully realizing for themselves that they are doing it.

I've decided, over the next few weeks, to share what I have heard and continue to hear.  I hope it as enjoyable for you to read as it is for me to write, because it is so often unique and creative for how these are being fulfilled by men and women in all sorts of different workplace situations.  

I hope that you are as encouraged as I have been.

I will start with Brian:

Brian is a 58-year-old paramedic, who has been working in this field for thirty-five years.  In that time, he has dealt with many medical emergencies and has seen significant changes in his community.  He is employed by the municipal government and because of that, sees his accountability toward the taxpayer, of which he is also one!  He shares here how the quadruple bottom line shows up in his work:

  • Economic – The biggest thing that our paramedic team does to help the economic bottom line is to work on keeping people from needing to go to the hospital.  To do this, we have a program that identifies high risk clients, those who go to emergency more than once.  We set up monitoring in their homes, working with doctors and nurses, to track them and to try to catch the medical issues before it is a bigger problem.  We have been doing this for about five years and it has worked so well that other health intervention programs are beginning to look at this as well.
  • Environmental – The building that we work out of is considered “green” – it was built that way.  We have solar panels, low water consumption, and it is a very ecofriendly space.  Additionally, the management has gardens all around the building and the paramedics can plant and keep those gardens for themselves.  That helps reduce stress and gives a positive result at the same time.  We live in a community that is very respectful of the outdoors – people are nature lovers and enjoy the creation.  The symbols on our ambulances is blue and green, representing land and water – that is unusual for typical ambulances but it shows our love of creation.
  • Social – There are two components to the social bottom line:  for patients and for employees. 
    • For patients:  The opportunity to love my patients is in front of me daily.  Sadly, in our city, there is a portion of the population that were traumatized for decades, and generations removed are still dealing with the fallout of those traumas, often manifesting in drug and alcohol abuse.  It’s not unusual to see the same clients over and over and begin to get to know them.  I kneel before my locker before every shift and pray that I will love each person as God loves them and treat them as He would. 
    • For employees:  This is a tough job on medics, and it is not unusual for someone to experience an injury on the job.  Instead of laying them off, our home monitoring program described earlier is a perfect way for them to continue to work, without the trauma of an emergency.  Our team has been much happier to heal on the job then wait at home.  So it is a win-win all the way around.  However, not only is this job difficult on the body, but it is also difficult emotionally.  You see many things that show the ugly side of humanity, especially as first responders to emergency situations.  I have lost three colleagues to suicide, and because of this, we have set up a peer support app.  All the medics have this on their phone, and all they have to do is touch the app and they will reach a colleague who has been well trained to listen, encourage, and reach out.
  • Missional – There are two components to my missional bottom line as well, one relating to me being a disciple, and one to me being a disciple maker:
    • Being a disciple:  My church has always prayed for me and my work, they are an unusual church in that regard.  In response, I have invited them to hold me accountable as a fellowship, especially relating to my mental health and the temptations I might face in wanting to escape the pressures of this stressful job.  When I leave my church building, there is a message on the wall above the doors which says, “Welcome to the mission field.”  That visual reminder reminds me on a weekly basis that you don’t leave the church building and go out to a secular world.  You leave the church building and continue to be the church in the mission field.  I have learned to embrace my work as an act of worship, every facet of it, even when it is not pretty.  I need to own my own brokenness and understand the absolutely amazing results of Christ’s redemption in my own life, so that I can bring it to others.
    • Making disciples:  I started a paramedic prayer time about three years ago which met on a monthly basis for us to pray and support each other.  I have the chance to live out my faith at work and have taken opportunities that presented themselves with colleagues and patients.  My regular riding partner is not a Christ follower, but she respects my faith and I pray for her regularly.  Work is definitely worship – I don’t think I knew that early enough in my career but I am certainly glad that I came to know it several years ago. 

Brian, on the left, gathering food for distribution to those in need.

Tune in next week for another person's story on how they are fulfilling the quadruple bottom line in their workplace.  If you would like to send me your story, please email me at  Thank you!

[Disclosure:  Brian is my brother-in-law.  He is married my sister Yvonne, who is next to me in age (I am the youngest of five children).  He works in Thunder Bay, Ontario.]