“And He sent them out to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal.” – Luke 9:2
Is your congregation prayerfully considering starting a wellness ministry? It’s not that difficult to do.
Before you bring in a minister in this capacity, consider your vision and purpose. Write a purpose statement, formalizing the vision in action.
Then, just answer the W5 – the Who, What, Where, When and Why, and you’re good to go.
Churches that don’t already have a wellness minister and are considering appointing one should first take a profile of their members. What are the health needs and concerns of your flock?
You also need to consider the budget. A wellness minister’s salary will vary, based on experience. Often, you get what you pay for… and a workman is worth the wages. However, if you just don’t have a budget for hiring a part-time wellness minister, you could consider inviting someone from your faith community who has retired from a health-related field to consider stepping into the role, pro-bono, or you might reach out to a local seminary to see if there is a way to offer internship credits, in exchange for a student placement.
Your Wellness Minister will be tasked with getting your congregation healthier. Such a person should have flexibility and authority in taking projects, as long as they can provide measurable feedback. There should be set goals to help the Wellness Minister and their supervisor know whether they’re achieving success. Here are a few brainstorming concepts:
- Teach healthy habits through on-site classes that can include: healthy cooking workshops, heart healthy lifestyle, sleep hygiene, stretching basics, exercise for health, and so on.
- Hold workshops on topics such as: health fair, CPR, suicide prevention, deciphering food labels, veterans issue, financial health, quitting smoking, living with Alzheimers, Spiritual Assessment, and so on.
- Teach stress-busting techniques such as mindfulness using the Elfenworks Foundation’s free, multilingual Breathing Butterfly app.
- Look into bringing in a Certified Classical Homeopath to teach basic homeopathic supplemental self-care (not to replace your health care practitioner, but as a supplement).
- Look into implementing Dr. Daniel Amen’s plan for helping churches get healthy (not to replace your health care practitioner, but as a supplement).
- Look into partnering with a local hospital as was done in Memphis [read more].
- Start a regular fitness program [read more]
- Change the way food is served at church events (e.g., find acceptable, palatable alternatives to deep-fried food such as donuts). Do this slowly, and with congregation buy-in, after some training has taken place and healthy habits are already being adopted by some of the congregants.
- Support a robust, integrated healing prayer program, or if no such program exists, begin one, with an in-depth set of training sessions and commissioning ceremony.
- Organize, schedule, plan, recruit, train, and supervise volunteers in all areas of your wellness programs, taking care not to overshadow the other church objectives by diverting too much of the time, treasure, talent or attention of volunteers and congregants. Remember the proper order of things: it’s a house of worship, that also offers wellness activities.
- Build a calendar of activities that will include all of the wellness offerings that will be made available. Then, keep it current, and raise awareness about these offerings.
- Develop a legacy in wellness ministry for others to follow, with a detailed page on the website that may serve as an example to others.
The ministry offerings would primarily take place on-site at the house of worship, with some offerings possibly offered online via G+, Zoom, Skype or other e-convening app. The visiting of the sick would likely remain within the purview of the senior pastor or priest.
As needed. Some would be one-time offerings, others could be offered weekly or monthly, as determined would be best to meet the needs of the congregation.
The Bible teaches us that we are not ours, but are Christ’s. We’re stewards of our bodies, and should treat them as temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19-20). In such a way, we will have life, and life abundant (John 10:10).
What are How2s?
How2s – simple explanations of performing tasks relating to ministry and healing arts – are a regular feature ofNHM Ministrants. Offered (where applicable) in conjunction with select key scriptural passages and analysis, How2s are meant to assist you – the ministrant – as you walk the healer’s path.