Be a blessing
Health Ministries Department Focus Areas
1. Revitalizing health ministries. I have long been inspired by Mrs. White's statements that "it is the Lord's design that the restoring influence of health reform shall be a part of the last great effort to proclaim the gospel message (MM 259) and "that soon there will be no work done in ministerial lines but medical missionary work" (CH 533). Consequently, it is imperative that we take a fresh look at health ministries and work to maximize its effectiveness.
2. Emphasizing health ministries as something everyone can do. The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that "we have come to a time when every member of the church should take hold of medical missionary work." (Testimonies and Experiences Connected with the Loma Linda Sanitarium and College of Medical Evangelists, 7). There needs to not only be organizational efforts, but individual efforts--such as starting a walking club in one's neighborhood, teaching a friend how to cook vegetarian, coaching a coworker through smoking cessation, etc. Every one of us knows individuals who are overworked, overweight, stressed-out, hypertensive, too busy to exercise, or using caffeine and alcohol to modify their energy levels. Our harried American lifestyle provides a wonderful opportunity for conversations about the One who wants to heal and restore us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
3. Helping every church discover its unique plan for health ministries. Another quote that has made an impact on me is "The Lord gave me light that in every place where a church was established, medical missionary work was to be done." (Battle Creek Letters, 11). I believe that God has gifted each church with the location, people, skills, interests, and resources needed to present the message of God as the Master Restorer of spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional health. It is my goal that every church in the conference will have a Health Ministries Leader and a clear understanding of the unique way God wants them to utilize their gifts for health ministry.
4. A focus on relational health ministries. This mirrors Jesus' method for working with people and is what makes health ministries evangelistic. We must go beyond creating health awareness and providing health information. Every health program needs to have intentional relationship building and lifestyle coaching activities built into it. Adventists need to be skilled in understanding behavior change, introducing people to the real Power for change, and supporting people in the change process.