How to Start a Health and Wellness Ministry in Your Church

Now that you have:
a. Taken the issue of starting this ministry to prayer
b. Gotten the approval of your pastor
c. Chosen a ministry leader
d. Developed your mission and vision statement and
e. Evaluated your resources

You are ready to take the next steps to starting a Health and Wellness Ministry in your church. Here are your next steps:

1. Identify the greatest health and wellness needs of your church members.

Ask yourself a few questions. Who are your members? Are they young, old, black, white, wealthy, low-income? From there, you can determine which issues to focus your ministry activities on.

2. Form a team and/or enlist help from other members.

This task may be left up to your pastor or your ministry leader. You all may decide that it’s best to do an all call for volunteers. After your team is formed you will need to meet with them. During your meetings, be very clear about responsibilities, time frames, budget, and other things of that nature.

3. Plan events and activities well in advance.

I suggest quarterly themes and activities at first, then monthly themes later. You can plan them around what’s already happening at that time of year. For instance, as I write this article it’s October. At this time of year, the nation is focusing on breast cancer awareness and fire prevention to name a few.
Here is a link to a yearly calendar of health observances. Print off this list and use it as your ministry team brainstorms its calendar of events.

4. Enlist free help from community members.

There are many people who would be willing to contribute to your ministry activities at no cost. For example, during breast cancer awareness month you could contact a local oncologist to do some education on the topic for the women in your church. You could also ask breast cancer survivors from your own church or community to share information with you.

Local colleges, universities, or teaching hospitals are also great places to find resources for speakers or people to conduct screenings. For example university pharmacy students are able to do one on one prescription review counseling with seniors. Simply contact their academic adviser for more information. They are usually actively seeking out teaching opportunities for the students. Your church program presents a win-win opportunity for both of you.

Last but not least, don’t forget about your local non-profit offices. Visit the website of your local United Way for a directory listing of all of them including contact information. For instance, your local American Red Cross is able to teach classes (some at cost, some subsidized) on topics such as disaster preparedness, CPR, caring for seniors, and the list goes on.

5. Start circulating a newsletter and/or calendar.

This will help keep your ministry activities at the top of your members’ minds. This will also help to remind them of upcoming events/classes so they will be more likely to attend. It helps to establish a culture and atmosphere of wellness in your church, as opposed to an occasional effort. Ask for input from your pastor. He may wish to add comments to each issue, which is especially helpful in gaining support and participation.

You can include healthy recipes, holiday information, ministry announcements, etc.

6. Go for it!

Stay positive and have fun!

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