A congregational health ministry is focused on achieving holistic wellness and disease prevention through education that empowers members with personal responsibility and stewardship. A congregational health ministry is customized to the health needs of each individual congregation. Health ministries may be coordinated by a faith community nurse (FCN) and staffed by health ministry volunteers.
In congregations with no FCN, a health ministry may be organized by a health advocate. Health advocates may be other health professionals such as social workers, pharmacists, dieticians, or therapists or simply someone interested in holistic health.
Just as congregations vary greatly, so do individual church health ministries. It is important to assess the unique needs of your church in order to appropriately address their specific health concerns. The ministry then uses this information to develop educational opportunities that encourage personal responsibility and increased self-awareness. Empowered participants then share the message of health and faith with others.
Functions of a health ministry may include:
- Blood pressure screenings
- Coordinating blood drives
- First aid education
- CPR education
- Bereavement care and grief support
- Care calls to members with health issues/concerns
- Weight loss support and education
- Education on the relationship between faith and health
- Walking groups
- Organizing health fairs
- Connecting members with appropriate community resources
- Nutritional education
- Personal health counseling
- Visits made to shut-in or infirmed members through a homebound ministry
- Organizing and training health ministry volunteers
- Stress management classes (emotional and spiritual health)