Developing a Congregational Health Ministry

Congregational Health Ministry
Lisa M. Wallace, RN
Faith Community Nurse
What is Health
• Intersection or integration of faith and health
• A purpose or mission to promote optimal holistic health
• An outreach ministry in the church
and of the church
• A functioning ministry or
committee like other ministries
or committees within the church
A Little History
• Rev. Granger Westberg, Hospital Chaplain,
College Professor
• The First Health Cabinet
• The International Parish Nurse Resource Center
• Parish Nurse Programs
• Congregational Health
Promoter Programs
• Community Outreach:
Hospital systems, school
systems, insurance companies, businesses
Why Health Ministry?
• Social Implications
– Changes in health care
– Changes in economy
– Cultural diversity
• Spiritual Implications
– Biblical directives
– Interdependence of holistic
Sobering Regional Statistics
• 75%/$1 spent on healthcare in the US is for
chronic disease management (Medicare-99%
& Medicaid-83%)
• Smokers-20.3%
• NC high schoolers: obesity-72%; alcohol-35%
• Adult exercise-46.4; 5>fruits/vegies daily-20.6
• Unintended pregnancy-39.8%
• Poverty-16.9%; 47% children <5y.o.-Medicaid
Unhealthy Living in
Biblical Perspectives
• Americans take better care of their
cars/homes/cell phones/pets than their bodies:
(1 Cor. 6: 19-20)
• Daniel: cared for his body
(1:8) and his spirit (6:10)
• Jesus practiced self-care: rest,
prayer, fasting; retreat
• Stress: positive or negative
Benefits of Health Ministry
for the Congregation
• Continuing education in an historical learning
• Prevention, early detection, & early
treatment of health issues vs. treatment alone
• Assist with chronic disease management
• Meet the diverse needs of the elderly
• Better access to resources
Benefits to Congregation
• Built in support system
• Promotes holistic health for the
individual and families
• Encourage social justice; can impact poverty,
homelessness, hunger, prejudice, and other
community needs
• Reach diverse ages and stages of life
Benefits of Health Ministry
for Clergy/Ministry Personnel
• Accountability: “Do as I do…”
• Holistically healthier staff
• Physically, mentally, & spiritually healthier
• Increased outreach
• Increased discipleship
• Prevention and early
intervention vs. triage
• More effective function of the
church: “Teach a man to fish…”
Enlist Church Leadership
Develop a Health Committee
Survey the Congregation
Develop a plan
– Include all ages
– Include all groups
– Include all gatherings
Health Ministry Models
• Parish Nurse Model (affiliated/non-affiliated)
– Paid model
– Volunteer Model (some compensation)
• Congregational Health Promoter Model
• Health Cabinet Model
– Can include healthcare
personnel…or not
• International Parish Nurse Resource Center
• Health Ministry Association
• Health Care Systems
– Moses Cone
– Novant
– Carolinas Healthcare
• NC Council of Churches
• City, County, State, and Federal
Resources/Agencies: (Sr. services, CDC, FDA)
• Congregational Resource Guide. (2010).
• Health Ministry Association. (2011).
• Healthy North Carolina 2020: A Better State of Health. (2011).
• International Parish Nurse Resource Center. (2011).
• Patterson, D. L. (2003). The essential parish nurse. Cleveland, OH:
Pilgrim Press.
• Westberg, G. E. & McNamara, J. W. (1990). The parish nurse:
Providing a minister of health for your congregation. Minneapolis,
MN: Augsburg Fortress
• Yeager, Rev. C. (personal communication, September 13, 2011)

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