Inspiration for Health Ministry, by LEM

The Ways of the Sower

Health Ministry Methods

(For this study, read also: Ministry of Healing Chapter 2)

1. Matthew 13 Parable of the sower

1“On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: ‘Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!’”

In the parable of the farmer sewing seed, we can see the role of health ministry. If you consider that the seed represents the Gospel message of Christ’s saving love for us, then you can see that the seed will not grow in ground that is not prepared for it!

Likewise, as most farmers know, in order to successfully sew seed you must first prepare the soil by removing weeds and stones and breaking up the hard surface. In the spiritual realm of the stony ground of men’s hearts this represents the health ministry work.

When we labor on behalf of people’s health through teaching healthful lifestyle, caring for their bodies by doing pain-reducing shoulder massage or simple remedies such as hot foot bath, etc. we show a practical demonstration of caring. This leads to trust, which takes away suspicion and barriers of prejudice against Christians (which are like hard stones preventing the reception of the Gospel message). The health message itself helps to restore the body, mind and spirit to take out the weeds of disease that are growing there.

The Gospel plow of health ministry breaks up the hard soil and prepares hearts to receive the teaching about Christ as the Savior. Then, once received into the heart it must continue to be watered with the moisture of love and sunshine of cheerful kindness in order to take root and grow in people’s hearts. This is true ministry!

Isaiah 61:11 God’s promise;

“For as the earth brings forth its bud, As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.”

2. What Different types of health ministry work are there?;

Ministration to ones own family and friends

Church programs, and ministration to church members

Community outreach programs, home visitation

Starting a business

The relationship of programs and personal ministry; Most of the above can be done as programs, but personal ministry should be made a part of it in order to have effect at reaching people.

Sometimes programs are used as a way to make contacts that can be followed up on with personal visits.

3. What are some ways of doing health ministry to ones own family and friends?

With ones own friends and family is the best place to start, and practice health ministry! This is true health ministry, at it’s finest! Examples;

Check Dad’s blood pressure

Give Mom a shoulder massage

Give sister a hot foot bath

Make a home-cooked healthy meal for the kids

Give healthy home-made items as a gift to the neighbors

4. What are some ways to do health ministry as church programs (both for the members and as outreach)?

With church programs it’s always a two fold work; 1) inspiring the church members 2) reaching out to the community. The members will be blessed if they have an evangelistic goal. Every church should become a training center for health ministry. Examples of programs include;

Healthy cooking classes

Healthful lifestyle programs

Simple health screening (BP, etc.)

Natural remedies classes; hydrotherapy, simple massage, charcoal, simple herbs, etc.

Kids health programs

Smoking cessation seminars

Stress management

Weight management

Family health

Door to door work is a good method to use in combination with church programs as well – for advertising/invitations to programs, as well as for developing individual caring relationships and teaching about simple, natural remedies and healthy lifestyle one to one.

Caution: always encourage people to follow medical advice and use qualified, scientifically sound and researched methods in all teaching, along with focusing on simple remedies which are low risk (avoid promoting miracle cures, expensive gadgets or potentially toxic remedies). In doing health ministry we must send a clear message that gives glory to God and doesn’t seem like another dangerous money-making scheme.

5. What are some health ministry methods for community outreach?

Market night booth (blood pressure, chair massage, sign ups for personal visitation)

Health fair

Home visitation for health survey, BP check

Elderly health programs

Kids health programs

Personal consultations for fitness and nutrition

Home cooking demonstrations

6. What are some ways to do health ministry through starting a business?

Small “Tent making” business (usually simple, minimal set-up cost). The term “tent making” came about from the example of Paul in the Bible.

Book selling (health and Christian books)

Massage (for those qualified)

Elderly care home

Personal fitness instruction

Other health-related small business

Home cooking demonstrations

Home health aid

Larger business

Vegetarian Restaurant

Health foods store and book shop

Health food factory, breakfast foods, whole wheat noodles etc

Bed and Breakfast / hotel

Spa Massage center and spa- natural remedies

Farm for kids to come, also patients to live and work

Physical therapy center (Dr. Thomas, Desert Springs Therapy Center)

Lifestyle center

Natural Medicine Clinic

7. What are some good principles of business practice to ensure God’s blessing will be on our work? .

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities...” Romans 13:1, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors...” 1 Peter 2:13-14.

In starting any business, remember the Biblical injunction to obey every ordinance of man and seek to get proper certifications, permits, etc. Working for God does not make us exempt from needing to follow proper procedures. On the contrary, for Christian workers to be fined or penalized for breaking the laws of the land would bring the cause of God into disrepute.

Mt 22:21 Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Translation = don’t do business “under the table” (or in cities where you don’t have a business permit) and do submit taxes!

1 Peter 2:17 “Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.” This is a similar thought as above. We should carefully consider all legal and regulatory matters and take appropriate actions and precautions. We must follow careful practices in all things as we seek God’s blessing.

1 Corinthians 3:12-13 “If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work.” We must build with principles as pure as gold, not with shoddy workmanship. This will gain the respect of God and man and open up more doors for the Gospel. Part of this also includes following-up after programs and educational efforts through visitation and phone calls.

Ellen White Quotes:

Who was Ellen White? ; Ellen White named by Smithsonian among the 100 most significant Americans of all time , EGW Link 2

Life by the Power of God

The parable of the seed reveals that God is at work in nature. The seed has in itself a germinating principle, a principle that God himself has implanted; yet if left to itself the seed would have no power to spring up. Man has his part to act in promoting the growth of the grain. . . . {Medical Ministry Pg. 7.4}

There is life in the seed, there is power in the soil; but unless an infinite power is exercised day and night, the seed will yield no returns. The showers of rain must be sent to give moisture to the thirsty fields, the sun must impart heat, electricity must be conveyed to the buried seed. The life which the Creator has implanted, He alone can call forth. Every seed grows, every plant develops, by the power of God.--C.O.L. 63. {Medical Ministry Pg. 7.5}

An Effective Instrument

When connected with other lines of gospel effort, medical missionary work is a most effective instrument by which the ground is prepared for the sowing of the seeds of truth, and the instrument also by which the harvest is reaped. Medical missionary work is the helping hand of the gospel ministry. So far as possible, it would be well for evangelical workers to learn how to minister to the necessities of the body as well as the soul; for in doing this, they are following the example of Christ. Intemperance has well-nigh filled the world with disease, and the ministers of the gospel cannot spend their time and strength in relieving all in need of help. The Lord has ordained that Christian physicians and nurses shall labor in connection with those who preach the word. The medical missionary work is to be bound up with the gospel ministry.--R.H., Sept. 10, 1908. {MM 240.2}