Should every local church start a medical ministries program as a way to share Jesus?

Q: Don’t you think every church should start a medical ministries program because we’ll soon not be able to preach Bible truth and we can then minister through medical ministry? — Ann, from Canada

A: Yes, Ann, medical missionary work — or comprehensive health evangelism, as we now call it — is vitally important to the work God has given to His church. As we face the challenge of “Mission to the Cities,” we are to do Comprehensive Health Ministry. In reference to one of the largest cities, Ellen White indicated that the “best thing you can do in New York City is medical missionary work.” In the book “Counsels on Health,” we read some fairly direct counsel from Ellen White to ministers:

“I wish to tell you that soon there will be no work done in ministerial lines but medical missionary work. … You will never be ministers after the gospel order till you show a decided interest in medical missionary work, the gospel of healing and blessing and strengthening. … the medical missionary work is God’s work. The Lord wants every one of His ministers to come into line. Take hold of the medical missionary work, and it will give you access to the people. Their hearts will be touched as you minister to their necessities. As you relieve their sufferings, you will find opportunity to speak to them of the love of Jesus” (p. 533).

Not only should ministers be involved with this important, Christ-like work — but every member can be involved in some way through their local church and in their communities. It is our privilege to share simple health practices and knowledge with those around us. I like a Spirit of Prophecy quote that says, “Heaven is all health.” What a privilege to utilize this in our own lives … a great personal blessing from God and then an opportunity that God gives to use to share this truth with others.

The General Conference Health Ministries department urges all churches everywhere to become “community health centers.” There are many ways you can help your local church to become a center of influence and outreach. Take time to ask the Lord how to accomplish that. There are various types of health expos or health fairs that your church can offer to the community.

In a larger outreach, there are organizations like Your Best Pathway to Health, which is an excellent example of the marvelous way in which members — health professionals, pastors, lay members — can become involved in reaching out to tens of thousands of people with comprehensive health evangelism. To learn more about that particular powerful health evangelism movement, visit https://www.pathwaytohealth.org/

For many other ways to participate in health reform and share with the public, read the wonderful Spirit of Prophecy books: “Ministry of Healing,” “Medical Ministry,” “Councils on Health” and the “Testimonies for the Church” series.

It is vital to check with your pastor, local conference, or union Health Ministries director for more dynamic ways to use God’s great gift of health to live life to the fullest and help yourself and others to give God the glory in all that you do including your lifestyle. This is all only accomplished with complete reliance on the Master Physician, our Lord and Savior!

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