Health Evangelism a Success in Paris
Paris » Members of the Paris church recently felt convicted by the Holy Spirit to pray for guidance about opportunities to meet the local community’s health and spiritual needs. After some time of prayer, the Lord providentially opened the way to conduct an evangelistic series combined with a health seminar. On January 14, with the help of Jay Sloop, health ministries director from the Upper Columbia Conference and Darrin Bartell, of Amazing Facts, the church launched a four-week campaign.
Health screenings were conducted after the first full week of meetings. The attendees paid a $15 fee for the cost of supplies, and were asked to fill out a lifestyle questionnaire. The health screening included tests for body mass index and body fat percentage, waist and hip measurement and ratio, hand grip strength, blood pressure and pulse, blood glucose and blood lipids (including total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, and risk ratio), and a timed, one-mile walk to measure maximal oxygen uptake.
Sloop then consulted with each participant, offering valuable counsel to several who were affected by diabetes, high blood pressure, or other health issues. It is not an overstatement to say that this service was life-saving.
When Christ ministered on earth, the results were not calculated by the “how many,” but by the “how.” The divinely ordained combination of the gospel presented with the health message, each strengthening the other, proved powerful for the Paris church’s local series in several ways. First, many guests decided to attend primarily to hear the health seminar, but ended up staying for the evangelistic series. Second, the seminars experienced a remarkable guest retention rate of nearly 80 percent. Finally, both the attendees and the church members received tremendous physical benefits from the health lectures, reinforcing an overall commitment to health and fitness.
Even though planning for the series was more comprehensive and costly than originally intended, for the Paris church, meeting the practical needs of the people and ministering to both the body and soul through Christ’s gospel was worth it!