Church’s goal to be world leader in lifestyle medicine

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An innovative health strategy developed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific is aimed at positioning the Church as a world leader in lifestyle medicine.

“We want to make a big impact in the community and with health professionals so that when people think about health, they come to the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” Division health strategy consultant Geraldine Przybylko said.

The Comprehensive Health Strategy (CHS) is designed to empower the Church to champion Christ’s blended ministry* so it can thrive and meet the needs of the wider community.

General Conference Health Ministries director Dr Peter Landless is so impressed with the strategy that he believes it could become a model for the worldwide Church.

Dr Landless at Avondale during his recent visit to Australia.

“I’ve been amazed and thankful,” Dr Landless said during his recent visit to Australia. “When I see themes like blended ministry being embedded in it, when I see the evidence base—that it’s consonant with the Bible, with the Spirit of Prophecy—the peer-reviewed medicine and health studies, I just think to myself, what a blessing.

“I see this could be an amazing model to be followed in many parts [of the world]. That was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw it.”

Mrs Przybylko said it is very encouraging to receive Dr Landless’s affirmation.

“This is a long-term strategy and we need the prayers and involvement of our health professionals, pastors and church members to bring healing and hope to our communities,” she said.

“The Bible reveals Jesus’ love for people, and this is demonstrated through His blended ministry of healing and hope. The Comprehensive Health strategy is based on this model using the ‘7 Dimensions of Wellness’ framework, which is a wholistic approach to health.

“I want to recognise the South Pacific Division administration and various boards and committees for their vision and support.”

A 10-part innovative and interactive online video series, known as the Live More Project, is part of the strategy. It incorporates the latest findings from science, lifestyle medicine and positive psychology about how to stress less and increase emotional wellness.

Featuring Avondale Lifestyle Medicine senior lecturer Dr Darren Morton, it has been created in response to the growing number of people experiencing stress and anxiety in the community.

“Emotional wellness is a significant community need,” Ms Przybylko said. “The Live More Project is one tool that can be used to help us build relationships and learn how we can meet further needs in the community.

* Testimony: the wonderful results from following Christ’s method of blending ministries: https://record.adventistchurch.com/2018/02/21/testimony-the-man-whose-faithful-influence-defined-my-life/

During his time in Australia, Dr Landless (fourth from right) visited Waitara church in Sydney, where he took the main service and afternoon program entitled “The heart of the matter” in which he spoke on how to prevent heart disease. Others in the picture include Geraldine Przybylko (fourth from left) and SPD Health Ministries director Chester Kuma (far left).