ABSTRACT: Two new ministries have been developed using the disciple-making principles of Simple Discipleship: 1) JUMP Sports – a sports ministry that is contextual and requires minimum structure, and 2) RENEW Wellness – a church support group ministry that has great potential to help many people struggling with disease, despair, and distress. This article highlights the latter ministry.
WHAT IS RENEW WELLNESS?
RENEW Wellness is the merging of three passions in my life: medicine, mentoring, and ministry. No, it does not involve practicing medicine in any way but helping people struggling with disease, despair, and distress indirectly helps them with their overall health. It is the mentoring that helps them overcome denial, provides information relevant to their struggle, and motivates them to follow the instructions of their healthcare provider. Pulling all of these things together is indeed a ministry to which I have been called.
RENEW Wellness is a church-based support group ministry designed to help people struggling with disease, despair, and distress. The ministry is designed with two components: 1) small groups organized by specific issues or illnesses, and 2) an optional regular or occasional Heart of Hope Healing worship service. The ministry has a strong discipleship foundation based on principles of the books Simple Discipleship: How to Make Disciples in the 21st Century and The Disciple-Maker’s Toolkit both by yours truly.
Wellness Small Groups
The RENEW Wellness small groups meet every week hence the acronym Reaching Every Need Every Week. Small churches may start with just one group while larger churches may choose to start with four to five groups. According to medical news sources, there are five areas of health and wellness that may involve a large part of any population such as church members and those in the surrounding community: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, depression/anxiety, and the condition of being overweight. Sometimes people experience a combination of two or more conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and/or being overweight. Small groups provide information, Bible study, and group prayer to encourage and motivate members to maintain their health level. Small groups are facilitated by trained leaders. Each church must have a certified RENEW Wellness Director who has completed training as a Christian Life Coach or its equivalent, disciple-maker’s training, and wellness coach training. Like some other ministries that provide for churches to start a chartered program, RENEW Wellness will provide much of the training for local church directors. Doing so provides a high level of quality for each chapter. Wellness small groups are used to minister to those in the church and reach people outside the church. One important requirement prohibits members, facilitators, or churches from allowing activity by multi-level marketers (MLM) from participation. This ministry is about building the wellness and faith of those in the groups and MLM activity would change the priorities of the ministry.
Heart of Hope Healing Worship
Small churches may choose to hold occasional RENEW Wellness worship services while larger churches may choose to offer them weekly or at least monthly. The worship service is called Heart of Hope Healing Worship which simply sets the tone of the wellness ministry and offers an opportunity for groups to come together and celebrate what the Lord is doing for them through the ministry. It is based on the following Scripture:
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:13-16 (NKJV)
The worship component of RENEW Wellness may be used as an effective means of bringing people from the community to your church.
HOW CAN CHURCH LEADERS START A RENEW WELLNESS CHAPTER?
The ministry is gearing up to make a launch during 2012. You may choose to read the books Simple Discipleship and The Disciple-Maker’s Toolkit- Leader Edition since they form the biblical foundation for the ministry. Training for chapter directors is available through Simple Discipleship and the parent company RENOVA Coaching and Consulting. To stay informed about the progress and launch of RENEW Wellness, go to http://www.renewwellness.org . We are looking for pilot churches, investors, donors, and ministry partners who see the discipleship and kingdom-building potential of RENEW Wellness.
- Consider the people in your church and community who may benefit from RENEW Wellness.
- Do you agree that the church has a role in health and wellness of people?
- Please let us know of your interest in starting this ministry in your church.
Dr. Tom Cocklereece, The Disciplist
Dr. Tom Cocklereece is CEO of RENOVA Coaching and Consulting, LLC
Author “Simple Discipleship,” contributing writer L2L Blogazine
He is a pastor, an author, professional coach, and leadership specialist
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