Get Going!

Trinity Lutheran Church in Monument, CO

by Church Health Reader Editors

Get My People Going! at Trinity Lutheran Church

Faith community nurse Jackie Sward began a health ministry at Trinity Lutheran Church in Monument, Colorado with a grant of $400 and a team of likeminded people. As she began to tap into the resources of her own congregation, she was surprised to find how many health professionals were available and willing to promote a health ministry, including a registered dietician, a retired registered nurse, and a licensed family therapist.

When Jackie decided to offer Get My People Going!, a program to encourage movement as part of the journey toward better whole-life health, she opted to hold a weekly class for participants to attend on Sunday mornings. A second pleasant surprise was how many of the people made a point to be present for as many of the classes as they could. Jackie invited speakers to come in and speak on the weekly topics, and during the week class members used the participant guide that undergirds the program.

Get My People Going! offers weekly reflections rooted in the book of Exodus. The story of God leading the people of Israel out of slavery and into the promised land carries wonderful imagery of a journey toward what God wanted to give the people. The leader guide provides resources to support the congregation on the eight-week journey, and the participant guide allows each individual to set realistic goals for improved health and to track progress.

Some would say that the number of participants was insignificant compared to the size of Jackie’s congregation. She would beg to differ. People who chose to commit to the class chose to make changes in their lives. One older couple, for instance, had many questions about healthy food choices, and the class was a place where they could ask them. The value of a program is not always in the number of people who sign up, but in the real change that happens in the lives of even a few people.

Jackie also had an opportunity to present her congregation’s experience with Get My People Going! to representatives from about 15 other churches. One person in particular was full of reasons why her congregation could not use the program. Jackie’s response was, “Modify! Make it your own. Do what works for you.” The goal is not to follow a program legalistically but to provide realistic, doable encouragement for people to add movement in their daily routines as a part of whole-life health.

Tagged under:

Share on: