Fulfilling the Gospel Commission through Health Fairs
Jesus spent much of His time caring for the physical and emotional needs of the people. While doing this, He had access to their hearts and was able to address their spiritual needs as well.
Health Fairs are a positive way of responding to the physical needs of the people in our communities. Most of the people around us don’t realize how much their lifestyles are affecting their health, both physical and spiritual.
Health Fairs - Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle
There are eight main factors related to disease prevention and physical, emotional and spiritual health.
We call them the WELLNESS principles.
- Live Temperately
- Lots of Fresh Air
- Entire Trust in God
- Sufficient Rest
How to use a Health Fair
One Day Event
Health Fairs can be used as a one day event to reach out and meet the needs of a community. This is most often how they have been used here in Trinidad. With the participation of local church members a Health Fair can be planned and the public invited for several hours on a Sunday. This is a great way to meet people and assess felt needs of the community.
Health lectures can often be conducted in conjunction with the Health Fairs.
Health lectures increase the interest of the public and provide an opportunity to present practical health information in detail. Lectures on preventive medicine topics, simple remedies and cooking classes are good choices. Good topics include: Controlling your Cholesterol, Disarming Diabetes, and Controlling Your Blood Pressure. Lectures can be from approximately 30 minutes to one hour long. During the lecture, the various stations close so that all participants are encouraged to listen to the lecture.
First in a Series
The Health Fair can be the first in a series of programs that will address the various aspects of health. Before the Health Fair, strategize and plan specific follow-up programs and have them advertised during the Health Fair. Cooking schools, Stop Smoking, and Weight Loss programs are a few good choices. After these types of seminars, you can then transition into mental / emotional aspects of health (Depression, Grief Recovery or Stress Management Seminars). Ideally, Health Fairs should not be conducted alone, but as a “First in a Series.”
With an Evangelistic Series
Use a Community Center if possible. Keep the Health Fair to just one hour so that people will have to return the next night to finish the stations. The goal is to build relationships with the public and transition them into the evangelistic series. After the Health Fair, present a one hour health talk or cooking class. The next night repeat the same schedule. On Friday night, begin with a 30 minute Health Lecture, and transition into the first evangelistic topic. The Health Fair and cooking class or health seminar can be run through the second weekend before the evangelistic meeting. A short health nugget can be continued before each sermon once the health fair and cooking class/seminar are completed.
Health Fair Setup
The stations should be arranged in a way that facilitates the flow of large numbers of people.
The layout can be adapted to the physical characteristics of the venue being used. There are eight standard health screening stations. Each station has a table and a full-color, upright banner as a background for the station.
Typically, it is set up in a U shaped fashion, with a place for health lectures on one end. It is designed so that people can go around in order from station to station, but they do not have to go in order. If a station is free, they can move to that station. Chairs can be placed in the center for waiting or use in presentations.
Health Fair Stations
- Registration: Name, age, height, weight, body fat%, BMI (Body Mass Index)
- Water: Water given, daily water intake needed, hydrotherapy demonstrations
- Exercise: Harvard Step Test performed, exercise guidelines given
- Live Temperately: Computer Health Age Assessment, lifestyle modifications discussed
- Lots of Fresh Air: Peak Flow Measurements, stop smoking information given
- Nutrition: Ideal Body Weight calculated, nutrition counseling
- Entire Trust in God: Stress Level testing, Spiritual counseling
- Sunshine: Blood sugar and Cholesterol tests (if done), sun exposure, cholesterol and diabetes information given
- Sufficient Rest: Blood Pressures, Chair Massage (if possible), tips on rest given
- Check-out: Go over check sheet to make sure nothing was missed and all questions were answered, free health magazines and literature given, seminar interest sign-up forms filled out