Pr. Devaneson Samuel

Director, Church Nurture and Health Ministries

Purpose

The ultimate purpose of nurture is growth like a baby does being fed from his mother. Just like every baby’s growth is purposed, church’s nurture aims to achieve three goals. First, to know the Lord, second, to do the Lord’s will, and, third, to be like the Lord. Nurture is to let all church members know the Lord, do His will and, ultimately, be like Him in all ways (cf. Eph. 4:11-16).

These three purposes of nurture are so evident in the passage we’ve just read, that is, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12, like many other parts of the Bible. If you look at vs. 1 and 2, you hear the Apostle Paul talking to those Christians in Thessalonica about how they’ve come to know the Lord, the first purpose of nurture. It was through instruction and transferring the knowledge of Jesus. Then, in vs. 3-8, the word talks about the ‘will’ of God notified and put into action by those Thessalonian believers.

Christian nurture aimed to achieve these three goals is not strange at all to parents who raise children. Their greatest joy is no other than seeing their children grow up to full maturity, knowing the love of their parents, doing what is right and honorable, and finally becoming faithful followers of Jesus.

Mission

We believe our body is the temple of God and as such we have a special responsibility to protect and care for our bodies. (1 Cor. 3:16)

The mission of the Health Ministries department is to lead, equip and support Seventh-day Adventists as they engage in the restoration of life as God created it to be, through a compassionate service of comforting, relieving suffering, bringing healing, preventing illness, and enhancing life whenever possible to whoever needs it.

Principles
Health Ministries is to be guided by evidence-based research and practices, and the revelation of God’s design for human life as expressed in the Bible and amplified in the writings of Ellen G. White. Through this we strive for sound and balanced approaches to enhance life in all its dimensions; the physical, mental, social and spiritual needs.

Focus
The main emphasis of the Health Ministries department will be on the following:
• Support and enhance the health of the workers and their families
• Develop Comprehensive Health Ministries in the churches
• Engage and connect health professionals for health ministry
• Equip members, workers and entities to better understand, support and help people with mental health and addictions issues in the community.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church affirms the commitment and objectives of its Health Ministry aiming to achieve the well being of its members and the communities it serves, and improving global health.

The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists reiterates its commitment to the principles of human dignity and equity, social justice, freedom, self-determination, access to clean food and water, clean environment and non-discriminatory universal access to available health care. Through its ministry of preaching, teaching, healing, and discipling the Church seeks to represent the mission of Jesus Christ in such a way as to be:

  1. Regarded globally as teaching a wholistic model of evidence based healthful living in primary health care.
  2. Seen at all times as a trusted, transparent ally of organizations with compatible goals and vision, in alleviating suffering and addressing basic health and well-being.
  3. Recognized for the unconditional scope of its embrace of all persons seeking this basic health and well-being.
  4. Involved not only administratively but also functionally at every level including each congregation and church member in this ministry of health and healing. This is what we have been called for in every age.