This Community Health Program Is Helping Churches Get On Track
Two Missouri women are using a community health program to help over a dozen churches in the area.
In Boone County, Mo., Verna Laboy and Annabelle Simmons work with Live Well By Faith which provides health programs, resources and training to 17 local black churches. In a KBIA report, the women spoke about having health competitions that help capture the attention of millennials who may not typically go to church.
“Live Well By Faith uses the weight loss competition as like a gateway into the LWBF movement, community, introducing them to other programs that we offer, so that they hear about it, because Millennials don’t go to church, folks, millennial don’t go to church, folks, Millennials don’t come to church,” Laboy said for good measure. “But they might come to a weight loss competition, and this is where we grab ’em. Haha! We got ya!”
The Live Well By Faith health program teaches people in the church community about things like diabetes self-management, weight watchers and African Heritage cooking classes.
Laboy said one of the best parts of her job is when she and Simmons have impacted a church with their program.
“… When we get lifestyle coaches and health ministries up and running, for me, that just speaks life to a church…It’s a living, breathing organism,” she said. “It shouldn’t be a place where people go and sit for an hour or two on Sunday and then not go back the rest of the week, you know, you shouldn’t go every Sunday to sit and wait to die. It should be a living, breathing, community place where people go and get their spiritual, emotional, physical, mental health addressed.”
Laboy calls herself a health evangelist and spoke about the importance of people doing the work to improve their health which may be tough at times.
“You have to do the work. This is your church,” she said. “This is your congregation. This is your family. This is your life.”