Ideas for Churches
The North American Division has set the following 4 annual goals for Adventists InStep for Life:
Increase physical activity by:
- Accumulating 2 million physical activity miles through walking and other physical activities
- 60% of Adventist students achieving the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (United States only) or NAD Active Lifestyle Award.
Focus on nutrition and increased fruit and vegetable servings by:
- Launching 100 summer feeding sites (at least one church and one school site per conference)
- Starting 100 vegetable gardens or farmer’s markets (at least one church and one school garden or market per conference)
Engage kids, youth, parents, schools and the community in working together to fight obesity
Download the toolkit.
Below is a list of ideas to jumpstart your team’s brainstorming as you explore ways your church can get involved in addressing childhood obesity. Click here to learn more about starting an Adventists InStep for Life team.
- Form a team and choose a coordinator.
- Talk about childhood obesity in newsletters, church bulletins, health nuggets and sermons. Encourage families to make small, simple changes to their daily lives.
- Add Adventists InStep for Life activities, such as walking clubs, fitness classes, health programs, gardening meetings or summer food site dates to your church calendar.
- Distribute and encourage members to sign the Adventists InStep for Life commitment.
- Host a kick-off event to introduce Adventists InStep for Life to families and showcase program activities to members. You can include health screening, mini-workshops, demonstrations, displays and other fun activities.
- Coordinate an Adventists InStep for Life Club and set a walking goal for your church, Sabbath School class, youth group or Pathfinder club.
- Open your fellowship hall to offer ongoing exercise programs for church and community members.
- Promote the NAD Adventists InStep for Life Award.
- Provide healthy selections, including fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains at church potlucks.
- Hold a recipe contest and challenge your members and youth to create healthy recipes. This makes a great social event.
- Offer vegetarian cooking, Coronary Health Improvement Project (CHIP), Full Plate Diet, SuperFit Family, CREATION Health, Food for Thought and other healthy lifestyle classes.
- Connect families in your church and community to WIC and SNAPnutrition programs.
- Start a community intramural sports club, like softball or basketball.
- Partner with your local food bank to host a food pantry with healthy food options or hold a healthy food drive and encourage donations of healthy food items.
- Create a community/congregational cookbook of healthy, kid-friendly recipes.
- Provide access to church facilities (lawn, gym, fellowship hall, recreation rooms, etc.) after school and on weekends to increase youth opportunities for physical activity.
- Offer a summer feeding program at VBS or community service outreach initiatives so kids have access to healthy meals when school is out.
- Start a community vegetable garden at your church or school and invite people who don’t have their own space to grow food.
- Get youth involved in community service projects that address childhood obesity, nutrition or physical activity, like helping at a soup kitchen or participating in a CROP Hunger Walk (1-888-CWS-CROP).
- Show video clips or share testimonials of member and youth involvement during the worship service to get attention and promote Adventists InStep for Life.
- Start a healthy food co-op or partner with local farmers and businesses to start a Community Supported Agriculture Club, subsidizing CSA shares for families with limited resources. Click here for an example of a CSA club.
The material in this website is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any illness, metabolic disorder, disease or health problem. Always consult your physician or health care provider before beginning any nutrition or exercise program. Use of the programs, advice and information contained in this website is at the sole choice and risk of the reader.