Every Body Matters
A great first step in starting a church wellness program
If you want to get your church ready for a wellness program, this book is a great place to start! Every Body Matters, written by a seminary teacher and runner, helps people answer the question, “Why is a wellness program important to the church? Why should I see it as part of my spiritual work?”
Each chapter is packed with stories and scriptural references. Each is followed by discussion questions small-group leaders will love. It gently helps people see that care of the body is truly a spiritual practice when people approach it that way.
Use it to find ideas for sermons. Try it as a discussion group reading. Author Gary Thomas mixes scriptural references with down-to-earth stories about people struggling to take care of their bodies, from a mother who plays volleyball to get fit to a pastor who, at 300 pounds, knew he had to get into shape. Yes, they wanted to look good and fit into smaller clothing sizes. But more important, they were motivated by the desire to stay healthy so they could continue serving God.
Quoting from many first-rate religious thinkers, Thomas reminds us that God gave us only one body as a vehicle for our spirit. If we take care of it, we remain on the planet longer to serve God, love more people and do more great work. Thomas reminds us, chapter after chapter, that the lifestyle we choose directly influences the way God is able (or not able) to work through us.
Too often, wellness programs fail because nobody answers the question, “Why are we doing this? What does this have to do with church?” Every Body Matters helps each reader – and each discussion group – answer those questions for themselves. Once they have done that, they are likely to be much more open to programs like Walk and Talk and The Daniel Plan.