Health and Missions 

The Vision of the Free Methodist Church in Canada is to see a healthy church within the reach of all people in Canada and beyond.” We see here the centrality and priority of healthy Churches for our movement in Canada. But before we get into the weeds of what “Church Health” actually means (which we will delve into in the coming months), lets answer this question: “What has our definition and approach to health in our churches got to do with reaching every person with the Gospel? Michael Soderling, Catalyst for Health for All Nations and CGO for the William Carey International University explains the importance of a holistic understanding of health for missions. In the West, our healthcare system does not often take into account the holistic nature of who we are as humans. The Biblical worldview speaks of us as a composite unit- Mind (or soul) and body Spirit. In the West, rather than treating people holistically, Michael says we have a disease management system that disintegrates the body, soul and spirit and only offers treatment for the human body. This is not unique to the Modern West.  

As Kenneth Bailey said in “Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes, “ 

 “The Greek world neatly divided matter and spirit. The first was evil, and the second alone was considered good. The prophets of the Old Testament and the authors of the New Testament emphasized that the spirit can be either good or evil, while material things can be a blessing or a curse. Nowhere is this truth clearer than in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.”  

In most cases today, even if the treatment takes into account some holistic nature of the person, the treatment is also often highly individualistic. It treats the person as an individual rather than as a system of integrated relationships and circumstances that work together toward health. Rarely will a healthcare professional recommend forgiveness or reconciliation as a means of healing. 

As the embodiment of Christ, the Church has a unique opportunity to offer comprehensive ministry that draws thousands to the feet of Christ. If the Church provides holistic healing, it can fill a gap that no other institution can, even those that offer spiritual help. Jesus is the Lord over the living and the dead, and He is able to provide healing in its most comprehensive sense.