I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. – John 10:10b, NRSV
As United Methodists, we are committed to creating abundant health for all – a global connection striving for mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Lifesaving health ministries are enriching the lives of people around the world, from South America to Africa, from India to the Philippines and the U.S.
“It will be a double blessing if you give yourself up to the Great Physician, that He may heal soul and body together. And unquestionably this is His design. He wants to give you … both inward and outward health.” – John Wesley, from a letter written in 1778 to Alexander Knox, a theological writer
God calls us to the ministry of healing. We have opportunities to utilize our resources to extend hope to all people, offering them a path to wholeness, joy and abundant life in Christ.
Vibrant mental health is a vital part of a person’s holistic well-being. Helping people identify, treat, cope with and overcome their mental health challenges is something that will increase their quality of life, not only because the church offers them encouragement, but also because congregations are a community of hope that will provide strength on their journey of healing.
- 50% of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14 and 75% by the age of 24
- 800,000 people die from suicide globally each year (1 death every 40 seconds)
- 1 in 5 adults in America experience a mental illness
Bountiful physical health comes in the form of a balanced diet, ample physical activity and access to health care. Our bodies are instruments through which God can work in our communities, the means by which we can share his message of grace and eternal love for all. By caring for the body, we fortify the mission to which God has called us: to live exuberantly as we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
- 19.5 million infants around the world are missing out on basic vaccines
- 44% of World Health Organization member states report to have less than 1 physician per 1,000 people
- 40% of U.S. adults eat fruit less than once each day
Resilient spiritual health gives us purpose in our daily lives. We find strength to face our own brokenness and the fractured world around us, allowing us to rise up as disciples who speak words of hope and plant seeds of peace. As we seek to follow Christ and live as he asks us to live, our communities will become places of grace and love.
- 31% of the global population is Christian
- 16% of the global population is religiously unaffiliated
- 48% of Americans see themselves as religious and spiritual
Why we do this work
Jesus’ mission on earth was inaugurated by healing (Matthew 4:23-24), and his healing ministries were a central sign that Jesus was the promised Messiah (Luke 7:20-22). Therefore, we understand that continuing Jesus’ ministry of healing is an important part of what it means to be disciples of Jesus Christ.
Just as a good shepherd must have a connection with the sheep, so we are called to identify with and engage in mutual partnership with individuals and communities facing health challenges. Just as Jesus the Good Shepherd knows his sheep, so we too must get to know those with whom we are in partnership so that we may promote life-saving interventions appropriate for our communities, locally and globally. Just as Jesus lays down his life for his sheep, so we are called to sacrificially care for those who are vulnerable among us.
We believe that God, who is already at work healing, renewing, and redeeming creation, not only calls us to follow the path of Jesus in this way, but will also empower us with the Spirit as we step forth in mission to seek abundant health for all!
One way that Abundant Health supports worldwide healing is through the General Board of Global Ministries Global Health focus of extending health interventions to one million children by 2020.
Get involved by engaging in personal, congregational and community health ministries.
Get started by committing to promote Abundant Health activities in your congregation and community.
Get inspired by stories of holistic well-being made possible by United Methodists committed to abundant living.
Get connected by signing up for Experience Abundant Health, a free twice-monthly email, so you can receive resources, updates and ideas.