Blessing Hearts: Four Tips for Faith Communities

The “Bless Your Heart Campaign” encourages faith community members to live a heart-healthy lifestyle. Because participating churches must set goals for the entire congregation, the most essential part for a successful campaign is the church leadership according to Qsource Quality Improvement Advisor Kim Iman who presented information about the campaign during a recent gospel conference retreat.

Inman said Pastor Shane Stockton of Bearwallow Baptist Church, in Horse Cave, Kentucky, shared with retreat attendees how his congregation implemented “Bless Your Heart” and the success he and his wife had. “They lost weight, lowered A1C numbers, and stopped re-using oil in which previous meats were cooked numerous times as it was ‘bad fat.’ He also said his new congregation would be implementing the campaign soon.”

To create a healthy foundation for your congregation:

  1. Start a health ministry led by church members to send a health message. This is the first step in building a foundation for your congregation’s health. Health education uses programs that research has shown to work. Iman said the campaign provides proven methods for encouraging good heart health and promoting the Million Hearts.
  2. Encourage pastors and their families to promote health programs. This will show the congregation that these programs are important to the church’s mission. Studies have shown that sermons which focus on health are more likely to get church members involved in health programs according to Iman.
  3. Create a health bulletin board; reinforce health messages with bulletin inserts; write newsletter articles that promote a heart-healthy lifestyle. These articles can reinforce health messages delivered in the sermon. Newsletters reach a bigger audience because they usually go to all church members, not just those who are there on Sunday.
  4. Create support groups. These groups can encourage members who are working to control their blood pressure or who wish to quit smoking. Support groups let members share their victories and provide encouragement to those who want to improve their health.

For additional information on this and other cardiovascular topics, please go to