In Jesus’ ministry, healing and preaching the gospel were inseparable. In fact, the word SOZO in Greek, used over 300 times to describe His ministry, means both “to heal” and “to save”, and when He commissioned the disciples, He told them to combine healing in all they did. Ellen G. White says: “The Seventy who were sent out were also commissioned to ‘heal the sick’ (Luke 10:9) as well as to announce the advent of the promised Redeemer. In their work of teaching and healing, the disciples followed the example of the Master Teacher, who ministered to both soul and body. The gospel which He taught was a message of spiritual life and physical restoration. Deliverance from sin and the healing of disease were linked together.”1 In the same way, these two important aspects of ministry should not be separate today.

Is this a call for health professionals in our hospitals to “heal,” while in church our focus should be to “preach”? You would agree that ALL of us are disciples, and thus called to follow Christ’s example to “heal” and to “preach” (Luke 9:2). In fact inspiration confirms that “the Savior’s commission to the disciples includes all the believers to the end of time.”2 That means each local church can be a center for whole person health, healing, and restoration, and each member is called to be a medical missionary. Hence, the global goal of Health Ministries is: “Every church a center for health in the community and every member a medical missionary.”

Now is this possible? How can ministers and elders today lead lay members to follow this commission at the local church level? Simple: We must meet people where they are! Many outside our church doors are broken physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. If we follow Christ’s method of ministry, instead of coming up with our own prescriptive plan and critical judgments, we’ll show we care by looking for ways to meet their needs as Jesus did. By doing that, we will draw individuals to a local church that shows disinterested benevolence while being a resource for better living. 

One of the ways to accomplish this is through “Health-Expos”. A Health-Expo is different than a health fair, which many cities, schools, entities, hospitals, or churches are used to. The objective of an Health-Expo is to demonstrate this “disinterested benevolence” by teaching the inspired evidence-based practical counsels on how to live healthfully while providing screenings, assessments, a health age evaluation, and individual whole health counseling. The expos goal is not only to raise awareness, but to also coach people through the process of change. Partnering with an Adventist Healthcare entity nearby for a health-expo can be a wonderful way to unite our mission and resources to impact the community

This method of reaching out through Health-Expos has grown over the years with expos conducted not only in the USA, but also in Russia, Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe and many other places. In 2000, many HealthExpos were conducted in Honduras, followed by over 150 evangelistic meetings, resulting in great media and public interest in the local cities. More recently in Portugal, more than 22,000 people were helped and more than 3,000 registered for follow-up health programs in a period of two years where Health-Expos were done. The HealthExpos materials are affordable, easily accessible, and come in a kit to make it easy for churches to use. The materials are available in several languages, including English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, German, and come with beautiful banners, a manual, other screening materials, plus everything you need to know to hold a Health-Expo. Visit: for more information. 

“Never has the world’s need for teaching and healing been greater than it is today. The world is full of those who need to be ministered unto—the weak, the helpless, the ignorant, and the degraded. The continual transgression of man for nearly six thousand years has brought sickness, pain, and death as its fruit. Multitudes are perishing for lack of knowledge.”3 Your church can be a center for healing and restoration in your community by “Reaching Out and Telling the World” about the message of hope for complete restoration of body and soul. Consider the Health-Expo concept not simply as a “hook” to get people into the church, but rather as a way to demonstrate God’s love through “disinterested benevolence.” You will meet people where they are and draw them to a loving Savior, just like Christ did.

1 Ellen G. White, Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 465
2 Ibid., p. 466.
3 Ibid., p. 467.

Katia Reinert is director of the Health Ministries Department for the North American Division.