Church of the Open Door, Maple Grove, Minn.
It’s no secret that obesity is on the rise in the United States. The good news is that concern for and awareness of health is also growing. As summer arrives and fruits and vegetables are aplenty, tap into your community’s interest in diet and nutrition by offering healthy-eating classes.
How to Do It:
— Find a member who has education and/or training in health and nutrition and is willing to teach a weekly class. He or she will be responsible for buying the food, planning the lessons and organizing recipes.
— Place an ad in your local newspaper inviting your community to learn more about nutrition and healthy-eating habits. Include the night of the week and time, as well as the specific theme. Church of the Open Door provided plant-based eating classes, which focused on whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits and nuts. (“Healthy Cooking for Families” or “Healthy Grilling” are other options.)
— Ask the volunteer instructor to open class with prayer, asking God to improve eating habits and lifestyles to better serve Him.
— Have the instructor share recipes and demonstrate how to make certain foods. Allow tasting at the end of the classes. Pass out recipe/informational sheets at the end, complete with your church’s service times and ministry opportunities. Encourage families to attend together.
— Host monthly potluck dinners for class participants to try out and bring their new recipes. Encourage them to invite family and friends. Church of the Open Door’s recent potluck saw 48 attendees, including 10 children.
To cover the cost of food, Church of the Open Door charges attendees $30 for three two-hour classes (or $10 if they’re taken individually). They also ask attendees to bring their own plates and utensils—less garbage and less money spent on paper products.
—From Outreach magazine, March/April 2005