The Adventist Association for Health and Wellness Coaching, or AAHWC, is an association within the North American Division (NAD) of Seventh-day Adventists, made up of members and leaders with a passion for health ministries, from all over North America.
The idea for the association was born many years ago, when Rick Mautz, our current President, sparked a conversation with the Director of Health Ministries at the NAD (then and currently Angeline Brauer) about the potential of coaching in equipping health ministries to reach people for Jesus. Late in 2020, a Planning Committee was formed to prepare for our official launch as an Association, and we were officially launched in October 2021, with founding members excited about our potential for good.
Coaching offers a uniqueness to health ministries at large. Coaches (and Health Partners) can provide ongoing support in lifestyle changes that often prove as obstacles to better health and living. The power of coaching is that the coached person is in the driver seat, taking hold of their own health (1). To keep the power in their hands, the coaching approach uses open-ended questions that help each client find their own solutions. That alone is pretty cool, but what’s even cooler is this approach can be seen directly modeled by Jesus in the New Testament. When Jesus encounters two blind men, He does not assume what they might want from Jesus. Instead, He asks “What do you want Me to do for you?” (2).
This coaching approach is not a coach-only skill. In fact, the AAHWC would love to spread this skill to every member of the Seventh-day Adventist church. Peter advised in one of his letters to ‘shepherd the flock of God that is among you… not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock’ (3). This is where Health Partner training comes in: non-coaches can learn to use the skill of coaching to build better connections around them and help their peers to achieve their goals by asking great questions and leading by example (Jesus-style!).
We know that there are non-Adventist coaching entities and organizations out there. The unique aspect that AAHWC brings to the table is the incorporation of Christ’s method in reaching people.
“Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with people as one who desired their good. He showed sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He invited them, ‘Follow Me.’” (4)
The AAHWC hopes to complement and enhance, rather than replace, the training members might have received elsewhere with Jesus’ approach as demonstrated in the Bible.
Do you want to learn more about AAHWC? Visit our website (nadhealth.org/coaching) and read our Mission, Purpose, and what we have planned for this new year.
Bianca Radut is the current Secretary for the AAHWC and was involved in the Planning Committee for the association before it was officially launched in October 2021. Bianca lives in Sacramento, California, and is currently completing a Masters in Public Health at Loma Linda University, with an emphasis in Health Education and Wellness Coaching. To get in touch with Bianca, you can reach out to her on LinkedIn (/biancaradut) or email her at (email@example.com)