2. Best practice for improving health within the church setting

Consider the following when developing programmes within churches [48,50,51]:

Meet the need of diverse Pacific ethnic groups  

  • Involve key leaders, youth leaders and other ministers involved
  • Identify parties concerned and parties affected
  • Map out the cultural, spiritual and social context (check out the Fonua model)
  • Identify and apply related values
  • enable community to deliver at least part of the programme so that autonomy. This can enhance their leadership skills and improve sustainability
  • Some Pacific-only churches have multiple Pacific Island groups. Therefore, understand the key language(s) used in this church.

An everything-on-the-table approach

  • Leadership, communication and relationship-building are key elements for successful church-based health promotion programmes.  
  • Involve consultation with the whole community, including church and community leaders and youth. This should be done in the planning phase of a programme before launching/delievering the programme.
  • Involve churches in recruitment of the participants.

Ensure that the activities do not lead to self-doubt and negative outcome such as guilt and depression.

Provide life-skills education and support to enhance motivation, self-management and strengthen church community relationships.

  • If the programme incorporates people already in the church who might have skills/background in key areas, this would add more 'ownership' for churches into this programme.

Develop ongoing plans so that the programme as a long-term future.

Review and reflect on progress.