The Failure of Resolutions – Part 2
Second of two parts
By Ken Walker-
If all Rick Warren did in his new book-and-small-group curriculum was lament our nation’s problems with obesity, it wouldn’t be worth much. However, The Daniel Plan goes much further.
Co-authored with Dr. Daniel Amen and Dr. Mark Hyman—also New York Times bestselling authors—the book reviews such information as foods to eat (and avoid), establishing a fitness plan, and the necessity of friends during this journey.
The “Friends” chapter includes the story of Huntington and Steve Willis’ role in leading the community toward a healthier profile. That includes such changes as the establishment in mid-2012 of the Wild Ramp healthy foods market.
In addition, Huntington’s Kitchen—which served Jamie Oliver’s studio during filming of his ABC mini-series—is currently expanding its roster of healthy cooking classes.
Partially written by Steve, the “Friends” chapter includes notes about the changes at his church (First Baptist of Kenova), where healthier food is available at potluck dinners and more nutritious snacks in the children’s department. One member recently donated an acre of land for a community garden.
The church has also started educating preschoolers about the difference between real food and processed items marketed to children. Such grassroots efforts may take years to pay off, but they will make a dramatic difference in an area where too many still choose sugary treats over fruit.
“These kids are now going home and teaching their parents about the importance of real food and knowing where it comes from,” Steve says. “Perhaps the best news is that our children’s department has nearly doubled since we instituted these nutritional changes.
“We’ve still got a long way to go, but it continues to amaze me that the more we get physically healthy, the more we seem to be a spiritually healthy body of Christ.”
Cooperation over Competition
Too often, churches have been marked by competition with each other instead of cooperation to expand the kingdom of God. So, what is even more encouraging about The Daniel Plan is the way that Steve joined with Warren’s team to help bring it to life.
Last summer Steve flew to California to meet with Warren and the two doctors to discuss:
- How the plan had been implemented at Saddleback Community Church.
- What had happened in Huntington.
- How they could work together to improve our nation’s health.
“The result of that meeting is the Daniel Plan tradebook, to which I helped author part of the Friends chapter,” Steve says. “And, I initiated the content and formatting of the small group curriculum and study guide. We also filmed a six-session DVD, in which I contributed to the ‘Friends’ section.”
Small Group Success
It remains to be seen whether The Daniel Plan will inspire as many small groups as Purpose-Driven Life. According to one article, by the fall of 2012 more than 23,000 churches had taken people through a “40 Days of Purpose” campaign, and groups are still going.
As ingrained as overeating is in our nation’s consciousness, tackling obesity is no easy task. Still, as Warren points out in a blog aimed at pastors, ignoring physical health can have all kind of consequences. Among them: a negative impact on lifespan, mental clarity and energy levels.
In The Daniel Plan, Warren notes that making big and lasting changes is our lives is never easy, whether that involves personal relationships, time management, finances, work habits, or how we treat our bodies.
“The key to long-lasting success is to develop habits,” he says. “New positive habits that replace our self-defeating behaviors.”
Here’s hoping The Daniel Plan can help you establish the lifestyle habits that will enable you to change a half-hearted New Year’s resolution into lasting steps to better health.