Healthcare you can live with

Scott Morris is a physician. And he is a minister. And he is a classic social entrepreneur, creating and sustaining a unique ministry for a quarter century, The Church Health Center. And he is a one great story teller.

All of these come together in his new book, “Healthcare You Can Live With.” The book is built around Scott’s rich reservoir of stories and the simple, but profound framework of Christian virtues and “model for healthy living.” The Church Health Center builds around the same two frameworks, so it is possible to read the book as a lens through which to focus on health ministry, and just as well, to focus on one’s own health.

The virtues come straight out of the third chapter of Colossians, which I think Scott understands better than Paul. At the very least, Paul would have been surprised to find how smart his simple list actually turned out to be once Scott built a large ministry on them. Clothing oneself with “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” is, well, healthy, especially when they are bound together in “perfect unity” in love. Forgiveness and release of grievances is the hub of them all, of course, which Scott unpacks in many richly persuasive narratives. Very healthy.

Scott lays out a nice “model for healthy living” designed to help people develop “smart goals” in the various aspects of health including medical, movement, work, emotional, family and friends, nutrition and faith life. The focus is on what one can do themselves, not on scolding or simply accepting somebody else’s prescription.

Policy makers will be disappointed with all the easy shots at government (You’d never guess Scott voted for a Democrat in his life by reading the book, but I have reason to believe that he has.) Academics would like more footnotes, of course. Some clergy might be hoping for someone to write them a prescription for a healthy congregation. Scott tells stories and, in effect, says to come and look at The Church Health Center. It is a very good idea to do just that (

In the meantime, read the book:

And choose life.

– Posted on the journey

About garygunderson

Vice President, FaithHealth, Atrium Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC. Author, Leading Causes of Life, Deeply Woven Roots, Boundary Leaders, Religion and the Heath of the Public, Speak Life and God and the People. Secretary Stakeholder Health (Health Systems Learning Group). Founder, Leading Causes of Life Initiative
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