Faith, Activity, and Nutrition Committee Training

Welcome to the FAN Committee Training! This training is designed to provide helpful information to members and groups interested in promoting physical activity and healthy eating in their churches or organizations. This training includes two tracks, a text training track and a video training track. It is not necessary to do both. You may choose to view the video or read through each written section. Whatever your learning style, we hope that your committee finds this training and the resources provided useful in putting the FAN program in place. Please click on your preferred FAN Committee Training below:

Faith, Activity, & Nutrition "Online Text" Committee Training

The FAN Committee Training uses an "Assessment and Planning Document" to help walk your committee members through how to put FAN into place in your church or group. The FAN assessment plan contains details of how your committee will work through the steps of developing a physical activity and healthy eating program for your church. This is a user-friendly guide intended to highlight gaps in your church’s current health promotion efforts and programs; help your committee develop a plan of action for filling those gaps; share ideas for how to document your plan for physical activity and healthy eating programs; and create a plan that your committee can manage and sustain over time.

Documenting your assessment plan will help your committee stay organized and on-track. If you wish to download the entire assessment and planning document as one file, please CLICK HERE.  We have also included individual files for each section below. As you read through the sections below of what is included in the FAN assessment and planning document, you might discover that your church or group may have already started some of the activities described. If you find this to be the case, no problem! Use the attached documents to keep record of what your committee has already accomplished and continue to develop your plan accordingly.  In order to complete the FAN Committee training most beneficially, it is recommended that you go through each section in order, as it is presented. Each section builds on the one before it. So please complete Section 1 before beginning Section 2, and so on. The Assessment and Planning document is organized into the following sections:  

1. What is the Faith, Activity, and Nutrition (FAN) Program?

In this section of the FAN Committee Training you will learn more about the goals of FAN, the FAN philosophy, how to develop a FAN committee, keys to success in the FAN program, and future steps after your committee completes the FAN training.

FAN is designed to be a committee-based program. One person cannot put the program into place alone. Be creative about who is on your committee! Here are some suggestions:

  • Pastor (strongly recommended)
  • FAN Coordinator (strongly recommended, this could be your Health Director or someone else)
  • Cook or Lead Kitchen Staff
  • YPD Director
  • Representative from Sons of Allen
  • Representative from the Women’s Missionary Society
  • Registered Dietician at your church
  • Nurse at your church
  • Fitness instructor at your church
  • A Champion (any creative and motivating person at your church that could help members become more active and eat healthier!)

These are just examples of people you might consider, but it is not necessary to include all of them.  You want people you can count on, who will be committed to FAN and its goals.  Committee members should be people who can motivate your church members, be good role models, and represent a cross-section of your congregation (men, women, youth, and seniors).

FAN Committee Members should be willing to do the following:

  • Speak to groups in your church about the importance of physical activity and healthy eating
  • Help groups in your church plan for how to include physical activity and healthy eating in their regular meetings
  • Take a key role in making sure the FAN program is put into place in your church
  • Be a true advocate and champion for physical activity and healthy eating
  • Attend your FAN planning committee meetings to brainstorm new creative ideas to promote health in your church

Once you form your FAN committee, in the next sections you will be asked to evaluate what you are currently doing to help members become more physically active and eat healthier. You will also be asked to list some ideas for activities you might want to add. In the final section, you will be asked to set goals and develop a plan for reaching them. CLICK HERE to open Section 1 and learn more about starting FAN.

2. Building FAN into Existing Events – Your Church Calendar

Keeping a busy church organized can be challenging at times. Most churches have a church calendar to determine the most important events at the church, such as church worship services, ongoing activities, and special events. This calendar is helpful to church leaders and members, and makes certain that no one misses anything important. One of the best ways to spread your health promotion efforts and reach everyone is to add opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating into existing functions, or immediately before or after these functions. By adding these opportunities to ongoing events, people don’t have to make special trips to attend. You are also likely to reach more people this way (adults of all ages, men and women, and people of all ability levels).

CLICK HERE to open Section 2 and to identify regular functions that take place at your church. After your committee has completed this section you will have an opportunity to identify regular physical activity and healthy eating opportunities for everyone in Section 3-Opportunities for Everyone.

3. Assessment – Opportunities for Everyone

Now that your committee has completed the previous section you can begin identifying regular physical activity and healthy eating opportunities for everyone in your church. It is important to consider how programs can reach everyone. Try to choose several ways you can build physical activity and healthy eating opportunities into your church events and ministries listed in Section 2. You might provide an opportunity for physical activity before, during, or after Worship service. For example, Praise & Worship or stretching to church music. Also, consider opportunities for everyone in your church to eat healthy snacks and meals. For example, one of the FAN churches we worked with decided to start a church garden. It has been a great way to produce fresh fruits and vegetables, teach the youth about gardening, and get people out and physically active.

CLICK HERE to open Section 3 and to list ongoing church events and programs where you can get members to be more active and eat healthy. Be sure to refer to your church’s calendar in Section 2. After your committee has completed this section it's now time to make sure that what you chose will be relevant and enjoyable for your church in Section 4-Chose Relevant and Enjoyable Activities.

4. Choose Relevant and Enjoyable Activities

It is really important to choose activities that meet the needs of most members at your church and are also enjoyable to church members. This will increase participation in church programs and also help to maintain healthy habits over time. Many churches have shared different ideas for making sure physical activity and healthy eating activities are relevant and enjoyable for members. We suggest that you try or use at least two ideas for physical activity and at least two ideas for healthy eating. CLICK HERE to open Section 4 for a list of ideas and be sure to add more from your committee.

In addition to having actual physical activity and healthy eating opportunities and programs, it is important that you get the message out about physical activity and healthy eating to your church. The next section, Section 5-Information and Materials for Everyone, will provide useful tips for spreading the word about health.

5. Information and Materials for Everyone

It is important that you share information and materials about physical activity and healthy eating with all members and ministries of your church. We strongly recommend that as part of the FAN program, your Health Director provides messages and information about health that your Pastor can use from the pulpit to talk about health during worship services and church meetings. Pastors serve a key role in the church and on your church’s FAN committee. So, it’s important to consider how you can support your Pastor to help him/her be a role model and supporter of physical activity and healthy eating.

In addition, you might suggest guidelines and practices that the Pastor can put in place at church to support physical activity and healthy eating. For example, one guideline may be that healthy food options must be available at every church function that has meals or snacks. Another guideline or practice may be that physical activity breaks must be built into every meeting lasting 60 minutes or longer. CLICK HERE to open Section 5 for more ideas to help members of your church see and hear messages about physical activity and healthy eating.

To be successful your church should have resources to promote health. Click on the next section, Section 6-Make sure your church has the capacity for health promotion, to ensure your church has the capacity for promoting physical activity and healthy eating programs.

6. Make Sure your Church has the Capacity for Health Promotion

Part of building capacity is making sure your church or organization has the resources to promote health. These can be “people resources” or other infrastructure resources. Does your church have a health director and an active health ministry? Does your church involve church members who have an exercise, nutrition, or health background to help promote health at church? Many of you are already promoting healthy eating and physical activity in your church. Make a list of things you are currently doing and things you might try to add. Be creative!

CLICK HERE to open Section 6 for some ideas for how to increase capacity in your church.

Be sure to discuss all ideas with your Pastor and committee. Review all your church’s resources and consider if your church will need to fund ongoing or new activities that promote health. In the next section, Section 7-Budget, learn more about budgeting health promotion programs at your church!

7. Budget

It is important for you to consider how your church supports health ministries such as FAN. Many of the suggested FAN activities require no additional funding. They rely on the dedication and time of your committee members.

You may choose, however, to offer some activities that do require additional funds. If so, we recommend that you prepare a budget to guide your planning. Your church may already have funds devoted to its health ministry. Just remember that budget items should be related to helping church members achieve health goals. CLICK HERE to view a sample budget for a small church and complete a budget proposal for your church. If you need help pricing your budget items a handout has been created that lists equipment and supplies that can be purchased at your local Walmart Store. CLICK HERE to open pricing handout.

Remember to have all members, including your Pastor review your budget for FAN activities before moving on to the final section, Next Steps.

8. Next Steps

Congratulations you have completed the FAN Committee Training! CLICK HERE to open and complete the final section of the “Assessment and Planning Document”. Be sure to list all your committee members who have completed this FAN Committee Training and other members you may want to recruit to participate on your church’s FAN committee. Try to set up monthly meetings with your committee to review your plan and timeline for the activities you agreed to put in place.

We have created a template for you to use to organize your plans for increasing physical activity and healthy eating. This template is available in both a Microsoft word document, so you can type in and save your plans, and a pdf document. We have also included a sample plan for your to view.

After your committee completes your church’s plan and has considered if funding is needed to put your plan into action, you will be well on your way to beginning FAN in your church! However, your FAN trainings are not complete. As important FAN committee members, your church cook and lead kitchen staff are encouraged to participate in the FAN Cook Training.

Once all committee members are fully trained be sure to introduce the program to the entire congregation so that people know what to expect. Below are suggested Next Steps to get the FAN program rolling at your church:

  • Have your church Cook or Lead Kitchen Staff take part in the FAN Cook Training
  • Complete the Planning Document and Budget Proposal with your committee
  • Share your plan and budget with your Pastor for approval
  • Plan and schedule your Kick-Off Event
  • Schedule monthly meetings with your committee and develop a plan and timeline for the activities you agreed to put in place
  • Be sure to use FAN materials and resources to get the message out. We have prepared 15 packets of materials that can be shared with your congregation, committee, cooks, and pastor. We recommend using these over a 15-month period.

Video Training:

Welcome to the video training section of the FAN Committee Training! By choosing this interactive training track you will be able to view short clips, as you listen and follow along with a narrator. Each section of the Assessment and Planning Guide will be presented separately, as outlined below. The narrator will guide you through the planning process. We ask that you begin with the Overview and move through each section in order. You will need to open the attachments in the upper right hand corner of the training video and download or print each worksheet, in order to document your ideas. Please take a moment to complete each Assessment and Planning Worksheet and review it with your committee, before moving on to the next section.

Please be patient as the video training section loads. It will open in a new, separate pop-up window or tab. If your computer will not open the video or display it properly, please switch to the text training section of the FAN Committee Training.  The Text Training will allow you to read through the information at your own pace.

To begin the video training track, click on the link below for Section 1: Overview. The information will open in a new window and the narrator will begin speaking. Please use the controls at the bottom of the screen or the side tabs to pause or replay any slide.