The church of recent times has taken many initiatives in the community service that help the community members with social, emotional and psychological support. These have been services initiated and done by religious organizations in most parts of the world with the idea of helping to improve and save the lives of many Christians and other members of the church due to deterioration of health that is caused by many factors in the society (Chin & Kramer, 1991). The most target group has been the elderly, expectant women and children most of whom are socially and economically disadvantaged in the society. It is important to note that care givers from the faith community are not required to dispense patient care in the church or at a patient’s home; instead, they should refer patients to services in the community. The community coordinates obtainable services and complements them with a holistic dimension of health and caring.
Community service organizations help to support nursing of the faith community and other services of a wide variety of faith communities. There are many social and psychological determinants of health; in church, for instance, they preach societal conditions that help one to get freedom from racism and other forms of discrimination (Cash, 1995). Some other community services done at the church level might include housing projects, especially in most third world countries or developing nations, to those church members who are economically disadvantaged, availing and enforcing safety measures inasmuch as access to the health care is adequate. The intermingling of community service workers and church members helps to raise self-esteem and reduce hopelessness of most church members. Economically, there are job opportunities for community service workers and some church members who take part in these services. The intermediate outcome in these activities is the achievement of health-promoting behaviors.
Community service workers also help those people who are affected by some communicable diseases in other ways, such as tuberculosis and jiggers for those who come from jiggers infested areas. In some countries, for instance, in the African continent most ethnic communities practice female genital mutilation (FGM). It has been at the mercy of the church to rescue these girls through campaigns against FGM. Most of these campaigns have been conducted by community services based by different churches. The health effect of FGM is so adverse ranging from extreme bleeding during the operation, risk of contracting HIV/AIDS due to shared knives and also complications during child delivery (Church, 1986). Through church services individuals from different and diverse ethnic backgrounds meet and socialize, share their different values and cultures. This helps to root out the tribalist attitude among the church goers.
The community service work has also helped to provide good maternal care, especially for expectant mothers; this has greatly helped to reduce the rampant child mortality rate that was previously a common phenomenon in most poor developing third world countries. There have also been programs initiated by church community workers, which have helped to provide pre-natal services to the pregnant/expectant women. This has substantially reduced the maternal mortality.
Many people have also benefited from nutritional knowledge given by community service nutritional experts; this also helps to reduce illnesses caused by poor diet and low or lack of proper hygiene. The teachings given in church to the congregation also foster peace and reinforce good relationships among the members. These include some of the teachings about the effects of adultery, fornication, lesbianism, homosexuality, child molestation, rape among others, which pose a great danger and increase the vulnerability of one getting infected with deadly diseases such as HIV/AID and other sexually transmitted infections including gonorrhea, syphilis et cetera. It is true to acknowledge that the community service has really played an important role at church to help to improve and counter on the already deteriorated health of the members.