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Be the Hope in the Workplace

Sebastien Braxton


Sebastien Braxton is the CEO for The New Life corporation.  He is also a member of the InVerse team, a young adult bible study program on Hope Channel.  He resides in North Carolina w/ his wife Candis and their four children.   His latest project is an online course on how to study and preach the Bible.


  • April 14, 2019
    10:00 AM
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So again my name is Sebastian Braxton I'm typically known for preaching the gospel which is also a privilege Oh thank you. My voice is pretty loud. So anyway I I'm typically known for preaching but people did not know that early on in my advocacy experience I was a part of several ministries campus in G Y C and other organizations and realized and there were a lot of self-supporting ministries that were actually not self-supporting they were really member dependent so they needed donors they needed somebody who was bankrolling what they were doing and if ever that individual decided you know what we don't want to give to your ministry this year we're ready to give to a different ministry all the sudden you had to lay off people things that not last and so when I came into the church was in the middle of my collegiate career. And so I decided when I went back to finish my degree after being baptized as I was I became 7th Day Adventists in college I was doing an engineering degree and long story short I went back to study business because I understood that for some reason in our church we're very terrible at business we're not good at it. And especially in the health field physicians are very smart when it comes to medicine but they're not good business people that's why they have office managers because it's hard to tell a crying patient please get your insurance and pay what you owe all but Doc You know I've got this terrible system it's painful and I don't know if I can work in the doctor's going to be like OK it's fine you know go and you're not going to make any money and you're going to go out of business so it became very clear for me. Long story short I studied business got my bachelor's degree in finance and entrepreneurship and then I got a masters degree in communications because I also feel this is a place where we also fail as a church communications is where our message is packaged in a way that the world can understand when I 1st became 7 in Venice coming from a hip hop culture urban life people are like you are you redeemed I've never used that word in my entire life so now you are you redeemed you know the resurrection all these different feel are you born again no one even knows what that means but all you know we use the word converted I'm convicted I've never used those type of terms and so a big part of the block oftentimes in reaching out is how we communicate how we create meaning of the ideas that we hold true and how do we package it in a way that the person was non advantage that didn't grow up in our culture singing our songs knowing the sermons and the historical preachers that have passed through our church how do we package it in a way that they understand exactly what we understand it to be I translated this into what I got into with health and so we started off with this idea of hope for change and the idea of hope for changes because the world right now is suffering suffering a lot I've had focus groups with several different people especially in my part of United States in the south who are grappling with chronic lifestyle diseases and diseases probably many of us have never heard of that are just complication upon complication not one of those focus groups ends with a dry eye people are not sure of they're going to be there when their child graduates high school because their doctor says if you don't get this diabetes under control you won't be there when your daughter turned 17 you won't be there when your son graduates middle school so it became very clear to me that one of my former employees said Sebastian Why are you doing this. You could be doing anything else your preacher I mean your world you're known across the world you could be Pastor and you could be doing whatever why are you doing this and all the work and all the difficulty because it's an uphill battle what our health message is to the world I said when you go to those focus groups and you look at the transcript and you listen to the audio of these people talking how can you walk away from that how can you not say lord could you use my abilities My know how my business sense my passion for outreach my ability to communicate in such a way that can impact this situation that's really what our health message was all about from the very beginning it was about reaching people in the most sensitive part of their lives. And in reaching him in that part of their lives we were able to create open doors for the gospel so easy to talk to them about God at that point because the trust the confidence Christ met it was already implemented into the very service of health so this is why we always operate on this paradigm is to give people hope for change there was a gentleman that wrote a book called The upstream it's he did a TED talk to the same name he tells a story which is commonly known among public health circles about the young people that went swimming by a river and when they went swimming by this river all the sudden they saw a child heading towards the waterfall and as this child was heading toward the waterfall any good human being would jump in and swim and try to save this child so as they jumped in they realize as they grab that one there were 3 others that were coming so then they swam and got those now swimming in a river is difficult work because you're swimming against the current So as they're doing is they're getting winded and all the sudden they see more children coming down the river so now they start inventing little things would branches in ways to hey maybe we can grab 3 of them and pull them out one time so they're increasing their technology they're being in jail they're using their ingenuity to find ways to save these kids but it just keeps growing in the number of kids coming down the river towards the waterfall all of a sudden they realize they're actually working short handed because one of their friends decided to swim upstream the opposite direction and they're like where are you going aren't you going to help us save these kids because no matter how hard they try to resteal kids that went over the precipice but they just congratulated themselves at the ones that they could save they did see the friend yelled back to them I'm going upstream to stop whatever strolling these kids in the river in the 1st place. When we deal with the fact that medicine right now is not upstream it is creating new branches to say people are already heading towards the precipice rather than going upstream to figure out what strong these people down the river towards the waterfall of death how do we stop it right there Kaiser Permanente is already there in terms of preventative medicine they're rewarding physicians they're rewarding practices they're rewarding products and services that are anticipatory But here we are coming to you way after if you look at any admin is health facility and I'm not trying to blast I'm not going to name names because you know people will come looking for me. I heard what you said a bite sized chunks but listen I didn't come here just to speak to you all I came here to speak on behalf of the people that I serve because I hear their pain and that pain is real and so to keep it 100 we come in we set of facilities that catch people on the end of life by the time you get to one of these avenues how centers with all these different remedies and all these different things they're already on the edge where medicine can help them and we save some but the reality is for some of them it was way too late so the whole goal of the new life was how can we be up stream that's really the question. Sorry Michael Greger he post one of these statistics he says 8 percent of Americans can say yes to these 5 statements I am within 5 pounds of my ideal weight I exercise 30 minutes or more Morse most of the time that it means at least 4 times a week I eat a healthy diet of 5 fruits and vegetables a day I don't use tobacco products I have 2 or fewer alcoholic drinks per day I can guarantee you most of us in this room can say yes to all 5 of these. And most of us we may say why I am vegetarian doesn't mean you're getting 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day you might be doing pretty well known you know Loma Linda veggie links and whatever else you lie on gas oil this and you know Tofurkey that but we're not we're vegetarian but we're not investable at. Number 2 we put so much emphasis on nutrition we don't even understand exercise and how the body moves if I put you in a fitness center it's like putting a person in the Library of Congress and they're illiterate there's no benefit because you're in a gym but you're not movement literally you're going to squat and you going to hurt yourself you're going to try to run on the treadmill you're going to hurt your ankle because you don't know how to run properly and so in looking at this we focus on simply this one law as if this is a transformative pill which is true but it has to be combined so as I'm trying to be upstream I'm finding these problems and one of the big problems right B.J. Fogg He's a professor at Stanford University he has a concept that he calls the equation for behavior he says behavior equals motivation plus ability plus trigger you must have all 3 in order to get the behavior so he says if you're driving down the highway and the gas light comes on if you don't stop for gas you would say well you didn't stop for gas because you were motivated to stop for gas I want to break down on the side of the road that's not true you're not stopping for gas because you don't have the money the ability but if the gas light doesn't come on you won't stop for gas because there was no trigger so the whole purpose of a gas light and check engine light was this very solution people were not taking care of her car because they didn't know there was a problem. So in the same sense when we're dealing with behavioral change lifestyle medicine you have to combine motivation plus ability push trigger you can have health documentaries and what the health and all these different things that are motivating people you can have triggers you know that you're overweight you can look at your body in the mirror and say Man I need to get in the gym I need to stop eating late at night chocolate cake and getting these begin donuts you know I know what I need to the inside of you convicted is OK. But the reality is you can even have an apple watch and it triggers hey you know what your stand go I was in Amsterdam and this girl we were we were all hanging out and all the sun is girl gets up at 1130 at night starts running in place what are you doing I got to get my 10000 steps it's like. Because there's a trigger but if it wasn't for the trigger she would have sat there whole time. So triggers work but you need all 3 to combine and so I tell people no matter how high your motivation is this is why the curve does not strike the line because it doesn't matter how motivated you are if it's too difficult you won't do it this is why most people in our church don't adopt a health message because we make it sound too difficult or you want to be healthy I get a champion juicer you've got to have this and this has got to be cold press you've got to make sure you walk an hour a day you got to make sure you got fresh air open your windows I was in Ethiopia doing a Health Expo and I was the last booth and this these people would come to my booth and I'm supposed to look at their She give them the health counseling the spiritual counsel I said ma'am we notice you're not getting fresh air she said I walk 5 miles to work every day. I said well it says here in your place that you're places insulated you don't have any windows and one window you have you never open she says well if I open it they're going to come in my house because a normal older woman in are going to steal my food. OK that stat makes good sense so all the sudden right all these things don't really line up so behavioral adoption is not something that is just going to come as a result of just hey this is what you should do you have to start what we call the new life action line start would be easy to do with that doesn't require as much motivation so I tell people when I go to their corporate office a look so they actually I'm a little nervous about your program because you know you gave your talk and you know they're like how many people look at me and they think my lacking protein because I'm vegan and that's usually a question where do you get your protein Do I look like I'm lacking protein. Oh no how much do you think I weigh everyone's all this was on on 200 pounds you're 200 pounds yeah. Man I thought you know being plant based and I was nervous about this there's no need to be nervous but a big part of it is they're thinking I'm going to take them to the gym and do insanity right cross fit. And I'm like no what if I told you guys need you to start walking 5 minutes a day she says I can do them so moving along so I know my time is quickly running no maybe I'm too far away there we go. Skip over these because our whole our whole thing is based on the blue zones we take concepts of purpose if you guy obviously from the Japanese. I don't know what. OK principles are the new life is the basis of our logo so this is basically our vision how do you create a world in which the healthy decision is the easy. That's the vision of new line right now it's difficult to be healthy it's more expensive that's what people tell you cost more money takes more time to prepare all the food all those salads I do milk prep and of throwing out the food so that's our vision some of our products you know some people know that. So we've obviously had a book my former partners Rico Hill Jared Thurman the healthy cells book is something people still use today we use this in a corporate setting. We actually are working on an app as well people probably know that you can go to the next slide. We work obviously with Life and Health with Danny in diabetes on done talk a little bit about that a little bit later my afternoon talk we've been working on this concept of the miseducation of America and working with people becoming diabetes advocates in their churches. And educating them on that and then our course our corporate wellness program. Next slide and so one of the things that we do is what we call functional movement and this is something that I went out of my way to get certified in it so that I can not only teach people about nutrition but guide them on exercise and see if I can see you in these different positions I can tell you if you have dysfunction in your movements and based on that dysfunction I can tell you you shouldn't be running you should not be squatting you should not be out here doing jump lunges or the stair climber because you're going to hurt yourself so if you don't have the range of motion of mobility that's the foundation and so this is something that we do this is one of most popular things among my corporate clients almost every single week I get inquiries about people wanting to sign up for training and right now when I'm in the process of getting a contract to basically do this for an entire company of 600 employees. Some of the benefits we know that 2015 something percent of companies have a wellness program they're providing standard offerings. Some of the cost we know diabetes is 20 percent one of the businesses I'm working with diabetes accounts for 60 percent of their costs almost $2000000.00 a year so I'm like would you pay me 100 $1000.00 to save you $2000000.00. That's a no brainer right next slide the cost of poor health depression for some reason we think the laws of health are only restricted to the physical body mental health is also a part of health and it's more intrinsic to behavioral change than what we make it for for every dollar they spend they save at least 3 and also 41 percent of the employees think that having a wellness program actually help them work harder and perform better so they know you can impact productivity absenteeism health care costs employee morale on and on and on. We focus on skills and tools motivation and culture and environment notice 65 percent of wellness in a workplace is really giving them the skills and the tools in creating a culture in an environment some of the results that we've got. You're talking about 3 to 5 pounds a week we had average customers several high percentages drops in blood sugars we had to grow in 20 days or cholesterol went down 90 points. And also you have diabetes on and on and on so you can in there but suffice it to say one of the products we just launched that I'm going to get into a little bit later in the afternoon is a healthy lunch at work so we started delivering delivering plant based meals to the employees at their job so they subscribed for a week we package the meals we serve them hot and fresh cooked that morning bring it to work they come downstairs buy the meals I mean they pick it up and they go eat that's it and so in the afternoon I'll tell you a little bit more about kind of what's the transformations that's been happening since we launched it is really only a month old and we're seeing huge results combined with our half of this program this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about the universe or if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W. Dot org.


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