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Willie Rankin finds his power source with the Blue Zones Power 9 principle of BELONGING.

Faith, fellowship and belonging can add years to your life. In the world’s original Blue Zones, belonging to a faith-based community and regularly attending services was shown to add from four to 14 years of life expectancy – no matter which faith.

That’s no surprise for Willie Rankin, executive director of LVTRise. Rankin, 33, heads the nonprofit agency in Fort Worth that’s helping revitalize the Las Vegas Trail community. This busy community servant embraces Blue Zones Power 9 principles to “charge up” his personal well-being and manage life’s stresses. He especially values the benefits he finds through “belonging” to his Christian faith and fellowshipping with church members.

Rankin leads a church group of 10 couples, all with young children, who have become an extended family and support each other through both good times and challenging times. “Sometimes with work or other situations, you feel like you have to put up a shell just to carry on with business day to day,” Rankin explains. “But when you have this group of people you can lean on, where you have a sense of belonging, it helps you deal with stress and the many issues that come up in life.” Connecting with a faith-based community that shares your values makes it easier to find people you have something in common with, Rankin says. Developing relationships may require a little work, but it’s worth the effort to get to know people deeply, to be curious about what they’re interested in and to just show up for them.

Rankin embraces all of the Power 9 principles for their holistic, peaceful approach to well-being. He is especially dedicated to the concept of Family First, investing quality time with his wife and 4-year-old son and preparing for a new baby on the way. Prayer and the Power 9 principle of Purpose have also helped him identify a satisfying career path as a community servant. “I’m passionate about sticking up for people who may not be able to voice for themselves and making sure that people have equal access to most things that people should have access to.”

Another Power 9 principle that energizes Rankin is Moving Naturally. In his free time, he enjoys all sorts of physical activity – exercising, running races, working out in the gym and going to the shooting range. The concept of Right Tribe helped Rankin appreciate the importance of hanging out with and connecting with friends who share and support his appreciation for faith and physical fitness.

Overall, integrating the Power 9 into his life has helped him create a more satisfying, natural path to wellness. He aims for a balance of well-being for body, mind and soul.

To incorporate the Blue Zones Power 9 concept of Belong in your life, start by finding the right fit. If you’re not connected with a faith-based community, ask friends and neighbors for recommendations. If you already attend worship services, consider taking the next step by joining or starting a small group. The goal is to find a place where you feel connected to others and can enjoy faith, fellowship and belonging to enhance your personal well-being.