Free & Fit - Guest Panelist at Faith & Fitness Redefined Conference - Q&A’s with Tim Cheux in Texas

Free & Fit - Guest Panelist at Faith & Fitness Redefined Conference - Q&A’s with Tim Cheux

Questions focused to Tim and the Panel from Faith Foundations section.

Q1. How can understanding the history of the faith and fitness culture help professionals?

“Firstly, we have to define what we mean by a faith and fitness culture. Within fitness we should not be confused with our Sports & Spirituality Brothers and Sisters. The culture of faith within fitness is action, to be pro-actively seeking the Lord in how we use the beautiful, Holy and Sacred bodies that he has given us. Whether you are a runner, weight lifter, cardio junkie or pilates instructor fitness focuses primarily on the self identity of the Body (Genesis 1:26), Mind (Romans 12:1-2) and the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Secondly, within a secular culture the definition of self is different. Body (Self Image), Mind (Mental Game Face) and Spirit (Emotions or Feelings). We have to distinguish the difference. Between Sport and Fitness, between Secular and Sacred and Faith and Spirituality. Thomas Arnold, Headmaster of a Boarding School in the 19th century was seeking for education reform towards a more moral Christian pedagogy. Trying to move away from a more immoral secular curriculum.

Arnold was headmaster at Derby between 1828 and 1841. He revolutionized Rugby School and even that he changed 'the face of education all through the public schools of England' (quoted in Stanley, 1844, p. 51;). During this period Arnold instilled into the boys Christian values of a safe, accountable environment andalthough he was not an advocate for it, he did introduce sport into the curriculum at Rugby which led other schools into similar transformations. This safer environment began through football and more specifically old-boys’ teams (e.g., the Old Estonians, the Old Harrovians, and the Corinthians) would play each other and tour abroad after they had finished school (Goldblatt 2006; cited Hill, J.S, Vincent, J. and Curtner-Smith, M (2014).

Arnold’s goal was investing in boys the values that would form them into Christian gentleman, and wished for all people to take part so those values would take root in their lives. His ambition was to have the older boys at Rugby be the “Champions of Righteousness especially selected to combat the ever watchful forces of evil”. This portrayal of Arnold’s character was what gave him a sense of authority and to the middle classes he was what God-fearing parents were after in a headmaster: moral, strong, caring and clever (Mangan, 1981). Thus Arnold was evidently instrumental in improving the education system through the values of the church; it remains unclear if this impacted sportand specifically its popularity.

Finally, if we define the culture by faith and theology we look at Richard Hooker’s (Anglican) three legged stool of scripture,reason and tradition with experience from Charles Wesley (Methodist) to help us distinguish our own personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We all (I hope) read our Bibles, Pray and Worship the Lord, but each of us will have a different cultural experience that triggers a specific outward refection of our faith.”

Q 2. How have you personally been able to build your business and ministry as a result of you better understanding the work, experiences and results of others doing fitness with a passion for Christ?

Discuss how you were struggling, working hard, learning through trial and error or persistence but gradual progress only to discover that there in fact others had already created precedent from which you could learn.

“All our circumstances are very different, but I personally have always traditionally worked a bi-vocational Ministry when not working full time in a paid salary position in a Church or Ministry. This is based from the advice I was given from Mark Blythe back in the UK who runs SMUK (Sports Ministry UK). Mark always advised me that when he was building his Ministry he started at around 20% of his time doing part time Ministry and 80% tent making until he eventually fully funded his own Ministry.

Today, Mark is now on staff at Chelsea Football Club co-ordinating their interfaith Walking Football Outreach and is working with other teams across the UK! His tent-making job is now his Sports Ministry, alongside his