Free & Fit’s New 12 Part Curriculum - Faith & Fitness as One - An Introduction

Free & Fit’s New 12 Part Curriculum - Faith & Fitness as One - Ancient Spiritual Practices Made Relevant Today - by Tim Cheux

The theory of Faith and Fitness is not an alien one. We all remember Eric Liddle’s stand not to exercise his fitness one faithful Sunday at the 1924 Olympics to mark the sabbath day or we fondly rejoice when a christian sports celebrity like Patrick Mahomes publicly declares their faith at the Super Bowl and Praises God for the victory or for Bear Grill’s when he reaches his destination and has accomplished what he set out to achieve on one of his many hiking adventures.

When I attended a Sport Ministry event in England at Lambeth Palace Archbishop Justin Welby quoted from the book of Hebrews and encouraged us to keep run our own faith in the context of our fitness. To keep going, to keep sharing the Gospel and to keep encouraging one another. We all left feeling encouraged and edified from the hospitality, the welcome and the attention we received as sports ministers as often is the case we are not always welcome to practice our Ministry, our Gifts and our Skills at the Pulpit on a Sunday or on the Field on a Saturday. We are often sidelined to serve Jesus. Yet here both Paul and the Archbishop argue otherwise, instead they want to lift up our Fitness or Sports Ministries and encourage us in our Faith. The Apostle Paul said it like this in Hebrews 12:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2

Paul states that we should run with “perseverance” for the “joy” that awaits us. An eternal joy which far surpasses any temporary joy we may experience whilst on this earth. Paul believes himself that we will receive a greater prize in Romans 8. “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.”

Romans 8:18.

So I hear you ask how can I do this in my local community? How can I share my faith and my fitness? Well lets break it down into four simple health related focused goals. Firstly, the World Health organization has historically defined Health as being Social, Physical and Mental well-being, being Christian we would like to add to that our Spiritual goals as well and specifically our own faith. Not just an adopted spiritual discipline of another faith or religion. So for the purposes of this presentation I will be focusing on these four core principles of a holistic well being of our faith and fitness across four key disciplines of social, mental, physical and spiritual well being.

Social Health Goals

Firstly we need to build our Social health around the communities we serve in. In the UK Christians in Sport motto is to place one member of their teams on a secular sports team so that a Christian would be present in every community. This is also true of Chris High at Hoboken Grace Church. As part of his outreach he wanted to place one member of the Church on a Zog sports team in the local community.

This theory is great in practice, but fails to follow up to the way in which Christ sent out his disciples. Two by two they entered the ark, two by two they went from town to town to preach the Gospel and where two or three gather their is God in the midst of them. When you see Preachers on street corners on their own shouting over microphones do you feel they are maximizing their impact? Accessible to answer questions? Available to pray for people? If we gather in twos and three we can represent both our faith as christians and our fitness as teams.

When we socially interact with others we need to be together. Not sent out alone or left alone. It is not good for man to be alone. So in every situation lets not be in the habit of some of neglecting our fellowship together and our shared ministry of preaching the Gospel of the world together. This is where our faith and fitness combine. Playing sports together and sharing the Gospel together. If it was good for the disciples it is definitely good for us!