Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade you’ve probably heard about the growing sport of Crossfit. Started in 2000 by two fitness enthusiasts, Crossfit has blossomed from a single gym to 15,000 affiliated gyms spread all over the world.
Articles like The Church of Crossfit and CrossFit Is My Church reveal the connections and similarities between this fitness movement and Jesus’ church. Due to all these connections it’s no surprise many followers of Jesus are using their love for fitness as an avenue to share the gospel with other fitness lovers. Even some of the biggest names in the sport leverage their passion for fitness to share their faith including Rich Froning, Dan Bailey, and Tasia Percevecz.
The rise of CrossFit in our generation reminds us of how hungry people are for community and a sense of achievement. That’s why in 2013 Becky Conzelman started FaithRXD, an organization that exists to unite and strengthen the fitness community to live for Christ, share His love, and serve the world. Equipping, encouraging, and inspiring fitness instructors all over the world, FaithRXD is leading the way in equipping everyday Christians to use their time in the gym to grow spiritually and help others do the same. The rise of CrossFit has even inspired some church plants to use fitness as a method to connect with people in their community, serve them, and help them move closer to Jesus. One example of this is Move Daytona in Daytona Beach, FL.
Several years ago Kelly and Polly Barcol felt God calling them to plant a church. Both were coaches and fitness enthusiasts, so instead of walking away from their gifts and passions, they leveraged them to start Move Daytona to move people toward health – mind, body and spirit. Move Daytona launched in November 2020, but even a world-wide pandemic couldn’t stop people from gathering on the beach for a workout and a message. Speaking of the beach, they will be having their first baptism celebration this Saturday, May 15th, so pray for many to find new life in Jesus through their ministry this weekend.
Move Daytona isn’t the only church utilizing fitness to reach their community. Many have done it for years by building basketball courts and recreational facilities for their church to use as an outreach to their community. Organizations like Upward Sports and Victory Kids Sports help churches and church plants connect with their community through sports. Passion for Planting’s home church New Life Christian Church built the nZone sport complex several years ago as a way to serve the community and share the gospel with those who use the facilities. If you’re ever in the Chantilly, VA area, stop in for a visit. We’d love to give you a tour.
Whether you’re a gym rat or a couch potato, we hope you can see the opportunity that exists to think creatively about how to reach your community for Christ. People are hungry to be a part of something bigger than themselves and to be healthy. That’s why we challenge you to consider how your church can meet those needs and help people move closer to Jesus while caring for their physical well-being.