Some people seem to treat exercise like a religion. They’re often more dedicated to it, enthusiastic about it and evangelistic about it and its benefits than those of us who go to church are about our faith.
Matthew Hosier is an enthusiastic participant in ‘parkrun’ – a weekly activity drawing thousands around the country to run 5k around their local park every week.
This week he wrote an article on ThinkTheology considering some of the similarities of parkrun to church – particularly to the church planting movement.
Coincidentally, this week I participated in organised physical activity for the first time in ages; I went to a dance class called ‘Ceroc’.
A friend had been inviting me for ages, and though I was interested, I was also a little nervous. It sounds very energetic, and looks as though it would take a long time to learn the steps/moves and skills. I finally plucked up my courage, though, and went along.
I LOVED it!
We had about a 45min teaching session for beginners, where we learned a few basic sequences, then spent some time just dancing ‘freestyle’. The beginners then went to another room to practice our steps again, while the intermediates stayed in the main room to learn some more advanced moves.
It was so much fun! Everyone was really friendly and helpful, and as a woman, after learning a few basics, all you really have to do is know how to follow. It was brilliant fun, and a great way to raise your heart rate!
Having read Matt’s article, though, I was looking out for how Ceroc was similar to – and different from – church, and wrote my own article for ThinkTheology.
While Matt thinks the church may have something to learn from these successful and growing activities, I wasn’t sure we should be too quick to embrace their methods if it cost us the things that make us distinctive.
Have a read, and let me know what you think.
And if you want to try either Ceroc or church sometime, let me know, I’d be glad to take you along!
Picture Credit: ‘St Albans parkrun’ by Kate Tettmar (Creative Commons)