The Importance of Physical Fitness in Christian Ministry

I have just completed 56 lengths of the pool at the Spirit Health Club which I understand equates to just over 1/2 mile! I know, I know, it’s amazing that this unfit vicar can actually swim that far! At the start of my sabbatical earlier this year one of my goals was to get fit. I joined the health club for six weeks and went 4-5 times each week. At the end of that time I felt a lot fitter and generally better in myself. But it’s one thing getting fit, it’s another thing staying fit!

I remember some years ago hearing Mike Breen telling about the start of the Form year out course at St Toms Crookes. One of the first things he did was to get in a number of fitness machines and transform one of the rooms in their hall into a fitness room. Why, you may ask? His answer was that you have to be fit to be in Christian ministry. I heard him say that and it lodged in my memory, but until January this year I did nothing about it.

In January I had the time to stop, reflect and make changes to my life and work schedule. I had got to the stage in December where I had run out of resources, mentally, physically and spiritually. So something had to change. I needed to find a pattern of life that would sustain me in the long term. One of the major changes has been to join a health club and to use it at least three times a week. It costs, but the investment in my physical health I believe will have long term benefits in my mental and physical health.

I am investing my financial capital (see my post on the 5 Capitals here) as well as the important resource of time in order to benefit my physical capital which will in turn benefit my spiritual capital. That will have real and long term benefits for me personally, but also for those amongst whom God has called me to minister.


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