7 reasons to use Physical Exercise for Small Group Bible study & Fellowship

fitness-1677212_960_720As a counselor, I have heard from singles, couples, families, white-collar and blue-collar workers, and homemakers of all kinds of races, religions and cultures for over 20 years.  And I’ve noticed that almost all of us tend to view ourselves in fragments:  we focus on our emotions or our beliefs or our actions or our relationships.  Very few seem to live as whole people in the moments of the day.  But we don’t have to live that dismembered existence.  Here are 7 reasons that using exercise for small group Bible studies and Christian fellowship can be incredibly helpful to you.

First, God’s Word is clear that He created as whole people to live as a spirit in a body for relationships.  God willing, in this weekly series, I will provide several brief videos on practical ways to grow in…

a) greater self-awareness of how our body and soul interact for…

b) more genuine expression of our values and beliefs, and grow in…

c) mutual help and fellowship in the Body of Christ by exercising…

d) passages of Scripture that use metaphors of physical fitness

Second, we need to care for and use our bodies as instruments of our souls (see Genesis 2:7, bodily expressions of the soul in Psalm 119, Romans 6:16, 1 Corinthians 6:15-20, James 2:26, etc.).

Third, God’s Word provides at least 24 physical principles to guide our spiritual fitness.  In this series I will also offer multiple Scriptures, devotionals, and specific physical exercises on these subjects.

Fourth, we can only ‘exercise’ (build) the Body of Christ in a group setting.  Our individual relationship with God is crucial, but it’s not enough.  We need to grow in relationship with other believers (Romans 12:5, 1 Corinthians 12:12ff, Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:12-16, 5:23, Colossians 1:18-24), so He calls us to grow together.  In this program, “W.A.I.T. training”, you can grow as a whole person as you…

Watch your body in times of physical & relational stress, and

Accept what you experience as spiritual realities in you, but

Invest in real Life according to the Word of God, and

Team with the Body of Christ for real growth and joy!

The first two (watching and accepting) are for a deeper individual experience of your body for self-awareness of your soul.  The second two (investing and teaming) are for more intentional relationships in His Body for unity in Christ.  I’ll offer examples of these in the videos, too.  Without greater self-awareness, we may miss what our soul truly values and the associated deep hopes and hurts. Without intentional relationships, we cannot fully live God’s will because He is relational: Father, Son and Spirit.  But I need to be honest with you – like any kind of worthwhile growth, it will be challenging.  I do believe others will come, though, for the last three reasons.

Fifth, more and more people have a growing problem of poor physical fitness.  We need to take better care of ourselves, and we know it.  The practical need – whether it’s out of love, fear, or pride – may draw them to such a Bible study.  Brief instructional videos is series will demonstrate how you can use a great variety of exercises for this: walking, hiking, simple calesthenics, light-to-medium weight lifting, cardio machines and more.

Sixth, just as many or more struggle with loneliness.  We’re so busy that we have few if any deeper friendships, and we’re so technologically advanced that our connection with them is often superficial through digital devices.  All of us are looking for ways to really connect at the heart level.

And seventh, W.A.I.T. training will outline multiple ways to grow in all of the above, regardless of the person’s spiritual maturity or physical ability.   I think you’ll be surprised at how easy and effective it can be.

Read through the Scriptures above and think about the concept.  Next week, we’ll take a look at some practical videos on how easy and meaningful this can be.  To view the brief introductory video, look for “Workout Wednesdays” in the menu above.


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