Monday, October 29, 2007

Would Jesus build a gym?

Would Jesus build a gym?

How does God feel about aerobics? Would Jesus serve you a caramel macchiato? Would the Holy Spirit teach you algebra? I don’t know, but for a few churches near me, the answer is apparently, “Yes!”

They’ve built gyms and coffee shops and schools on their church property. Maybe those are good things. Maybe at the planning meeting they decided they needed a way to reach more members of the community. Or there just weren’t any gyms in the area and members of the church actually wanted a workout facility. But I’m not sure.

Sometimes, I think that in our desire to expand our churches, we constrict the actual time we spend in the world. If you get your coffee at church in the morning, drop your kid off at the church school and then do your spin class at the church gym, at what point are you interacting with people that don’t know God? Are the 30 steps between the building and your car really the optimum time to hope that someone asks you a question about an undying love from the Alpha and Omega?

I don’t know, but I could see how building a gym might initially be a way to get people to visit your church. But if you’re not a member, would you ever really go work out at a church you don’t attend? Joining a new gym can be a harrowing experience as it is, so would you add a religious vibe to that hesitation? I don’t think so. Coffee maybe, but the gym and the school, doubtful.

If I ever start a church, and I’m not going to, I don’t think we’ll have a gym. Maybe some old tires you could push around or logs you could carry on your back like Rocky, but not a nice gym.

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