Reading time: two minutes. I think exercise classes at church are a great idea, but it gives me the shivers when I hear someone say, “My exercise class is my religion!” Ow. I haven’t participated in CrossFit, but there’s quite a phenomenon arising there. People are making connections in a way they never have before, finding acceptance, encouragement, support, friendship and care. Google the topic of CrossFit as a religion and you’ll see what I mean. While many unhealthy trends continue to rise these days, there is a new wellness consciousness arising among the younger generation. It sounds like an opportunity for the church to be the church. Here are my simple (but not necessarily easy) suggestions to reach out to health conscious young people in our communities. Repent of our neglect of the physical side of our human nature. Most of our congregations (and their workers) have set a poor example by our eating habits and sedentary lifestyle. I wonder how much harm has been done by the plate of donuts that often greets our guests! Teach boldly what the Scriptures and Confessions teach about our physicality. The First Article gives God glory for being the Creator of these bodies. The Second Article reminds us that the flesh and blood of our Savior are central to God’s act of redemption and in the Third Article we proclaim that there is a future, glorified physical nature that we’ll enjoy forever. Practice the Spirit’s fruit, self-control. Someone suggested that our stewardship appeals should include a fourth “T” with Time, Talent and Treasure: Tissue. The Body of Christ (and the bodies of the members of the Body of Christ) are a testimony to what we believe. We’re all born with different physical capacities, but when steward our bodies well and live with vitality and vigor within those capacities, we give a positive testimony to the Giver of Life, who intends that we have life to the full, including physical health. Live out our calling as a community of healing. Miraculous healing of physical infirmities belongs to God alone, and since we believe, we pray, but there are other aspects of healing in which we can cooperate fully with God’s healing efforts. When people bring their brokenness, the kinds of brokenness that we have all experienced, we can respond in love. Listening can be a force for healing. Tender, appropriate touch can heal. Words of God’s great forgiveness and grace is the power to heal many wounds. Consider Parish Nurse ministry as a resource for congregational outreach. Blessings on your witness to the God of life! Thanks for reading. Subscribe to Blog Are you interested in helping bring a Grace Place Wellness Retreat to your region? We’d love to hear from you. Contact our President/CEO Randy Fauser today to begin exploring the possibilities. Let’s have a conversation about bringing our Church Worker Retreat to your area soon!