Continuing last week’s blog, I would like to talk more about our ministry using exercise analogy. (You can tell how much I love exercise!) People say there are two main types of resistance training: Bodybuilding and Strength training.
Bodybuilding focuses on increasing the size of muscle. Strength training focuses on increasing the strength of muscle. Both create muscle growth, but one makes it a goal, and the other is a side-effect.
Bodybuilding focuses on looking aesthetically pleasing. Strength training focuses on becoming progressively stronger. Again, Aesthetic is a side-effect, not a goal.
Many churches run their ministry like Bodybuilding, where the main goal is to increase size. I would like to think of house church ministry as strength training where the main goal is getting stronger, which is restoring the power of the New Testament church.
To get stronger, the exercise that recruits the most muscle groups, like squat, needs to be prioritized. In church, I believe that is “evangelism.” Evangelism brings the most strength to our spiritual body as it is the most difficult spiritual exercise that involves the entire body parts moving together efficiently. Many people consider evangelism an individual effort, but it is most effectively done as a group. There is a saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.”. It takes an entire church to save and raise someone as a disciple of Jesus.
A healthy organism always grows. But growth is not always the sure sign of health. Cancer cells grow (in fact, really fast), but they are nothing but healthy. That is why we don’t make size growth our goal. But when our strength grows, our size will grow eventually.
Whether doing bodybuilding or strength training, four essential conditions ensure continual muscle growth. These four questions can serve as good check-up questions for our spiritual muscle as well:
- Nutrition: Am I feeding myself regularly with God’s word? Also, am I digesting it (internalizing) well instead of just reading it?
- Sleep: Am I resting well in God’s grace instead of trying to earn it?
- Mobility: Am I flexible and pliable in my thinking?
- Community: Am I surrounding myself with people who encourage and challenge me to grow stronger in my faith, even when I don’t feel like it?