Most Men's Ministries Are Built to Fail

Why does CrossFit work for people who would not get fit in a regular gym? Here is the answer: CrossFit is clear, communal and effective.   

Imagine you go out and join a conventional gym. You walk in alone and are overwhelmed by the sight of every possible piece of equipment that might get you into better shape. You ought to feel excited, but don’t. You feel paralyzed. After jogging for 20 minutes on a treadmill and then doing a few weight machines, you go home feeling as awkward as you are sweaty. For two months you keep up an ordinary workout routine – one hour, three times a week - but seeing no visible progress, you stop going to the gym and end up paying for a membership you don’t even use.

Contrast this experience with joining a local CrossFit gym. The first thing CrossFit does is define fitness for you. They explain what fitness is and how to achieve it. There is no ambiguity. Second, they immerse you in a community. You don’t go feel like a customer in Walmart when you walk into the gym. You have a peer network in which everyone is fired by the same passion and focus. Third, you see change. Months go by and you have visible proof that the plan is effective. Your excitement rises as your waistline falls, and before you realize what is happening, physical fitness is all you can think and talk about (to the annoyance of your friends).

Here is the point: which model depicts the average guy’s spiritual journey? Not CrossFit. Churches are built like traditional gyms. They offer everything you need (in theory) to get spiritually fit. The problem is that the destination is unclear, there is no itinerary, the community is uninspiring, and the ministry – if measured by spiritual growth in men – is too often ineffective. No wonder most guys are stuck in spiritual adolescence.

This is why another men’s ministry is needed. Guys need three things: (1) spiritual fitness defined in simple, concrete and measurable terms; (2) a path to spiritual fitness which anyone can follow; and (3) a peer group that motivates men to aspire for more together than any single man would alone. This is the mission of Cross Training Ministries.

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The problem is there is no itinerary, the community is uninspiring, and the ministry - if measured by the spiritual growth of men - is too often ineffective

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