Photo of Faith Rx'd group talking is Copyright Robbie Wright Photography. Used by permission.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: About CrossFit - Begun in 2000 by Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai, CrossFit is both a physical exercise philosophy and also as a competitive fitness sport. Wikipedia reports there are, as of 2015, over 10,000 affiliated gyms. To my knowledge to date no formal census exists as to how many Christians participate in CrossFit. Look close however and you find them. It’s an ideal environment (in some ways perhaps better than the traditional church) for Christians to more genuinely and vigorously practice the faith they believe. About Faith Rx'd - Under the leadership of Becky and Jim Conzelman and Chip Pugh, Faith Rx’d was founded to bring leadership, support and networking to this fitness community. Becky offers the following information about Faith Rx’d.
HOW IT STARTED
Faith Rx'd was a born out of the desire of a few individuals who came together with common passions- a love for Jesus Christ and their fitness community. Chip Pugh, founder of Crossfit Faith and strength coach for four-time CrossFit Games Champion Rich Froning, started Crossfit Faith as a means to encourage the fitness community with daily scripture posts and blogs.
Concurrently, Becky Conzelman, a former Fellowship of Christian Athletes Area Director and four-time Games Athlete, was compiling athlete and coach testimonies. She planned to use them in the "Athlete New Testament"- a New Testament Bible interspersed with stories that Becky hoped would inspire many to come to know God. During this, Becky got to know Chip by gathering his testimony. She approached him and his wife Nicole to "expand his ministry model" and discuss the potential to unite efforts. "If we could unify with a common purpose," Becky believed "the world would be changed for Christ." In May 2013, after the Central East Regional’s, the Pugh’s, Conzelman's and Pastor Jeff and Mady Schlenz united to form the Mission and Methods of Faith Rx'd. Today the mission is simple: To strengthen our fitness community for Christ centered impact and living.
WHAT WE DO – ENGAGE, EQUIP, EXPAND
Engage: We inspire the fitness community with the desire to pursue greatness that lasts, and a vision of how Faith Rx’d can help them achieve this. We do this through social media, competition presence and athlete ambassadors.
Equip: We provide frequent, enriching online content, chapter meetings in cities around the world supported with theologically sound devotional content, a forty-hour, regional, “Iron Sharpens Iron” training camp three times per year, and an annual, “Impact” conference for chapter leaders.
Expand: The full expression of our mission happens when we organically expand through chapter leaders and members connecting to the local church and investing in and discipling others. Chapters become active in serving their communities and generating local outreach through local competitions and service partnerships.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE – SPIRITUALLY
Faith Rx'd provides solutions for a culture that needs to know Jesus. This culture celebrates worldly idols and has a misplaced worship. To do this our assumptions include:
1. God loves us and offers an amazing plan for our lives when we obey Him.
2. Physical struggle together helps break interpersonal barriers and helps lay a foundation for strong community.
3. A small group of committed Christians building community will inspire others to want to join.
4. God can be glorified when we honor him with our best efforts in the gym, and even more when we discuss ways to grow in a relationship with him, share His gospel and serve the needs of others.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
Guidelines on how to start a Faith Rx’d chapter in your community are available online. Faith Rx’d hosts three Iron Sharpens Iron camps per year. An annual chapter leadership team conference is also being planned for the fall of 2015. This time will serve to unite the leadership teams of all chapters and equip them with resources that will help them to be more successful in ministry in the fitness community.