Who influences you? Billy Graham or Richard Simmons? Joel Osteen or Bob Greene? Jesus Christ or Arnold Schwarzenegger? In today’s culture the PASTOR or shepherd has the historical position of being the one you turn to for guidance. The TRAINER or life coach has the functional position of being the one you turn to for guidance. Wondering what’s the difference? Well, in fact the pastor is a trainer and the trainer is a pastor. Take a look at one example of a pastor who is also a personal trainer. This approach of blending two roles into one, significantly advances the spiritual and physical strength of those who are served.

Get two perspectives:


When you are finished reading both return to this introduction and use the discussion questions below to consider how you can apply the perspectives of this article to your life.

Pastors that want to help people better understand God and experience the full depth of the Christian lifestyle must gain the skill sets and mindset of a personal trainer. Trainers that want to go beyond the surface and truly see lives changed must reengineer their approach to leadership with a pervasively Christian model of compassion, humbleness and wisdom.

Discussion Questions - 1 If you have only ever had a church pastor then consider what you would want in a personal trainer. What are your physical needs and how do they affect you spiritually? If you have only had a personal trainer then think about what aspects of your life the trainer does not support. What are your spiritual needs? If you have both a pastor and trainer then evaluate the similarities and differences between your experiences with both of them. How would having a pastor that is also your personal trainer challenge and strengthen you?
Discussion Questions - 2 How can you encourage and support your pastor toward greater personal health and wellness and better physical fitness for the entire church? Who in your church might best be positioned to be an advocate for physical health to your pastor? How can personal trainers be challenged to better understand the spiritual needs of their clients? With whom can you connect a personal trainer so he or she can learn pastoral skills and Christian principles?
Discussion Questions - 3 If you are a pastor then get a personal trainer and participate in the training to the extent you would want a member of your church follow your leadership and be involved. Journal your experiences and prayerfully consider how you and your church can advance personal training as a Christian ministry in your community. If you are a trainer then get active in a church where the senior church leader does a variety of pastoral activities like counseling, leading prayer services, visiting those in need and teaching classes. Participate in these activities, observe and ask questions. Make notes on how you can apply these forms of ministry in the work you do.

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