The Lone Star Arena Ministry is training up spiritual warriors with fitness classes that are focused on bible truth, friendship, and teamwork. fitness classes montgomery texas
They say many hands make light work, and that’s certainly true of the Warriors of the Bible Workout hosted by the arena ministry. It’s not your typical fitness boot camp; each session is focused on connecting your spiritual growth with your physical health, intentional exercises that hold lessons on the importance of faith and friendship.
But the idea didn’t come from within, Caleb was approached by another member of the community who felt God had put a call on his life to teach physical fitness from a biblical perspective. Joshua Wathen is a combat veteran and a coach at Carlson Gracie gym. “He started attending the arena bible study and one day asked me what I thought about him hosting a class here,” he says. Caleb was hopeful but cautious, because this matched his vision to make the arena a place where all kinds of ministry could happen, not just rodeo events, but no one had come through on executing a plan so far.
“Josh was the first person to approach me with an idea and then follow through. Within 24 hours he had a plan to get it started and keep Christ in the middle of it,” he says.
A Place for Everyone
The two began spreading the word casually about a fun workout option for all skill levels, and the response was encouraging. Wathen’s background is in self-defense and combat with 15 years of experience with muay thai and jiu-jitsu, so the sessions can certainly have a martial arts “flavor,” but it’s not the only fitness method by a long-shot.
"It’s about gratitude, honor, friendship, and getting stronger. Crucifying the flesh daily.”
“Again, the exercise is important but the main focus is on training ourselves to view physical health as a larger part of our spiritual health,” says Caleb. “The workouts are challenging enough to get you sweating, but not so rigorous that only serious athletes can do it. We create workouts that are all about camaraderie, teamwork, and a little bit of gritty competition.”
For example, one workout included adults and kids all filling sandbags to the brim and then running or using a wheelbarrow to push them to the finish line. Challenging, fun, and different. Another recent session focused heavily on one Biblical principle, waiting. “We had a devotion right before we started and read from Exodus about God bringing the Israelites out of Egypt and into the desert for 40 years. The exercise? 40 minutes of planks.”
“I’ve never seen people smile so much while carrying sandbags and sweating,” laughs Caleb Weaver. But believe it or not, the smiles are real. “Struggle is a part of life and when we struggle alone, that’s where isolation sets in. But when you struggle together, you build bonds and community,” he says.
Training Your Body & Your Mind
But why is it important for Christ-followers to take care of their bodies? The answer is clear in Weaver’s opinion and can be found in the Bible itself.
“Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you. You are not your own, you were bought at a price.” - 1 Corinthians 6:19
The idea is to remind people that our physical habits can be a form of worship and praise to God for giving us life, instead of a source of suffering, addiction, and impulse. Weaver and Wathen invite everyone to come and participate no matter what limitations they might have, because what’s important is that you are taking care of the gift God has given you…no extreme measures or guilt-trips necessary.
“Churches tend to have a history of focusing on spiritual growth and neglecting the importance of good habits and physical health because we are afraid to make it too much about ‘looks.’ But the mistake we are making is that we try so hard not to judge based on looks that we neglect talking about what God’s word says about our health and fitness, to the detriment of the believer,” he says.
It all comes down to stewardship, gratitude, and accountability to God for the life you’ve been given. And that’s why the Warrior Workout is unique and great for anyone - you will become strong in both your physical body and your spiritual growth at the same time.
And for those with limitations, it’s perfect. If you can’t do a burpee, do a squat. And if you can’t do a squat, walk a lap or take a break until you feel ready to jump back in. The group includes members with injuries, fitness lovers, kids, and those just there to have some fun.
The Best Place to Start
Weaver has a message for anyone on the fence, “The best place to start is by showing up. Our goal is to get you to a place where your heart is seeking to be as good a steward of our physical body and spiritual self as possible. It’s about gratitude, honor, friendship, and getting stronger. Crucifying the flesh daily.”
The class is free and there’s plenty of room in the arena for new members. “One warrior on their own can’t do much, but many warriors working together for God’s glory can accomplish incredible things,” says Weaver.
Train your body and mind to honor and give thanks to God in all that you do, be a warrior.
Where: Lone Star Cowboy Church Arena
When: 2nd & 4th Thursday at 7 p.m.
Who: All ages and skill levels
Why: To have fun, work up a sweat, and connect with fellow Christians through teamwork.