Image from ToughChurchPlanting.com article on CrossFit & Church
Mark Oppenheimer, NY Times religion Beliefs columnist, explores the lives of committed CrossFitters, asking if it isn’t a replacement for both the secular and spiritual aspects of church.
Oppenheimer focuses on the Ali Huberlie, an education consultant in Boston, who lives with the boyfriend she met through CrossFit in an apartment near the gym the two attend. The implication–that community and our life paths are affected by CrossFit–places it in the historic role that church life played for many people.
Huberlie is the focus of the story because she was interviewed by Casper ter Kuile and Angie Thurston, the Harvard Divinity Students who co-authored “How We Gather“, a study on the ways in which secular spaces are increasingly used to accomplish many of the goals of religious spaces.
From the article:
“CrossFit is family, laughter, love and community,” Ms. Huberlie told the researchers, who quoted her in their study, “How We Gather.” “I can’t imagine my life without the people I’ve met through it.”
The Times isn’t the first outlet to write about this; the blog “Tough Church Planting” provided a humorous list of the 7 ways in which CrossFit out-churches church in February.
Do you think the rise in secular communities like CrossFit has any lessons for the Church? Do you think it’s a coincidence that churches are in decline as secular alternatives grow?