Church at a CrossFit Gym? (Meet My Friend Greg Ford)

Posted on October 29, 2013


I absolutely love this. My friend, Greg Ford, pastors a church near Columbus, OH called One Church. He’s one of the most courageous and creative leaders that I’ve had the privilege of knowing. And he’s a friend I love, trust and admire.

Greg is a former football player and wanted to become a coach before deciding to commit his future to full-time, vocational ministry. But he’s still the same Greg. Still loves sports and is probably once of the baddest dudes to ever pastor a church. I think his neck is bigger than my waist and he could literally crush my skull between his index finger and thumb. So there’s that for context.

After starting One Church a few years ago, he realized that they were attracting a lot of folks from the fitness community. As he continued to simply pay attention to the needs and interests in his community, he realized there was an opportunity to try something new.

A few weeks ago, the One Church team launched a new campus at a CrossFit gym in their neighborhood. This is not your traditional service in the least bit. Here’s a basic rundown:

– Come to the gym and greet some people for about 15 minutes and grab a chair.

– There’s a thirty minute message via video.

– After the message, they put away their chairs and stretch.

– The campus pastor (another fitness guru) leads the stretching. During this stretching session, he leads a conversation about the message.

– A free, one-hour CrossFit session is then provided for all in attendance (kids included).

This is totally different than anything I’ve ever seen and I love it. One of my favorite authors and thinkers, Len Sweet, said something recently that really moved me. It made sense to me. He said,

“As you’re being you, make disciples.”

What are your natural interests? What do you love to do? And how can you take those interests and try something new for the Kingdom?

Our faith is not just designed to be a show on Sunday mornings. A relationship with Jesus is holistic. Every part of our lives, every day of our lives. Even at a CrossFit gym in Columbus. The possibilities are endless to share this message of genuine faith that changed my life and so many others. Think outside the box. As you’re being you, make disciples.

What’s the next idea? 

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