Adventist Review Online | Building the Kingdom of God Through Fitness

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In Australia, fitness classes are introducing and reintroducing people to Jesus.

For Arnold Greenfield, operating fitness classes is a way of introducing people to Jesus.

“For me, it’s like building the kingdom of God through fitness,” Arnold said. “You may have had a terrible weekend or be drained at work, but you can come to this space, and it’s encouraging and uplifting. It’s building community and building God’s kingdom.”

FoxFit is a ministry coordinated by Greenfield in partnership with Fox Valley Community Church pastor and former Wahroonga Adventist School chaplain Landry Patii. Greenfield runs sessions at the school grounds in Wahroonga, New South Wales, Australia, every Monday at 6:30 p.m. Designed as a group fitness class, it attracts people from all walks of life: nursing students, young professionals, high-school students, and people from the wider community.

“It’s like circuit training but with CrossFit movements,” Greenfield said. “We’re never doing the same thing every week. It’s mostly functional movements like squatting, putting things over your head — things you would use in your daily life. And it’s done at high speed, to get your heart rate high.”

Thanks to the team-building nature of each session, the workouts are accessible to a wide range of age groups and flexible to small or large numbers. At its peak, FoxFit was attracting between 30 and 40 people each week, but following COVID-19 restrictions, the ministry is just starting to pick up again. 

“With big groups, we split in half and have two different workouts going. One group would be completing reps of six different exercises — 400 air squats, 400 crunches, et cetera — and working as a team. We get them to hit the mark of all reps or rounds and set the time for other groups, like a competition,” he said.

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