Sweaty Sheep is one of a wave of new congregations that embrace physical exercise in their ministries.
The Louisville, Ky.-based church seeks to compete with running clubs and other exercise programs that may distract people from Sunday worship. While exercise programs have become widespread in congregations in recent years, Sweaty Sheep sees running and the community it creates as spiritual practice.
The church meets in the outdoor areas near running trails. The church also has a “Spin Church” liturgy, where spinners work out on stationary bikes while listening to songs such as U2, Kings of Leon, and Mumford and Sons, punctuating them with Bible verses, questions, and discussions. The founding pastor Ryan Althaus has also written a series of Bible studies that are read and then reflected upon during a group run, which other churches are also now using.
(Source: Christian Century, Dec. 25). ■