Some ten years ago, I was in a Bible study at Rock Church with a group of guys. I remember sitting in this study and hearing God whisper the word “boxing" to my heart. I can remember thinking to myself, this is the strangest thing. Why did I just hear this word? What is God trying to tell me?
I had never boxed before in my life and really didn’t know much about the sport at all. Then God began to prompt me to share what I had just heard; so I took a step of faith and brought it to the attention of the guys in my group. I prefaced it by saying, “I know this is going to sound really strange, but does anyone here knowing anything about boxing?”
One of the guys in the group lit up; He was a boxing coach. Soon enough, we started the Boxing Ministry at Rock Church.
Boxing is not for the faint of heart. As I began to learn the sport, I had to acknowledge how difficult it was. Yet, I was amazed at how the principles of boxing apply to our daily lives and the disciplines required to compete in it, to our Christian walk. The necessity to train, the will to fight, to persevere in difficulty, resonated with me in profound ways and would provide me with tangible metaphors I would need on my journey in becoming a pastor.
I also learned how easy it is to quit; that temptation often comes when the workout is most intense! Running, punching, push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, ring work—I could go on and on, and those are just some of the things you would have to get good at before you could even think of stepping foot into the ring to fight. There is a lot of preparation for the ring that must come first, and it's important to prepare properly because in the ring any area of weakness will be exposed.
Similarly, in my Christian walk, and calling as a pastor, it's been critical for me to be in prayer, in my Word, in worship, and in fellowship. All of these things are necessary in helping me to prepare to care for the sheep God entrusts me with. Like the ring, when you are taking ground for God's kingdom, any area of weakness will be exposed if you aren't ready for the fight in every way.
God has used boxing as an amazing tool to teach me persistence through difficulties and to hold fast to my faith in Jesus no matter what. I think a lot of times in our Christian life we think everything should be easy, but the reality is that we have to get up and fight every day knowing that Jesus is cheering us on, is there for us no matter what, and is many times, fighting our battles for us.
To learn more about Rock Church's Boxing Ministry, click HERE.