The Bible compares our Christian Life on this Earth to a running race.
The writer of Hebrews invites us to run strong and free in Christ toward the goal.
Now a growing ministry has decided to take this metaphor more literally.
They invite people to “Share (your) passion for running and Christ by helping others complete their first 5k”!
The story of Run For God begins in 2007.
Founder Mitchell Hollis began running for exercise and enjoyment, but quickly realized a deep passion for this sport. By 2008 he was racing all sorts of distances, trying his hand — or rather, feet — in any race he could sign up for.
As a strong believer in Jesus, Hollis knew that God is to be our #1, our Lord of all.
And he also grew up understanding that our heart will try to cling to anything besides God for hope, peace and satisfaction.
Unfortunately, he realized this new habit and hobby had become an idol.
God made it clear: ‘Hollis, you can stop running altogether, or use this new passion for My Kingdom’.
Hollis really loved running, but he loved God more.
The fact that our relationship with God can be so open that we communicate like Hollis and God’s experience here is amazing.
God knew Hollis loved this sport, and inspired him, step by step, to utilize this new love in a way that would be even more fulfilling to Hollis as well as place God at the head.
The first move was to make shirts with a quirky stick figure man, and “Run For God” printed on them.
God blessed this effort as Hollis wore the shirt to runs, that many opportunities came to share Hollis’ testimony. The shirts became a conversation starter, and people wanted to know more.
As this happened, in conversation Hollis realized that many people loved the idea of running, and some even ‘running for God’, but had no clue how to get into the swing of things. Suddenly Hollis realized he actually had something valuable not only for others’ physical health, but potentially even more.
He met with his pastor and they developed a 12-week Bible study, which taught running from Zero to Hero, and the theme of learning this fantastic sport aligned with learning endurance for God, and running for the Kingdom.
Again, God blessed Hollis’ efforts, and many people asked him to teach them in groups all over, with even other churches reaching out to him.
The gospel was being spread, as well as the physical and even mental/emotional revival that comes when a routine of regular exercise is introduced. Running is a really effective sport not only for physical wellness, but for all sorts of anxiety, depression, etc.
In response to this growing number of people asking Hollis about the Run For God study, the runforgod.com website records:
“God… helped him write, design, and publish a 5K Bible study so that others could begin teaching the Run For God 5K Challenge.” God worked through the strong passion of a man’s heart to spark passion across the nation not only for running, but for Jesus Christ.
The mission now established for this amazing ministry is: “prepare people to be better witnesses for Christ physically, mentally, and spiritually.”
The crux of the study is the Run For God 5k challenge.
This is a “… 12-week Bible study that focuses on endurance and faith. The course is designed to allow anyone the opportunity to run a 5K — regardless of fitness level — and draws parallels between a physical race and our journey with God.”
The system works by allowing people already passionate about Jesus and running to become instructors. Once an instructor, you are certified to bring this Bible study to your own small group or church.
As they say, this is for anyone of any fitness level. You can go through it even if you’re “not there yet” as far as your goals in fitness, and in the end allow God to continue this work through your experience.
That is one thing Hollis is realizing is very impactful… Allowing God to work through his personal experience.
“The passion that comes with running can make the sport seem a little selfish. The good news is that Run For God offers you the opportunity to use your passion for running to impact others as an instructor. If you feel like you’ve been led to share your passion for running and the word of God, don’t miss this opportunity to help others find Christ.”
Hebrews 12:1-3 invites us to join the race of faith in God and that requires some real devotion and commitment. Just as with racing in the physical, the spiritual race is no less serious business.
Through Scripture, we see the correlations easily: “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
“For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
“Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
If you are interested in this study, feel free to meet the “funny-looking stick man” by entering their website and learning more.
As you are there, you’ll notice a “Donate” button. If God is leading you to support this method of mission work financially, feel free to do so directly on their site.
For further questions, the site offers a way to contact the creators of this clever material. Or, for questions about faith, they provide some answers directly on the site as well.