HOW IT WORKS
Shape Up Church was born out of the conviction that God has a unique purpose for every person, but many are missing out on His plan and blessing because they are physically unable to respond to His call.
If God called you to build the ark, would you be physically up to the task?
It doesn’t take more than a glance down the pews on a Sunday morning to see the toll obesity and chronic disease is taking on the average American church. God’s people are sick, tired, and in pain. The day-to-day struggle with their health is holding them back from serving their family, church, and community.
We believe we are called to so much more. We believe the promise of Jesus in John 10:10 that He came that we may have abundant life. We believe that regardless of our past or present shortcomings and failures, the abundant life of wholeness and health is part of God’s plan for each of His children. And we are dedicated to helping God’s people capture His vision for their lives, and achieve health and vitality to serve Him with more energy, passion, and enthusiasm.
To help God’s people experience healing and wholeness in their physical bodies so that they may have truly abundant life in Jesus Christ and be ready and able to obey His call.
Let’s Take a Look At Our Current Environment
• 7/10 adults in the United States are overweight or obese
• 3.5 children in the United States are overweight or obese
• Globally there are more than 2.1 billion overweight or obese adults
• 43 million children world wide are obese or overweight
• 140 million people in America suffer from a chronic disease
• 1500 people die each day in the United States from cancer
• Every 33 seconds someone in Americas dies from a heart related condition
• It has been projected that, by 2020, chronic diseases will account for almost three-quarters of all deaths worldwide
The Christian Community
• A recent Purdue University study found that the fundamental Christians are by far the heaviest of all religious groups with a 30% obesity rate compared with Jews at 1%, Buddhists and Hindus at 0.7%. This study prompted the lead researcher, Ken Ferraro to say, “America is becoming a nation of gluttony and obesity and churches are the feeding ground for this problem.”
• Similarly, a 2011 Northwestern University study tracking 3,433 men and women for 18 years found that young adults who attend church or a bible study once a week are 50% more likely to be obese
• The Pawtucket Heart Health Program found that people who attended church were more likely than non-church members to be 20 percent overweight and have higher cholesterol and blood pressure numbers
THIS IS NOT GOD’S DESIGN!
He did not make us to be sick and overweight but rather healthy, abundant and vibrant. When God breathed the initial breath of life in Adam it was one of life and abundance, not sickness and disease. And we can be certain that his intentions for our well-being have not changed since that wonderful day in the Garden of Eden.
The obesity epidemic in the church appears to be undermining the primary purpose of the church and its missions work by straining church budgets, decidedly absorbing money that would be spent on missions abroad, and consuming the time and energy of pastors and church members.
The contemporary church culture has unwittingly contributed to the rise in overweight and obese parishioners. Today it is rare to hear a sermon preached on the stewardship of the physical body and even more rare on the vice of gluttony; it has become a secret and acceptable vice in the modern church.
Tables at potlucks strain under the weight of pound cakes, pizza, fried chicken and cheesecake and fellowship is not considered complete without these rich, decadent –and yes addictive foods. The sacred Sunday ritual between services is donuts, bagels and cream cheese, and coffee with cream and sugar.
And finally, Platonic dualism, the belief that the spirit is sacred and the physical body is corrupt and inconsequential, perpetuates this problem and assists many in justifying unhealthy nutritional habits.
Churches across America stand at a critical crossroad urgently in need of a decision to be a cause or a cure to the growing epidemic of disease and obesity. But in the midst of every crisis is an opportunity.
This is where Shape Up Church comes in…
Through more than two decades of working with people struggling with their weight and trying to achieve lifelong health, we have discovered that those people that get healthy and stay healthy are those whose purpose is rooted in a vision greater than themselves. Helping people discover their God-given destiny is the bedrock of the Shape Up Church Program.
“My diet starts on Monday…”
We have all done it. We make the decision to get healthy, and immediately spring into action. We clean out the cupboards and refrigerator. We join the gym. We take out fat, gluten, sugar, carbs, and sodium. This may work for a time, but after a while our motivation wears off, and little by little, we go back to our old habits.
Making A Change That Will Last
At Shape Up Church, we believe the journey to lifelong health doesn’t start in the pantry. In our three-step approach, we start by examining and transforming the beliefs and words that are contributing to an individual’s weight problem and holding them back from experiencing victory in Jesus. Beginning from there, we work with them to develop habits that transform them from the inside out.
Engaging The Brain
The single most important step for a person to get healthy and lose weight is to capture God’s vision for their life. Through our program, they learn biblical truths to transform their thinking, and develop strategies to step confidently into God’s perfect plan.
Engaging The Tongue
The Bible says the tongue has the power of life and death. If we want to be healthy, we can’t look in the mirror and speak words that tear down and destroy. The next step in the Shape Up Church program teaches participants to stand on the solid rock of scripture to propel them through doubt, temptation, loneliness, and fear of failure.
Engaging The Body
Once participants have engaged the brain and tongue, engaging the body becomes much easier! When our vision and words are centered on Christ, almost any eating and exercise program will work. Shape Up Church offers a step-by-step eating program that maximizes our body’s God-given healing power.