Let’s Get Mission Fit

Posted by: DVULI | March 25, 2022

A man with a beard and sneakers promotes Let's Get Mission Fit by Christopher Bates (LA 2010).

by Christopher Bates (Los Angeles 2010)

Many of us think we are a good fit for our calling or mission. But how often do we think about how in shape we are to run the race? 
Fitness and strength are essential to health, wellbeing, and prosperity, allowing us to live and perform at the highest level possible as individuals, ministry leaders, spouses, parents, and citizens. But are we fit enough to run the race to obtain the prize? Are we healthy and well enough to carry out the call and mission to go and make disciples? Are we running the race to win? And if so, is our current ability our best ability? For many of us, we are limping along and don’t know how to be better. We need help. Just as Jesus teaches us the ways of God’s kingdom, we need to be discipled in how to be mission fit. 
Perhaps you don’t know how to train. If that’s the case, get help. I’m an email or phone call away! If nothing else, I pray God’s spirit would stir you through this acronym related to health.
M: Movement
R: Respiration
S: Sensitivity
G: Growth
R: Reproduction
E: Excretion
N: Nutrition
MRS. GREN is a mnemonic taught in many grade school science classes about the seven necessary processes of living organisms. These seven processes can also be used as a diagnostic tool to assess your spiritual health, ability, and availability for those you lead and serve.
Movement is a sign of life, but efficient and effective movement facilitates prosperous living. The alive disciple is on the move in response to God’s Word, the Holy Spirit, one’s own needs, or the promptings from our communities.
The exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide is something we can look at and immediately determine whether someone or something is alive. It also reveals clues about the quality of that life. If the breaths are shallow and labored, this could indicate life is strained and fleeting. If the breaths are deep and rhythmic, this could indicate life is being sustained well. What might be causing your breathing to be labored or making you unnecessarily breathless, robbing you of vitality?
As humans, we have the ability to sense differences in temperature, light, sound, touch, smell, and taste. We also are able to sense emotions. These senses alert us to dangers, guide us to sustained living, and enhance our lives. How are your senses contributing to or impeding your physical abilities?
Some growth is welcomed, and other growth isn’t. Desirable growth of heart muscle will aid in better cardiovascular health and build resistance to heart disease. In contrast, undesirable growth of visceral fat significantly increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke. How’s your growth?
Lack of resources can lead to the development of bad habits. Are we reproducing unhealthy cycles in the next generation of ministry leaders by passing on our own bad habits and dysfunctions? What unhealthy and dysfunctional habits are you passing along?
All living things produce waste. This output reveals important findings about what we are consuming, hydration levels, and possible illnesses. What waste are you producing?
Our nutrients come from food, which is often a misunderstood aspect of health and wellness that significantly impacts the quality of life. Improve your health and wellbeing by simply learning more about when, what, and how to eat.  
As youth workers, we might have the brightest minds and the most sincere hearts to love the youth in our communities; however, if our hearts aren’t working properly, if our muscles are injured, then how can we deliver? We might have the capability to go the distance with the youth in our communities, but if the health and physical conditions of our minds and bodies are poor, these abilities will not be as available to us to go the distance. Our best ability is our availability!
“Now every athlete who [goes into training and] competes in the games is disciplined and exercises self-control in all things. They do it to win a crown that withers, but we [do it to receive] an imperishable [crown that cannot wither]. Therefore I do not run without a definite goal; I do not flail around like one beating the air [just shadow boxing]. But [like a boxer] I strictly discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached [the gospel] to others, I myself will not somehow be disqualified [as unfit for service]” (1 Cor. 9:25–27 AMP).
“Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually]” (3 John 1:2 AMP).

Christopher Bates (LA 2010) is CEO of Raincross High Performance where he serves youth through his sports medicine and performance coaching practice. He is also the Senior Sports Medicine Manager for USA’s Olympic Men’s Water Polo team. Christopher has a BS from California State Fullerton and an MS from California Baptist University in Kinesiology from both institutions.