Congregations Move Where You Are

Illustration by Terri Scott

One of the best ways to add movement to your day as an individual is to consider where you can add movement naturally to things you’re already doing—parking farther away, taking the stairs rather than the elevator, walking an extra block with the dog, and so on. How can a congregation model adding movement to congregational life? By taking the same approach—looking for ways to add movement to activities that already bring the congregation together. Here are some starter ideas. What ideas can you add?

  1. Enter a softball team in a church or community league. It’s a gathering point for exercise for players, healthy social contact for those who come to cheer, and outreach opportunities to invite people to play and build relationships with those who might not attend a service.
  2. Hold a prayer meeting on the move. Whether praying for individual, congregational, or neighborhood concerns, seeking the movement of God in our spirits is a good time to celebrate drawing near to God in our bodies as well. Walk, share and pray aloud.
  3. If your tradition is not accustomed to standing when Scripture is read, try it. Even in a Sunday school class, Bible study, or small group, begin a practice where everyone will stand to hear the Word of God read aloud.
  4. Does your congregation Pass the Peace in a traditional liturgical service or take a few moments to greet each other in a less formal service? Set your sights on making sure to exchange a holy handshake with someone on the other side of the sanctuary.
  5. If you worship in a more formal setting where you know that sitting farther back will mean more steps to go forward to receive communion, use the extra steps for personal spiritual reflection or prayer for those you see around you.
  6. Incorporate movement into worship services by welcoming the gift of spiritual or liturgical procession or dance in forms that fit within your congregation’s traditions.
  7. Advertise and organize an intergenerational kickball game at the next church picnic or potluck. Make sure teams have a balance of children, youth, and adults to build bonds between groups that might not typically spend time together.
  8. Move the coffee and snacks a few yards farther from the sanctuary. Not only will everyone walk a little farther, but they’ll have a few more minutes to smile and greet each other.
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