When Josh Gonzalez realised he was 25 kilos overweight, he decided it was time to start a health journey. He dedicated time and effort into not only eating more healthily but putting together a home gym so that he could work out each day.
“Once my home gym was set up, the guys at my church(es) started talking about how they’d love to train there,” says Josh. “And that gave me an idea for our men’s group. The group used to meet at the church on Wednesday evenings for prayer and a catch-up. Now we meet at my house for prayer, Bible study and then a physical training session. We’ve bonded even more because of it.”
Attendance fluctuates each week but at least ten men attend regularly. A couple of the men have personal training experience and lead out the gym sessions.
“It’s good spiritual exercise followed by good physical exercise,” says Josh.
For the associate pastor of Freshwater and Pittwater Community Churches (NSW), the best thing about this arrangement is that the neighbours are watching.
“Our garage door is open during these sessions. The other day, a neighbour asked about our gym equipment. He used to train with another neighbour a few years ago but they no longer had the machines.”
Seeing this as a potential outreach opportunity, Josh has decided to open up a time slot during the week for his neighbours to come in and make use of his home gym. He looks forward to being able to train with them and get to know them better.
“I’m thankful for this (opportunity),” Josh says. “It’s opened up doors to not only reach out to my church community but to my most local community—my neighbours.”