CUR:ve, Upper Rissington, Gloucestershire

Boxercise - a welcome health check for church and community

How can we communicate the Gospel (good news) to our community which sometimes sees the church as an irrelevant archaic institution? How do we reach a generation that believes in any truth so long as it does not hurt anyone and that anything goes? Rural Ministries has been supporting Kami Kalsi as Sports and Community Worker at CUR:ve and this was his response to the question.

This is the challenge for me as a Christian who has a passion for wanting to share the Gospel as commanded by Jesus in Matthew 24. Gone are the days of open air preaching (although I’m not against it). Gone is the respect for authority from teaching, the local reverend/vicar and even the police.

How do we connect with our neighbour, the young people and children?

I believe that nothing is wasted with God. How do I know this? Because the things that I was passionate about before I came to know Jesus are now being used for mission to glorify God rather than my own vain ambitions.

Thanks to Rural Ministries support, my calling to ministry through CUR:ve (Church of Upper Rissington: valuing everyone) currently revolves around sports – and what better way to meet people and build relationships with young and old?

Before becoming a Christian, I had a personal ambition to be a boxer. I pursued this sport so I could test myself in the squared ring. The amount of training and focus took a tremendous toll on my family life and nearly ended up in a divorce.

Roll on to 2016, I was looking at different ways I could serve the community with an intentional focus on fitness and building close relationships, so that God could work through me to reach out to those needing to know of God’s love. For some reasons, it just felt natural to develop a Community Boxing fit club for families. I had built up a connection with the local fitness club and they were happy for me to rent the studio.

I have learned that if you are working in God’s Will, then you must ‘go big’, and so I put efforts into marketing and social media. As a result, the class was packed and continued to be full for the following 10 weeks, which enabled me to really get to know my neighbours. Also on the upside, I have been allowed to play alternative Christian music in the sessions, which brings a positive and upbeat vibe to the class!

Currently, the class has evolved to become a ‘Boxercise’ class and this has brought in new people into the club, which for me is an exciting opportunity to share what CUR:ve is doing in our village and invite people along.

Teaching boxing has allowed me into people’s lives in a way I never knew was possible, from friendships to mentoring and discipleship! I never thought I would pick up boxing again, let alone teaching it as a community fitness club and allow my actions as a Christian to represent the love of Jesus. As I said earlier in this article, nothing is wasted with God!