What Jiu Jitsu teaches me about Church, Part 3

This week, I’ve been firing away at some ideas about how my new experience with Jiu Jitsu teaches me things about pastoring and church. If you want to catch up, click here for the introduction and here for Part 2.

One of the things that I enjoy about going to classes 3 days a week is being able to spend an hour with the guys that I am taking classes with, 3 times per week. I’ve found that friendships develop quickly when we can spend time together like that.

– It allows less time between visits to have to “catch up” with one another.

– It helps me remember names of new people that I meet.

– It keeps me updated on mundane things that go on in friendships. I tend to believe that a good friendship has a bank account of 10,000 boring conversations.

– It builds the fabric of true friendship, not just acquaintances. We one sees others more frequently, (s)he doesn’t have to defend (to themselves or to others) why they are friends. It’s natural; people who see each other more frequently have a better opportunity for friendship.


There is a significant opportunity for the Church to have deep bonds of connection. Native to the message of Jesus is the hope that people are set free from things that prevent them from being truly human. The Church can be a community where we see God do marvelous things in lives all around us. The Church can be a place where we see people grow, flourish, and become more confident. It can be a perpetual “speech class” where everyone is freaked out at the beginning of the course and are all vowing to be each other’s bridesmaids by the end of it.

But, life commitments (even church commitments) can prevent this opportunity for deep friendships. We need to leverage technology, time, and other means to help our churches not just to become “cocktail parties” where one has 100 surface friendships, but a dojo where mutual encouragement, frequent interaction, and deep bonds can form.

To this end, I’d like to start a small group with people who meet 1 hour, a couple of times per week, from 7-8am, before the work day begins. Spending more days together, more frequent interaction, so deep bonds can be establish. During these meetings, we’ll catch up with each other, study the scripture, and pray for one another. If you are interested, get into touch with me.


Published by joeskillen

I'm a husband, dad of 2, Pastor at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Wichita, KS.

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