Why I like Planet Fitness More Than Churches

If you read the title of this and got offended, please understand I
am not attacking the church or saying I hate the church in any way, I
mean I am a Christian and pastor. However, after joining the bandwagon
known as Planet Fitness, I have come to 3 conclusions of why I like
going to Planet Fitness more than churches, sometimes.

1) All ages are welcome and accepted 

Every time I go to Planet Fitness it never fails that there are a
variety of age groups present in the gym at that moment in time. I
personally love the fact that younger and older people can all go to the
same gym, at the same time, and get along just fine with each other.
This is slightly opposite to most churches right now. Most churches in
our current culture are classified as either “contemporary” or
“traditional.” What this usually means is that the contemporary church
is full of young people, and occassionally the few progressive older
people who are rebels of their generation. However, this means that the
traditional churches are full of people who are older and grew up on
hymns and the KJV Bible.

2) Every walk of life is accepted

At Planet Fitness, people of every fitness level are welcome and
encouraged to come. You have people who come to Planet Fitness who are
heavy weight lifters and go lift some serious weight, however you have
people who are trying to get in shape and get healthy. They all come,
and are able to work out in the same place, with no problems, because
they remember they all have the common goal of changing their body type.
At a lot of churches, this principle is not applicable. Too often,
people who feel “lesser” because of stuff they have done, or because
they do not have as much, do not feel welcome at most churches, because
of how “church people” are. I have heard so many times, “I can’t come to
church, you don’t understand how bad I am,” or some variation of that
statement. They usually feel like this because they think God cannot
forgive them, or because they will be judged for what they have done.
Unfortunately, all walks of life are not truly accepted at a lot of
churches.

3) Everything is branded

This might seem odd, but something that is very prevalent at Planet
Fitness that I love, is their branding. Part of their branding is that
they are known for what they are for. When you walk into Planet Fitness,
everything is purple and yellow, their colors. Not only this, but all
over the place, PF is displayed. Also, you are always hearing
commercials over their speaker system of how Planet Fitness is a
judgment free place, and how they are like gym class without the
whistles, and how you can come there and love it and be welcomed with
open arms. The key part of their branding is that they are known for
what they are for. Too often when you walk into a church, it feels oddly
similar to walking into a funeral. So few churches have this practice
of branding. Not only this, but churches are not known for what they are
for. The church is too often known rather for what they are against.

My point is this, the church can learn from Planet Fitness. I
love churches, church people, and the church in general. However, we
need to welcome, and love others, and be known for what we are for.