USA Today tells how one church turned its altar into a boxing ring, giving a whole new meaning to the term “church fight.” New Life Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota set up the ring complete with ropes and corner posts, and staged a tae kwon do bout and several 2-minute rounds of sparring before an enthusiastic crowd of mostly young men.
Pastor Alex Klimchuk said, “We try to reach out to those who aren’t already going, who think church is boring,” says Klimchuk, 30. “The truth is, the church is having problems getting young men inside them. So we ask, ‘What will reach the guys?’ This seems like a perfect answer.”
I’ve been to a few church fights in my day, and they drew a crowd, but for all the wrong reasons. And, after it was all over more people left than stayed. Of course, we didn’t hand out boxing gloves or have the “card girl” announce what round it was in between blows. Our fights were typical Baptist bouts, long on wind but short on substance.
This might start a whole new trend. I can see pastors and deacons duking it out for the “Extreme Church Dude” title. Of course, some would object to setting up the boxing ring in the sanctuary, which would start a mini-ruckus all its own.
Young guys especially like this sort of thing. It’s not boring, like traditional church they said. Of course, young guys like other stuff that would draw a crowd, too, but I suppose there is a line that we won’t cross. Or is there? Wait, let’s put the gloves on and settle it right now…