Posted on : Tuesday February 18, 2014

Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent

ODENTON, Md.—Mark Hamilton, a member of Crossroads Church, will lead a small “Journey” group through a 12-week course combining Bible/book study while training for a 5K race.


Crossroads Church member Mark Hamilton will combine a couch to 5k running program with a small group at Crossroads Church, Odenton, Md. Photo courtesy of Crossroads Church.

The group will use the book, “Run for God,” and the goal is to prepare people to be better witnesses for Jesus mentally, physically and spiritually.

Hamilton is a marathon runner and a running coach, but this is the first time he’s taking on this type of ministry. He’s excited about the possibilities.

“Anyone can do this. If you can walk, you can come out and do this,” he said.

The group will begin the first week in March. The culmination is a 5K run in the Fort Meade area.

The group will study Scripture, discuss book passages about running-related topics and then spend time walking or running. There will be “homework,” to prepare for the big event.

“Everyone will have a schedule to run or walk on their own during the week,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton said he was inspired to begin the group when Crossroads Pastor Tim Byer read from Hebrews 12:1: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

As he pondered the possibility, Hamilton said another church member approached him and said, “Maybe we should do a running program.” That was confirmation.

With the journey groups beginning, Hamilton thought the time was right.

“Every journey begins with the first step,” he said with a chuckle.

Hamilton has been a member of Crossroads for over a year. He came to know Christ when he was ten years old and rededicated his life as a teenager when his stepfather made a confession of faith.

Hamilton and his wife, Raiko, have two sons, Sean and Robbie. Both sons enjoy running. Robbie will help his father train the small group, assisting with warm ups and cool downs.