“Faith & Fitness Magazine” founder and publisher Brad Bloom is on a mission to change the fitness industry from the ground up. At his Redefined conferences, Bloom asks wellness professionals what fitness—which he describes as a “multibillion-dollar, narcissistic industry”—could look like if they let their Christian faith redefine it.
Bloom equips gym owners, personal trainers, chiropractors, church leaders and entrepreneurs with a framework for treating their business as their mission field. He encourages them to first pursue excellence in their business and then seek to treat more than their customers’ physical bodies. He believes that when a business is run with excellence, customers become loyal and then feel comfortable talking about more than fitness.
“Developing that comfortable relationship and then listening to their spiritual needs is paramount,” says Bloom. “The capacity for professionals to treat the whole person is a powerful service that people don’t get in most places.” He says successful fitness professionals should be meeting more than just physical needs.
Beyond evangelizing, Bloom challenges attendees to create a culture of “others-mindedness” in their business as well. He believes that modeling servanthood will pay dividends as members not only change from the inside out, but also end up recruiting others to join the fitness business they have grown to love.
Bloom delivers his message in two formats: the national Redefined Conference hosted at the Athletic Business Show each year, and then in local conferences. After hearing Bloom talk about the connection between his faith and fitness routine during a TV interview in 2015, a member of the Athletic Business team invited him to collaborate.
“Athletic Business Show is a major fitness industry event; our presence there recognizes the important role Christian fitness professionals and the Christian community play in the fitness business and in the communities where they serve,” Bloom says. “We are committed to delivering excellence in research, best practices and networking, and to bringing our very best as a partner with the AB Show.” Other faith-based organizations like Holy Yoga, Living Wellness and Trinity Fitness have held ancillary sessions.
Bloom has been invited to facilitate local Redefined gatherings in Indianapolis, Louisville and Richmond, Virginia, and he’s in the planning stages for conferences in several other cities. The events are designed to bring local wellness professionals together to discuss how they can collaborate in their city.
Attendees are business professionals, church and community leaders, entrepreneurs and other individuals coming together as stakeholders to explore and understand the physical and spiritual needs of their city, discuss opportunities—especially for collaboration—and then identify strategies and next steps to achieve improved community results.
“I want to equip and empower local communities to be strong,” Bloom says. “The difference between any fitness facility and a faith-centered one is the owner and staff of the Christian business recognize that they are professionals and pastors. Pastors empower parishioners to point people to Christ."