Health Fitness Revolution believes that spirituality is a fundamental part of health. With this being said, we will be interviewing spiritual leaders across the world in order to present you with the facts necessary to find yourself, your calling, and your own spirituality.
Today, the founder of Health Fitness Revolution Samir Becic sat down with his brother, the leader of Lakewood Church’s Men Ministry, John Bowman to discuss his journey, lifestyle, Lakewood Health and Fitness Challenge, and the Daniel Fast:
HFR: John, you were one of the people who started Lakewood Health and Fitness Challenge, tell us about the beginnings.
John Bowman: I served for seven years as the Ministry Leader overseeing Lakewood’s prayer partners. During this time, I recognized that we were praying for many people who had sicknesses that could have been prevented through a healthier lifestyle. Of course, I encourage people to get prayer for healing. I also encourage us all to do what we can to live healthy so we can avoid an illness all together. God wants us to live a long healthy life, and we need to partner with Him to do our part.
The Health and Fitness Challenge was birthed out of a series of leadership sessions we did to launch the Men’s Ministry at Lakewood Church. We wanted to give men a cause to stand behind that could make a difference in their lives and the lives of their families. We knew that people make new year’s resolutions at the beginning of the year, so if we could support the congregation in getting healthy, this would be a benefit to them. This was something new for Lakewood. The initial response was amazing as hundreds of people came out to participate.
HFR: You were the first person to suggest the Daniel Fast be part of the Challenge, what inspired you?
John Bowman: People frequently start the year by dieting and exercising but it doesn’t last. As a church, we want to make sure people put God first in everything they do. The Daniel Fast is a very healthy fast. It is basically eating fruits, vegetables, and nuts for 21 days. By starting the challenge with a healthy fast and dedicating our bodies to God, we knew He would bless everyone’s efforts and help people to move to a more healthy lifestyle. The fasting is now an annual first of the year focus for the church. By honoring God with the first month of the year, we know that He will bless the remainder of the year.
Fasting is basically abstaining from food for a specific period of time for spiritual purposes. It is not a diet. It is a way to honor God and to tune ourselves in spiritually to hear from God. By limiting our strongest fleshly desire to eat, we can become stronger in overcoming other addictions.
HFR: How did the Lakewood Challenge change your life?
John Bowman: I wanted to lead by example so I participated fully in the challenge. Through the support and encouragement of Samir and Dijana Becic, I put their tips into action and still practice them two year’s later. Samir suggested that I put a glass of water by my bed and drink it first thing in the morning. Formerly, I drank several cups of coffee in the morning and my energy level would go up and down. Now I have given up coffee and drink water throughout the day. My energy is much more consistent. This is just one example of many tips they shared and I put into practice.
HFR: I know you’re a runner, tell us about the connection between being physically active and spiritually in tune.
John Bowman: I always enjoyed running and it was a time when I would think creatively. It gets me away from other distractions. As I run, I feel energized and rejuvenated. When you have energy, you can be full of joy and spend time praising God. When you are run down and tired, we are less likely to feel like doing this. I find being healthy makes me more effective and focused on God.
HFR: You are the leader of the Mens Ministry, a highly viewed position, tell us about your career at Lakewood.
John Bowman: Lakewood Church has many amazing ministries and ways for our congregations to get involved. Since we are made up of men and women, those ministries are an important entry point for many people. We consider any man that attends Lakewood Church a part of our ministry for men. We want men to be involved and effective in serving God. We have men at every point of maturity from the new beginner to seasoned leaders who facilitate our many teachings and events. I encourage any man to come join us on Wednesday nights at 6:30pm in the New Beginnings Room (2nd floor), right before the main service.
HFR: Tell us about your day-to-day job.
John Bowman: I enjoy developing people whether it involves my children, church or work. It is great having a single focus. In addition to being a Pastor, I work in helping organizations with talent management (who they select, develop and promote). We should all enjoy what we do and I am thankful that I get to do what I love all day long.
HFR: What influence did the Lakewood Challenge have on Lakewood Church?
John Bowman: Pastor Joel has always lived a healthy lifestyle and been physically active. I believe the challenge is in alignment with helping our congregation to live this same lifestyle. So many people struggle with being healthy. I am thankful the Challenge has provided an avenue for us to support the members of Lakewood in being healthy. We hear testimony after testimony of how the Challenge has impacted people’s lives. We’ve seen people loose 20, 30, 40 plus pounds and keep it off. Families are eating better. We’ve even heard testimonies of where a doctor confirmed that a man with type one diabetes was healed and no longer has to take his medicine. That’s what happens when you partner with God.
HFR: Pastor Joel is one of the fittest pastors in America, do you think that influences his congregation?
John Bowman: Definitely. Pastor Joel is a great example of a Godly man. You can see how his healthy lifestyle contributes to his energy, excitement, joy. He has an extraordinary schedule. I’m not sure he could be as effective as he is without being so fit. He inspires me personally to do more. I want to be healthy and live a long life for God. Pastor Joel inspires us through having each and every area of his life shine as an example of how we should live as Christians.
HFR: What are your hobbies?
John Bowman: My top hobby is Bible Study. I make growing in Christ my number one priority and attend a bible study in addition to church at least once a week. I also read the bible every morning to start my day. I’ve now made running every other day a primary focus. I love it. Running to me is fun and makes me feel alive. I also love traveling, especially to water location. We spend part of our summers on an island in Croatia and recently went on a Caribbean cruise.
HFR: You have beautiful children, how do you influence them to live a healthy lifestyle?
John Bowman: I think the best way we can encourage our kids is through our example. I’ve always been active. When Brandon was little, I would throw the football with him or play basketball nearly every day. It is just part of what we do and now he does it on his own every day with his friends. I also encourage them to focus on one thing at a time and do it really well. His passion is football and I support him. When Bianca was little I coached her soccer team. Later she got into gymnastics. There mom and I are both very active. To be completely transparent, they are still not eating like I would like them to. I was the same way as a kids – meat and potatoes. But they see what we eat and will eventually come around, just like I did. To sum it up, we have to be the change we want to see in our kids. It starts with you and me.