inSpirit Christian Reformed Church in Byron Center, Mich., is drawing more than 80 women a week to the church through its Zumba fitness classes. Most of the women are not members of the new church plant.
Zumba is an international fitness program that includes dancing to Latin music.
Sarah Kloostra VanderVeen, a member at inSpirit, is an accredited Zumba instructor. “It’s been a great outreach for our church,” she said.
Kim Bostelaar, also a church member, attends the classes.
“I support it because our church is doing it. It’s really fun to meet people, to spend time with women, and to dance.”
Each session opens with devotions. “I’ve chosen verses that reflect why we need to be healthy and that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit,” said VanderVeen.
VanderVeen said that several women found the church after seeing it listed on the Zumba website and have started attending the exercise program.
The ministry uses five main kinds of music: salsa, reggaeton, hip hop, cumbia, and merengue.
VanderVeen ends the session with an added contemporary Christian song.
Rev. Randy Ledeboer, pastor of inSpirit Church, said, “The Zumba ministry came out of a member’s passion to start an exercise program.”
VanderVeen, a physical education teacher at a local school, said, “Being an athlete–that’s my gift. In order to fulfill the gift that we’ve been given, we need to be healthy. That’s motivated me the most.”