Real Church and Running

'Real' churches stay busy doing more churchified things than organizing a downtown road race, under the lights, with scary fast elite runners and a crowd of amateurs. They don't get tangled up with worldly affairs like running that divert their attention from the serious stuff of Sunday mornings. At Downtown Church we don't assume all the standards of 'real' churches and we never will. So when we were offered the chance to help do something unique that will make the community we call home more vibrant, bring a diverse group of people together, and just be fun we jumped right in.

For the last 18 months, multiple people from our core group (the fancy-pants name for regular attenders) including me, have worked tirelessly to organize the first downtown running criterium in the country to main street Columbia. On Saturday night The Main Street Crit will come alive featuring three races: a kid's fun run, an open amateur race, and an elite race. Each race will be run downtown, under the lights, around two city blocks in the center of the city. If you've ever been to Athens for the Twilight Criterium, you know what The Main Street Crit can become.

Register for the race if you want to run. If running isn't your thing, come downtown on Saturday night to watch your friends and some of the fastest runners in the southeast compete.

'Real' churches consist of real people that aren't comfortable with the arbitrary boundaries we've placed between faith and life. Several years ago I stumbled on a vision for what would become Downtown Church on long runs and bike rides with friends that dropped out of 'real' churches. So for me, Saturday night will be another leg of the journey towards redefining what 'real' churches do.