Stretch Yourself

We had an exchange student from Japan stay with us over Thanksgiving. She showed us this funny exercise video called “Japanese Radio Exercise.” It’s basically a three-minute mildly aerobic stretching routine. (The one with Japanese voiceover is fun.)

We’ve been doing it daily since then.

Funny back story is that an insurance company tried to market it in the US, but it didn’t stick. Then it took off in Japan and every single school-age child and many working adults have done it every single day since 1928!

And we really feel better after doing it. It gets the blood pumping, it keeps us limber, and it is something to do together.

How often do you get out of your normal environment and do something that stretches you, that gets your blood pumping. Something that keeps you fresh, limber spiritually, and connected to other things God is doing in our area?

There’s such value in doing this! Most of us have church ministry equivalents of a cubicle desk job. We need to get out there and stretch.

So since Ad Lib shares the value of that old insurance company with having healthy leaders who never experience isolation or burnout, here are some “exercises.”


Of course, it’s foundational to read great books and listen to great podcasts about worship, discipleship, leadership, music, the Church, etc. Add to that books about creativity, entrepreneurship, culture, anthropology, and the like. The Accidental Creative, Switch, The Power of Moments, The Power of Habit.

New Streams

As a non-denominational leader, it’s fascinating to experience a Presbyterian or an Anglican service, conference, or training event. Or if you’re a non-charismatic church, attend a charismatic service, conference, or training event. Like come drink from a firehose at Firestorm 2019 or be enriched at one of the workshops at the Parish Resource Center.

Join a Worship Leader Group

Of course, I’ve been ringing this bell forever, but building real relationships outside of your church can generate so much LIFE! There are a number of groups in Central Pennsylvania, including a brand new one in Harrisburg. I bet if you look around you can find one in your area. Or start one.

Guard your own Time with the Lord

I know. I shouldn’t have to say it. But I do. There are far too many of us leaders with atrophied spirits. If you’re in a wilderness, grow strong in spirit like John the Baptist. (Luke 1:80) If things are going well, ride the wave in your personal times with God. If you’re just plodding along, cry out to the Lord daily. I’ve integrated 15 minutes of silence into my own (mostly) daily times. The intimacy of resting in silence is building such strength.

And maybe you’ll integrate the Japanese Radio Exercises into your daily routine. I’d love to know if you like them!