Ashley Roberts's picture

By Ashley Roberts, Founder 4:13 Fitness Club

Faith & Fitness Magazine is pleased to recognize the 4:13 Fitness Club and owner Ashley Roberts along with her team as a 2018 Fitness Ministry Entrepreneur Of The Year. This distinction is awarded to businesses that deliver unique faith-centered fitness programming and provide a quality customer experience that meets both the physical and spiritual needs of members/clients.


They say that God is always at work around us — working in ways to grow and prepare for His work and His kingdom.  We know it abstractly, but sometimes it is hard to see and experience.  From our human perspective, our journeys can seem so convoluted and confusing ... and we wonder why and what (and sometimes IF) God is actually up to something.  What does God intend to do with my life?

At least that’s how it was with me. 

But sometimes, after much longing and yearning and asking and searching and praying and waiting and seeking ... God shows you.  And all of a sudden, it all comes into sharp focus.  You see the things He started decades earlier.  You see it in the ways He formed, crafted and grew you.  You never would have recognized at the time, nor would you never would had the patience to endure if had He explained any sooner.  But then, in a flash, it becomes clear.  Crystal clear.  God made you for THIS.

At least that’s how it was with me.

My entire journey began to make sense — meeting Jesus and fitness simultaneously at the age of 13, being questioned by friends and family about my relationship with Christ, struggling through body image issues, being introduced to alcohol and sexuality, earlier than I would have liked, hanging on to Jesus and to exercise through many ups and downs, my first job, my hobbies, my career track, the many things I had to fight for and through —  all of it began to make sense and to lead to this: the fusion of faith and fitness.



What began as a calling and dream five years ago is now the beginning of a movement.  This movement returns health and fitness to the realm of the sacred.  It’s a movement to remind people, once again, that the body was made for the Lord, to honor and glorify Him.  Our movement teaches people HOW to honor God with their bodies --- specifically, intentionally, gently and lovingly both within community and with purpose.

After two devotional books and many opportunities to teach and preach on the subject, the 4:13 Fitness Club launched in February 2018.  Based on the Bible passage of Philippians 4:13, the 4:13 Fitness Club is a studio in Chicagoland where people experience exercise as worship.  It is a full faith and fitness fusion experience: aesthetically, architecturally, musically, motivationally and instructionally.  We start from the foundation that every person is fearfully and wonderfully made by God. We encourage every participant to pursue their unique journey toward caring for and uncovering their unique potential. God made every person to be a masterpiece.


We offer cycling-based classes, athletic conditioning, strength training classes, Holy Yoga, Christian Tae Kwon Do, and more. A main objective we have is to help people reorient their goals toward Scriptural objectives. We train them to fuse faith with physical fitness efforts.


Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God‘s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship.  Romans 12:1


Starting a movement takes a lot of prayer.  Starting a movement takes an incredible amount of hard work.  But if God is in it, then God will be with you.  God will provide what you need.  God has provided an amazing staff team for 4:13.  God has provided incredible ministry partners.  God has provided the space and the finances and the vision.  God has and will continue to provide what we need to do His will.  He is that kind of a God.  And as for me? 


I can do all thing through Christ who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13


That doesn’t mean starting a movement is easy.  It’s not.  In fact, the Bible verse Joshua 1:9 has been my battle cry for the past year or more:

Be strong and courageous!  Do not be afraid or discouraged.

For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

I have returned to Joshua 1:9 more times than I can count.  And now, as I embrace God’s call on my life and move into a brave new and uncertain future, I choose to do so with a Joshua 1:9 mindset.


Am I excited?  Yes.  Am I terrified?  Yes.  So I cling to the Lord’s command to be strong and courageous … and to His promise to be with me wherever I go. 

And what about you?  What does God have for you to do in 2018?  I don’t know, but I can say this: He has given you a purpose and a calling in His work, and He has given you a voice.  It only takes one voice to spark a movement.  And a Movement is many voices united together.

Will you use your voice in 2018?  Do it, either to spark your own movement or to join and embolden a movement around you.  God is with you, and you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength!


Learn more and get the latest program listings and news at the 4:13 Fitness Club website.


This article appears in the Faith & Fitness Culture department and the Leadership department of the February/March 2018 issue of Faith & Fitness Magazine.


About the Author

  • Ashley Roberts's picture
    Ashley Roberts is the founder of Sh'maFit and the 4:13 Fitness Club, Ashley Hall Roberts is an author, speaker, teacher and trainer. Combining nearly 30 years in the fitness industry with over 10 years of seminary studies and ministry, Ashley brings unique insight into what it means to love God with all of who we are -- body, mind, and spirit. An ACE (American Counsel on Exercise) certified Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer, Ashley has her JD from University of Chicago and her MAR from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, summa cum laude.

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