What is Sweaty Sheep?



What is Sweaty Sheep?

  I’ve never been a “churchy” guy [may be the understatement of the year.] So several years back, while attending seminary, I decided to embrace my cal away from the stained glass sanctuary and seek out the deeper meaning of Worship…  I stopped seeing “Church as a place and instead embraced it as a people.   I grew weary of trying to understand and explain God and started seeking new means of experiencing God.        
Sweaty Sheep Ministries, with its belief that the best means of spiritual growth comes through our ability to match our passions and play with relevant faith teachings and fellowship, was the answer.  In our particular community that passion was rooted endurance athletics [but by no means limited to it], and as a ministry we bear the core belief that one’s faith journey is indeed an endurance race; thus we seek to be an aid station and community of support throughout. 
We hold strong to the belief that core belief that worshiping and/or knowing God is only possible through our experiencing God, and as a community we understand that does not always happen in a church pew!
Our program is fully inclusive and lifts up our uniqueness as individuals.  Following the Indonesian philosophy of “unification through Diversity,” we embrace the various views and experiences each of us bring to the table… because we all grow and learn through one another.  Furthermore, our individuality demonstrates the need for each person to seek and develop their own personal, and indeed “unique,” relationship with God.
Our services and outreach opportunities aid in this by providing safe places to grow, relevant worship and mission opportunities that facilitate the development of each individual, and a community of individuals with similar passions of which to travel in fellowship with.  Sweaty Sheep helps to make religion not only relevant, but fun, emphasized through our motto of “re-Creation through Recreation,” and we truly believe that play is an essential component of spiritual growth. 
              -Pastor Ryan Althaus
What is Sweaty Sheep? Think about it this way:…I wonder when,
in the course of the Christian experience,
we decided that church,
that worship,
meant sitting still?When did we decide that faith
was a passive experience?If you believe that worship is movement,
in the acting out of our faith
through a mixture of service and play,
then maybe you are a
Sweaty Sheep.If you connect with God
through laughter and activity,
through hiking a trail as well as sitting in a pew,
then maybe you are a
Sweaty Sheep.If you believe that God yearns for us
to squeeze every ounce out of life,
smell every flower,
and dance every chance we get,
then maybe you are a
Sweaty Sheep.

I invite you to join the flock and be part of a
Christian MOVEMENT,
through which we actually MOVE.

There is a certain fellowship built through sweat, through play, and through competition. Unfortunately we know little about roughly 30 years of the life of Christ, but one could only guess that the Messiah, the same Christ who possessed such a rich and nondiscriminatory love, who stepped out of boats onto the water, who turned water to wine, knew how to enjoy life.

Team Sweaty Sheep seeks to bring together like minded Christians to show the world just what is possible through the strength of and faith in Christ. We don’t venture to condemn “nonbelievers,” there is no swinging “the sword of scripture,” but simply a desire to share all that is Christian life by having fun, by worshiping, by sitting around talking, laughing, singing… Team Sweaty Sheep has a goal of LIVING!!! and showing others how beautiful and how good life is!

Lucia Capocchione states:

“Play keeps us vital and alive. It gives us an enthusiasm for life that is irreplaceable. Without it, life just doesn’t taste good.”

924 serviceGod created this world, this life, to taste good…
Can we truly worship God if we are not “alive?”

We are under no false presumptions that a church has walls. Some churches do have walls and that is fantastic; beautiful things happen inside those walls and in those pews. But we certainly do not restrict the “Christian practitioner” to a certain gender, race, orientation, etc. As well we do not restrict our personal capabilities to any mortal standards. If God Created us, God is certainly capable of being the judge, we just need to love.




Is Sweaty Sheep a church? What denomination?
Yes, Sweaty Sheep is a church. A church isn’t a building, but a group of people who have been called by God for a purpose. Sweaty Sheep is supported by the Presbyterian Church (USA) and by Mid-Kentucky Presbytery, the local group of Presbyterian churches.  However we partner with a variety of churches and denominations and do not put any particular denominationa label on our community.  So, no matter what denomination or religion you belong to – or if you don’t belong to any at all!

disabled athleteDo I have to be a runner or a triathlete to be part of Sweaty Sheep?
Absolutely not! Though Sweaty Sheep has an interest in the endurance athletics community, we love to play -and encourage others to play- in a variety of ways; be that beach volleyball, water-gun fights, kickball tournaments, yoga, or Ultimate Frisbee! We want everyone to feel included and involved in incorporating worship into physical activity.

How do I get involved?
For starters, join our email list! We send out monthly E-pistles, our version of a newsletter. Check us out on Facebook to look out for upcoming Sweaty Sheep events, or use the link in the menu above to subscribe to our Facebook announcements for non-Facebook users.

How can I financially support Sweaty Sheep? bostonvigil
We’re glad you asked! You can always donate here… Or check out our Sweaty Sheep store!

What community outreach programs is Sweaty Sheep involved with?
Achilles International, Angels in Disguise, and Waterstep. We work together with the residents St. Vincent de Paul to accomplish great things through running and walking, Yoga, education, and personal relationships. runPossible doesn’t turn people into great athletes, it starts a self-transformation process, initiated by physical movement, that aids in the development of life changing friendships and self-confidence.
Every Tuesday we meet for a walk/jog at 6:15pm and on Thursdays an 11am recovery themed Yoga class hosted by the 502 Power Yoga crew! Both at 1029 s Preston street in the SVDP community Development center Like us n Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/runpossibleLOUISVILLE

Does Sweaty Sheep have a central location?
The word is our playground…

Who We Are

Ryan Althaus
Ryan holds his masters degree in Divinity from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary where he received the "presidential preaching award," and is currently finishing a second Masters in Nonprofit Business. After having worked as a Chaplin in the Grand Tetons, a sailing instructor in Annapolis, and various other "playful" positions around the country, he settled down in Louisville and founded Sweaty Sheep after being "dared" into the louisville Ironman triathlon back in 2010. He has run over 30 marathons and 5 Ironman triathlons, is a certified triathlon coach and crossfit instructor here in Louisville, and lives in the highlands with his adopted little sidekick named Chewbacca. Visit Ryan’s blog to read some sermons, thoughts, and Bible Studies he has written at runningmango.wordpress.com and consider having him out as a guest speaker/preacher at your next event or service.
Alex Becker
Slow runner (and proud of it!), Team Sweaty Sheep assistant, and pastor of Henryville Community Presbyterian Church and Mount Lebanon Presbyterian Church in Henryville, IN.
Tavi Wallace
Hey gang, my name is Tavi Wallace and I'm the intern at Sweaty Sheep! I'm currently working as a barista at Starbucks and studying communications/Spanish at UofL. I love running, coffee, photography and try never to take life too seriously. I feel excited and beyond blessed to be joining the team and hope to form lasting memories and relationships with all of you :) Cheers!