MOUNDRIDGE — As a narcotics detective for the Newton Police Department, Mitch Nedrow often has to deal with people at their worst. The job requires him to be prepared for anything and stay physically fit.
"I take my training very seriously," Nedrow said.
Seeing people in his church who needed assistance with their fitness goals, Nedrow recently started Warriors For Christ (WFC) Fighter Fitness.
"I want to take people who think they are not strong and show them that they can be," Nedrow said.
During the one-hour workout session, tires, ropes and weights are used to build strength and provide cardiovascular exercise for class members.
"I work them hard," Nedrow said. "We get really good music going."
Though some exercises may seem simplistic, they have proven to be effective.
"It's unorthodox, but gets really good results," Nedrow said. "That's what appeals to so many people."
"I went because I'd wanted to start some kind of workout program and found it hard to stay motivated on my own," said Kristine Schrag. "The first night I went, I was really apprehensive because my fitness level was zero. I didn't know if I would be able to do any of the workouts or keep up."
But Schrag took on the challenge and said she can feel her strength increasing each week.
"I actually look forward to getting my butt kicked every Monday and Wednesday," Schrag said. "Mitch does great work, and has taught all of us how to 'do work' — that's his catchphrase."
Nedrow uses the training principles he received in his profession, along with spiritual guidelines, to emphasize the core values of the group. The theme verse for WFC Fighter Fitness is Psalms 144:1 — "Praise be to the Lord my rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle."
Leading WFC Fighter Fitness gives Nedrow a chance to interact with people, giving them the tools and training they are searching for.
"It's an opportunity for me to fellowship with people in the church and bring new people in," Nedrow said.
The ministry is also a way to reach out to drug offenders in a positive way, Nedrow noted, and gives those who would usually never enter a church an opportunity to interact with Christians in a neutral atmosphere.
"It's my way of investing in people," Nedrow said.
For Nedrow, seeing the progress class members make, not just in their physical strength, but in their mental and spiritual journeys as well, gives him the motivation to continue in the ministry.
"I lead it, but if no one invested in it, it would go away," Nedrow said.
Currently, there are 100 members on the roster, with between 40 and 50 adults at any one class and an additional complement of around 15 teenagers participating as well.
"It's been an amazing group that's taken off," Nedrow said.
Child care is provided for younger children during the classes.
"That's a huge make or break for the parents — having someone to watch the kids," Nedrow said.
Members donate whatever they can each night for child care and classes. The funds assist in purchasing and constructing items used in the workouts.
Every week, a "Warrior of the Week" is featured on the group's Facebook page, a practice which Nedrow helps both him and the whole class get to know individual members.
"It's a great group, with amazing people who are encouragers and are so positive," Schrag said. "The class has been the biggest blessing."
WFC Fighter Fitness meets at 6:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at Grace Crossing in Moundridge and welcomes anyone who wishes to participate, regardless of age or fitness level.
"It's been a really unique ministry," Nedrow said.
For more information about WFC Fighter Fitness, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit https://www.facebook.com/GraceCrossingMoundridge or attend a class at Grace Crossing, located at 111 W. Cole St. in Moundridge.