WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - When he's not lifting people's spirits in the pews, you may find pastor Jeff Kapusta of Lifepoint Church lifting weights and now being recognized as one of the "Top Fittest Christian Leaders" in the nation.
Samir Becic, a world renowned fitness trainer at televangelist Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church, compiled a list of U.S. pastors who balance their spiritual lives with wellness.
Published by The Christian Post (http://bit.ly/1gxPcUk), the rankings also include pastors Joel Osteen, Rick Warren and Chuck Bernal. Becic says he created the rankings after researching a long list of leaders and considering how they promote a healthy lifestyle.
According to Becic, his mission is to inspire leaders nationwide to spread a similar message. According to a 2011 Northwestern University study, young adults attending church or bible study once a week are about 50% more likely to be obese.
Pastor Jeff Kapusta isn't sure how he made the cut but if you catch him on a CrossFit workout day it's easy to see why.
His fitness journey coincided with his spiritual journey.
"When I got into ministry...all that fitness stuff just went to the sideline and it seemed like every time I met with somebody it was over a meal," said Kapusta.
He's documented his weight loss down from 205 pounds on a blog (http://bit.ly/1gVI668), which is likely the source of his "Top Ten" discovery.
While there's a common perception that pastors just work on the weekends, Kapusta says, in reality it's a 24-7 obligation for more than one thousand local people.
"Oftentimes caring for the needs of others you end up neglecting yourself," he says.
Kapusta has found innovative ways of incorporating the message of wellness into his services. Recently, a bad set of hand calluses from a weight bar morphed into a lesson on having a kind heart.
"If we allow our hearts to remain callous, that callous will build up and that callous will rip away and cause more harm in the long run," he noted.
While he finds the Top Ten list humorous, it has inspired a sense of self-driven competition.
"I gotta break into the Top Three and obviously out perform them in 2015!" he exclaimed. "I'm coming for you…I am coming for you!"
Lifepoint Church is located at 3534 S College Rd in Wilmington (http://bit.ly/1dmZnKP)
The church is hosting five Easter services this year: April 19 (4 p.m. & 6 p.m.), April 20 (8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m.).
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