Healthy You – Healthy Youth Ministry! Part 2 – An Interview with Scott Tinman

Whether we like it or not, our productivity, and ultimately our mental and spiritual health are so closely tied to our physical health. If we can improve our health, we can expect our ministries to improve too. Today we talk to youth ministry veteran Scott Tinman about his radical life change.

Marathon Youth Ministry

What have you been doing to stay in shape in the last year? 

This last year I went from a non-regular exercise person to now where I exercise at least 30 minutes everyday and many times at least 1 hour to 1.5 hours depending on how I manage my day. My main exercise of choice is cardio/running whether it is outside around my neighborhood or inside on a treadmill/elliptical as the weather gets bad outside…I live in the Midwest! I utilize the  App on my iPhone to help track my mileage and routes which helps to encourage and motivate me to continue on this journey.

I have also taken a hard look at my diet and portion control as far as what I put into my body. It started out at the beginning of 2012 by eliminating pop/soda depending on where you live and consume more water everyday with an occasional iced tea or sports drink. Basically I have gone to tracking my calories and try not to drink my calories because food is so much better! Another good app to use here is  where you can join in on a community of friends doing the same thing you are trying to do.

What inspired you to run everyday? 

Last March we went on vacation during spring break and my 14 year old son was going to miss track practice, so I told the coach I would make sure he ran everyday. I thought to myself…”surely I can keep up with a 14 year old!” That was my wake up call! After starting to run on a regular basis since that day a friend of mine  put a challenge out to do a …to run everyday for 30 days. I had been running 4-5 times a week so I thought this was a good next step. Well 30 days came and I accomplished the goal and have not stopped since May 1, 2012. I have developed a habit that I never thought I would enjoy. The online community of others doing a challenge helped inspire me but also helped hold me accountable as well as encouraged me knowing others were cheering me on!

What gets in the way of working out regularly?

You name the excuse and I probably have dealt with it this last year. There is a list of excuses that I would give into in the past to get me out of working out on a regular basis. We are all busy and our schedule is full, but for me this last year I have had to re-prioritize and put my physical health up on the list. For the most part I have stayed relatively injury free throughout the past year. Proper stretching and drinking lots of water has helped with this as well as investing in good running shoes. Important to find out what shoes will fit you best according to your running style and what types of surfaces you will be running on. I have dealt with some  where I have had pain in my right foot in the mornings and late at night but not while I am running.

How have regular work outs out changed you? 

Well for one thing getting into a regular workout schedule has definitely changed my shape as over the past year I have been able to shed over 40lbs. This has been a great benefit as I am at a weight that I haven’t seen since the late 1990′s when I first got into Student Ministry. It has also changed me in getting perspective on being healthy and setting a good example for my kids and the students that I serve. To see that I am making this a priority and being intentional about working out.
This has also been a spiritual change in when I run my neighborhood I am able to pray for my neighbors and asking God to give me insight in how I can be a blessing to where he has placed me. As I have moved inside and joined Planet Fitness I can pray for the people working out around me and look for ways to build relationships with those that go to the gym at the same time I do. It also has given me a way to step away and gain perspective on life and personal worship with God.

How has it helped your ministry?

I believe as I get into a healthy lifestyle it helps my ministry to my family and those around me as I model good habits. For too many years I let the stress of ministry rule me instead of managing it well. This has been one of the greatest years for me in re-claiming this area in my life and have created a good habit. It helps me to be that model to my family and students and allows me to do things with students that previously were harder for me because I was overweight and out of shape.
Tomorrow, Scott will share practically how you and I can achieve what he has. 

Scott Tinman

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Scott Tinman is a husband, father, youth pastor and now runner. For the past 19+ years has served churches in Minnesota & Illinois and nowtransitioning to be the Pastor of Student Ministries at Findlay EFC in Findlay, OH. As a Chicago native he loves to watch Chicago sports teams except for the Cubs!

photo credit: via

  • Sara Evanchick

    This is so awesome!! I recently started running and I’m looking forward to my first 5K at the end of April. I’m looking forward to reading the second part of your post tomorrow!

  • Phil Bell

    Sara! Glad to hear how you are doing! Scott is a real inspiration to me. Scott is the real deal and he would tell anyone that “if I can do it, you can do it too.” Tomorrow we look at some of Scott’s habits and principles of how he has been able to do this every day for nearly a year!

  • ScottTinman

    Never thought I’d say I Love Running…but I do…awesome to set the goal of a 5k in April #presson

  • ScottTinman

    Thanks Phil for the chance to share my journey and be an encouragement to your readers…you are the real deal too…only British-style :)

  • philbell

    Welcome Scott! My British friends would tell you I have lost my real deal British accent and gained a fake American accent… Haha!