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Hymn Workouts (Barnard)

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Christian Focus

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Many of us feel like our spiritual growth has stalled. Our routines have hardened into ruts. Around us, we see other Christians with the same struggles and we start to think that treading water is the basic rhythm of the Christian life. Often the problem of stagnating faith is down to one simple fact – we all have a bias towards ease. Our spiritual routines involve passively reading our Bibles, not lingering long enough to comprehend or retain what was read, and a few distracted minutes spent in prayer. This book of spiritual workouts is meant to push complacent souls back out into the space of exertion and discovery. It will engage and sharpen the faculties of the mind – memory, imagination, intellect, conscience and will. Each workout, thematically grouped, features a hymn, richly steeped in scripture. There is a Bible passage to read, a list of the scripture references made in the hymn, and three reflection questions to meditate on.


Joe Barnard is the pastor of Holyrood Evangelical Church in Edinburgh and the executive director of Cross Training Ministries, a discipleship ministry focused on training men in spiritual fitness. He is also the author of ‘The Way Forward: a Road Map of Spiritual Growth for Men in the 21st Century’. Joe is married to Anna. They have four children.


This is a one–of–a–kind book that opens the door to a richer spiritual life.

Leland Ryken, Emeritus Professor of English, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois Author of sixty books, including 40 Favorite Hymns on the Christian Life

If you want to kindle your love for God, read this book. It is a steady flame that will reignite your candle of faith, set ablaze your torch of vision, and warm a cooling heart.

Jordan Loftis, Bestselling author and president of Short Daily Devotions

Fitness doesn’t happen by accident – physically or spiritually. In this book, Joe Barnard gives the equivalent of 100 spiritual WODs (workout of the day) that will stretch and challenge anyone willing to do them. These workouts are valuable in every respect (1 Tim. 4:8). Pick one up and get after it!

Tyrell Haag, Senior Pastor, Pineland Baptist Church, Burlington, Ontario, Canada

This wonderful work takes the lyrics our hearts love to sing and pairs them with reflections that helps our minds meditate deeply on the truths contained within. I trust the devotional aspects of the book will enliven its doxological heartbeat.

Matthew Boswell, Pastor, The Trails Church; Hymnwriter; Assistant Professor of Church Music and Worship, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Not only does this book help us rediscover the beauty and splendour of our God through the treasured hymns of the past, but it reconnects our weary hearts to a steady rhythm of Scripture that pumps life into the soul.

Jason Nelson, Pastor and Music Leader, 20 Schemes