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Vantage Point

Football and Jesus

Next week’s issue of the Evangel is our annual Super Bowl edition — one of our most successful issues every year. But it is also criticized.

Criticized because some think we are glamorizing professional sports and fostering idol worship. But they’re wrong. Every year our Super Bowl edition, with testimonies of NFL players, is picked up by more unsaved, unchurched and young readers than any other issue. Once they open it, they find enough about football to keep any fan interested … but also a lot more.

Young people need good role models. And everyone needs to know there are people who love God in highly visible positions. To keep silent about the commitment of NFL players who are Christians would be wrong. We must use every opportunity to get the name of Christ in front of people. Many of those who pick up the Super Bowl edition would never touch another Christian magazine.

Many churches have successfully used the issue as an outreach tool. Inside it are stories of athletes who love Jesus and openly invite unsaved readers to have a relationship with Him. Many accept that invitation in the pages of Today’s Pentecostal Evangel. We have received hundreds of letters recording those decisions.

Our Super Bowl editions, and other special issues, feature athletes who maintain a Christian walk before the eyes of a scrutinizing public. They are not perfect, but they are people who do not hesitate to exalt Jesus. And God is glorified.

Examples can certainly be given of athletes who professed Christ, then were caught in sin or even walked away from the Lord. But the same can be said of every profession.

Thus, we will continue to occasionally feature Christian athletes in order to exalt the Jesus they serve and reach some of the many who would be unlikely to listen to the gospel from another source.

I hope that you will prayerfully consider giving a copy to a young person or someone who isn’t serving Jesus. Remember, before we can win people to Christ, we need to get their attention.

Ken Horn

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