Posts Tagged With: Tim Tebow

Tebow, Teammates, and a Lesson for the Body of Christ

Tim Tebow serves in our culture now as a very polarizing figure.  He is loved/hated for his faith in Christ; he is loved/hated for his football ability (“I love his energy” to “he can’t throw a spiral”); and he is scrutinized almost daily on ESPN, more so than any other barely-playing backup quarterback of all-time.  I mean, every day on the ESPN.com’s top headlines, Tebow is mentioned—showing that he still provides a lot of traffic for ESPN, NFL.com, etc. 

Tebow didn’t play against New England because he had two fractured ribs.  Yet, he still dressed out (that is, was in uniform and on the active roster).  Why? 

“I had to do a little bit of talking just to dress but I just want to be there for my teammates in case they needed me in an emergency situation.”

Tebow has a litany of answers he provides for the media that goes something like this:  “I just want to go out and practice as hard as I can everyday to improve everyday so I can contribute to this team and be there for my teammates.”  Time will tell if this truly is so, but few are able to say anything negative about his work ethic that takes away from this aforementioned litany.

May God grant us the attitude expressed here as a body of Christ: always ready to dress out, ready to come into the game, ready to do Kingdom work.  May we always have our Christ and our teammates in mind before self.

19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel,that I may share with them in its blessings (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).

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Western Welcome Week, a 316 Car, and the Importance of a Gospel Presence

2012-08-18

This past Saturday was my favorite day since I’ve come to Colorado—and God has provided some wonderful days since I’ve become pastor at Arapahoe Road Baptist Church .  This past Saturday was the parade for Western Welcome Week here in Littleton.  Here’s the description from the website:

Western Welcome Week, Inc. is ded­i­cated to hon­oring the tra­di­tion of cel­e­brating greater Littleton. The goal is to nur­ture com­mu­nity spirit, bring together res­i­dents and busi­nesses, sup­port ser­vice clubs and non­profits by cre­ating an oppor­tu­nity for fundraising, and pro­vide fes­tiv­i­ties and enter­tain­ment for fam­i­lies, friends and neigh­bors. In plan­ning Western Welcome Week the board pledges to remain open to new ideas, respect past tra­di­tions and be aware of present day needs with a vision for tomorrow.

It also provides a venue for fundraisers for non-profit organizations and other businesses.  So there were booths everywhere!  Not to mention anywhere from 50,000-75,000 people!

We manned the 316 booth. As you can see from the picture to the right, you can see the edge of the 2012-08-18 11.11.15316 car, the my316car.com booth, and the sign on the left saying, “Love Littleton: Caring Churches for Community.”  This was our booth.  With the help of area churches along with the Mile High Baptist Association and its Director of Missions Bob Ryan, we had hourly drawings for backpacks, lunchboxes, and the grand prize drawing, an iPod® shuffle.  We had dozens of people enter, and made some great contacts.

I’m not sure what anyone else did (if I wasn’t entering them in a drawing, I was doing something else with someone else), but I pointed them to the 316 car and asked them, “Do the numbers 316 ring a bell?”  If Tim Tebow was still the quarterback of the Broncos, that could have helped, but Broncos fans have long forgotten about him, football-wise.

Three answers were given in varying ratios:

  • One out of every 15 or so saying, “Oh, sure.  John 3:16”—then they would quote the verse. 
  • A number of others paused and thought about it.  So when I said, “Well, it’s a verse in the Bible…” they would say, “Oh, right!  I remember now.”  Takeaway: spiritual matters were most likely not first and foremost in their hearts and minds.
  • Many others had no clue, so it gave me the opportunity to share that verse with them:  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life.”  Seed planted—and we pray that God gives the growth.

We gave them a 316 sticker, a tract, a NT if they wished, and a handout of all the churches that participated in the booth. 

Now, about the 316 car.  There’s an old saying, “Confession is good for the soul.”  Well, I’m about to do my soul some good.  Given that this was my first year here in Colorado, I supported and gave my opinion and thoughts when asked, in order to see what Colorado culture and church life is like.  When I heard about this 316 car, I confessed to you that I thought the whole idea was corny and gimmicky.  I questioned its effectiveness.  I’ve always been leery of anything that looks like a dog-and-pony show when it comes to Kingdom work. 

But I stood back and supported.  And encouraged.  And participated.  And kept an open mind.

I’m glad I did.

Having the pleasure of driving the car in the parade, I saw how much the kids loved it, how much the Christians enjoyed seeing the witness present (although the church people did wonder where the colon was between the 3 and the 16, but I digress), and how much it caused others to scratch their heads.  If you noticed the side of the car more closely, all of the Colorado Baptist ministries’ logos were present around the numbers, so they saw who was participating and knew (at least on the surface) who we were. 

The 316 car generated a lot of conversation and provided an incredible open door to the gospel.  It reminded me of what the apostle Paul wrote to the Colossian church:

2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak (Colossians 4:2-4, ESV).

Much prayer went into our presence at Western Welcome Week.  Many participated—not just Bob Ryan, but Jay Moyers (a member at ARBC) dig yeoman’s work in heading up the organization aspect, others participated as parade marshalls and booth workers.  I loved seeing that, too.

But it was the open door that God provided through the instrument of that 316 car.  Anytime you can use something as a way to share what Christ has accomplished on the cross and through the empty tomb is a blessed thing indeed. 

Because in Denver, which is 96% unchurched, where there is a strong non-religious, Muslim, and Mormon presence, we need for churches to get filled up inside the four walls with the Word, then be unleashed outside the four walls to dispense the Word and to pray for the culture around us in darkness and lostness. 

The 316 car helped provide that opportunity!  Isn’t God good in how he provides for us and what he teaches us?

I posted this as a Facebook status today.  I’ll close with it:

My desire is that ARBC be known as a kingdom outpost, serving as a missions hub from Centennial to the corners of the earth. My desire is that we have a culture here interested in sending capacity more than seating capacity. My desire is the gospel get out glocally (globally and locally) as we pray, give, go and send forth in Kingdom work. While I am happy we are growing, I pray that we are going, Great Commission-wise!

 

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How the ‘Manning Watch’ Could Show the Authenticity of Tebow’s Christianity Most Clearly

 

Now that I’m a long-time resident in Denver, Colorado (actually, April 1 will be four months), I see how rabid the sports fans are—especially Bronco fans.  For those of you who are international readers, the Denver Broncos are a professional American football team with a very rich history and a dedicated fan base.

Last fall, we were swept away by Tebow-mania, which circled around their quarterback Tim Tebow.  After Kyle Orton led the Broncos to a 1-4 start, the fans were shouting for Tebow, even though Tebow was third (and by some accounts fourth on the depth chart).  He was drafted in the 1st round in 2010, so they had to see what they had.  He led the Broncos the last 11 games of the season, winning seven of them in the most unorthodox way imaginable.  He would lead them to the most heart-stopping of last minute victories—all the while being an average to below average quarterback statistically (his completion perceptage—49%—was 34th in the NFL—even though the NFL has only 32 teams). 

But Tebow is a strong, unashamed follower of Christ—which makes him a polarizing figure.  For those of us who are believers, we have to work to separate the Christian man from the football player.  Personally, I love his work ethic and devotion to the game—but still have questions as to whether he can be a dependable quarterback. 

Last fall, Tebow’s heroics on the field made him the go-to guy for sports programming, and it even bled over into the New York Times and other non-sports periodicals and websites.  And since Tim’s Christianity is so much a part of him, discussing this aspect of his person was unavoidable.

From Tebow-Mania to Manning Watch

After the season ended with a trouncing of the Broncos at the Super Bowl runner-up New England Patriots, the scrutiny elevated.  “Would Tebow really be the starter next year?” “Can they make it to the Super Bowl with him at quarterback?”  “Will the Broncos try to go after a veteran, or draft a QB in the late rounds?”

Then, on March 8, news came across the wire:

Peyton Manning, arguably the best quarterback of this generation, if not ever, would be released by the Indianapolis Colts and become a free agent.  Teams were calling, not the least of which?  You guessed it, the Denver Broncos.

When Manning visited Denver on Friday, you would have thought it was a head of state.  He spent six hours at the Bronco compound talking with John Elway, President of Football Operations with the Broncos (and a pretty good quarterback to say the least for those same Broncos), and John Fox, the head coach.

The radio talk shows blew up here.  Everyone wants Manning (four neck operations in 19 months notwithstanding).  Even the Tebow apologists want Manning, so Tebow could sit back and learn from him—that is, if Tebow is not traded in the aftermath. 

As of today (March 16), he has talked to four teams (Denver, Arizona, Miami, and Tennessee).  Bronco management is flying to Durham, NC to talk further with Manning.  The drama just continues to unfold.

A Test of Tebow’s Authenticity as a Believer

When Tebow was having success on the field, his Christianity was on full display.  He has always said that while he loves football, it’s just a game and he has that perspective.  His Christian faith was on full display during the good times.

But it’s in the midst of trials and suffering that the authenticity of one’s Christian faith is put on its most striking display. 

Even the most skeptical of sportswriters (Rick Reilly) are amazed at the genuineness of Tebow. 

So Tim, I see that same genuineness that Reilly does and that same grounded nature that God calls us as Christians to have.  And it’s in this time when Bronco Nation is fawning over Peyton Manning coming here that you need to show the world that Christ is truly #1 in your life, not being quarterback of the Denver Broncos. 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus uttered these words:

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Not being quarterback of the Denver Broncos is not the reviling or persecution meant here—to be sure.  But in regards to your surrender to Christ, folks will have all sorts of false utterances of evil spoken against you because of Christ. 

I beg you, even in the midst of Manning Watch, keep Christ clearly and consistently in front.  Show the genuineness and authenticity of your faith not simply after a win, but even when the team you love playing for is sending signals that you are not the man.

It is in the darkness of the valley that Christ’s light needs to shine brightest. 

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