Tim Tebow headlines event at Calvin

This past weekend at the second global congress on Christianity and Sports, Tim Tebow delivered a speech before a large audience of Western Michiganders, and participated in a question-and-answer event at Calvin University. 

In the world of Christianity and sports, Tim Tebow is a polarizing figure and topic of much admiration and discussion. His appearance alone packed out the Van Noord arena as thousands flocked to hear him speak. 

His first talk was a much more structured expository speech. The main audience was current student athletes at a high school and collegiate level who could be inspired from his experiences. In this talk he laid out the thrilling and challenging journey over his amateuuer, collegiate and professional football career. 

The main message he wantstrived to communicate to the student athletes was if you want to achieve any type of success you must understand what you have to sacrifice and how this can serve needs outside of your own. Tebow described how he strived to do this not only in playing football but in his other endeavors such as various mission trips that he went on. He explained that “success is about you; significance is about others” and this, he said, models the greater Christian call to love your neighbor and consider the other in all decisions and facets of life. 

Tim Tebow Q + A at Calvin

This past weekend at the Second Global Congress on Christianity and Sports, former professional football player Tim Tebow delivered a speech before a large audience of Western Michiganders, and participated in a question-and-answer event at Calvin University. 

While his initial speech in front of thousands was given more as a mentor’s lecture, the question-and-answer segment was much more candid and personal. This event was restricted for subscribed members of the congress, which was a much smaller crowd. 

In this setting Tebow answered several questions concerning his faith, athletic career and how they were intertwined. Here he discussed some of the times of joy and tribulation he went through, from winning multiple championships to being cut from an NFL team. Tebow explained how “the highs give you a platform; the lows give you a testimony,” continuing his emphasis on how he can use his life to serve others. 

Through the focus on this mission came a question on his famous John 3:16 eye black that he wore during his tenure at Florida. Tebow felt like God was telling him to wear the verse  John 3:16 under his eyes. The team went on to win this game and then the national championship game on Jan. 8, 2009. As a result, during one of the biggest games of the 2008-2009 college football season, 94 million people googled John 3:16. 

The story did not end here, as exactly three years later in the NFL playoffs, Tebow’s Denver Broncos were playing against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who at the time had the best defense in the league. Tebow and the Broncos pulled off a miraculous victory in overtime, but the biggest story of the game came within the box score. 

Tim began to explain how a public relations representative asked, ‘Timmy, did you realize what happened?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, we just beat the Steelers. We’re going to play the Patriots.’ And he was like, ‘No, do you realize what happened?’” Tebow explained.

“He said, ‘ Timmy it’s exactly three years later from the night that you wore John 3:16 under your eyes,'” Tebow continued. “I was like, ‘Oh, that’s really cool, that’s awesome.'” 

“He said, ‘No, I don’t think you realize what happened. During the game you also threw for 316 yards,” and members of the congress began to exhale in wonder. He continued, “Timmy your yards per rush were 3.16, your yards per completion were 31.6, the time of possession was 31.06, and the ratings for the night were 31.6, and during the game over 90 million people googled John 3:16 and it’s the number one trending thing on every platform, and actually it went so crazy on Twitter that Twitter actually stopped,’” Tebow shared.

Tebow used an anecdote like this to show how God had a different agenda in the midst of his athletic aspirations and how his “life is more than a game.” This tied into his overarching theme of using your gifts for the benefit of others as well.