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Since the beginning of our brand being in existence, there has been one particular question that seems to always come up: What does Jesus have to do with sports? This question often leads to others like, "Does God care about who wins games?" and "How does praying help an athlete during a game?".
As a Christian sports apparel brand people often ask us these questions through social networks like twitter, facebook and instagram. These questions were also at the forefront during "Tebow Mania" and "Linsanity" where Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin were at the height of pop culture because of the unbelievable accomplishments of their athletic careers but chose to use that platform to express their faith and love for Jesus Christ. The sight of Tim Tebow on one knee praying before, during and after games became a phenomenon in itself being dubbed "Tebowing".
Jeremy Lin's sudden rise to super stardom coincided with the launch of Active Faith as he wore his In Jesus' Name I Play bands on his wrists while taking the NBA and the world by storm.It seemed in every interview or any chance they got, Tebow and Lin would make it a point to thank Jesus and give God the glory and praise.
Today you will see NBA Superstar Stephen Curry write bible verses on his shoes before games and point up after every made shot. In fact, Stephen's new signature shoe, the CURRY ONE by Under Armour, features his favorite verse, I Can Do All Things Through Christ... Philippians 4:13, within the actual shoe design. Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is often seen leading prayer on the football field.
Then and now, the question of what does Jesus have to do with sports continues to arise. At Active Faith Sports we have an unexpected answer to that question:
Thats right, a Christian sports apparel brand is saying that Jesus Christ and sports really don't have anything to specifically do with each other. To our knowledge there is no record or indication in the Bible that states that Jesus played any sports or had any interest in athletics at all. When you think of all of the issues the world faces and the interests that God has, we don't believe God really cares who wins or loses games and athletic competitions. In the last Super Bowl there were Christian players on both teams. Did the losing team's players not pray as much or as hard as the players on the victorious team? There are children starving in parts of the world right now. Do we think God is concerned with who the next NBA Champion will be? Our guess is probably not.
So if Jesus has nothing to do with sports and if God doesn't care about who wins or loses games, why do players and teams pray before games? Why do athletes thank God for winning Championships and awards and accolades? Why does Active Faith Sports even exist as a Christian sports apparel brand? We are glad you asked.
That verse is the foundation that Active Faith Sports is built on. That verse is what our tagline "In Jesus' Name I Play" represents. See while we don't believe that Jesus has anything directly to do with sports or that God cares who wins or loses games, we do believe that God can use anybody in any position to bring Glory to His name. Based on that verse, as believers we are actually instructed to do whatever it is we do, in the name of Jesus. And in doing so, it gives thanks and reverence to the One who has blessed us with the ability to do so in the first place. This instruction says WHATEVER you do. So this concept of "In Jesus' Name I Play" is not limited to sports or athletics. In anything that you do, you can do it for the Glory of God versus for approval of man or your own glory. It doesn't matter if you are an athlete, a teacher, a janitor, a doctor, a lawyer, a garbage man, a full time parent... God can get the Glory by you performing your task to the best of your ability and doing it in a way that pleases Him.
All of us are blessed with some sort of talent or ability and we all have different platforms in which our talents and abilities are displayed. In our society, athletes have a platform that is unrivaled. People follow and admire athletes. Sports icons are trendsetters and are praised and treated as super heroes. It is the reason why companies and brands pay athletes millions of dollars to endorse their products and to use their platform to promote their businesses. So when an athlete thanks or praises Jesus, it is not saying that God cares about who won or that Jesus Himself has anything to do with sports. These athletes are just using the platform they have been blessed with to give thanks and spread the good news of the Gospel. When our Active Faith athletes thank and praise Jesus, they are simply thanking Him for the blessing of being able to do what they do. To reach the level of a Stephen Curry or a Russell Wilson, it takes years of hard work, discipline and skill. But without God blessing them with the specific talents they have been given, none of those other things would matter.
Here's the awesome thing about Jesus. You too can use whatever platform you have and whatever talents you have been blessed with to give Jesus the Glory and it will mean just as much to Him as any athlete. You may never play in the Super Bowl or have your own shoe. But you can still do whatever you do in the name of Jesus and give God praise for the ability to do what you do.
Do we think Jesus has anything to do with sports? No. But we can still use the platform it provides to spread His name and be witnesses. Jesus instructed his disciples to follow Him and become "Fishers of Men". At Active Faith Sports, we are fishing for men to win souls for Christ. We just happen to be using sports as our fishing net.
In Jesus' Name I Play
In February we were blessed to partner with the Houston Rockets and Second Baptist Church during NBA Allstar weekend to have our first official Active Faith event. The event was amazing and touched so many lives. We were honored to have so many of our Active Faith athletes attend the event and share their personal testimonies about what God has done for them in their lives and careers. The event was ended with a bang with Grammy nominated artist Lecrae putting on a concert. Check out the highlight video of the great footage from this event! IJNIP