Athletes and Apologetics

Can apologetics really play a role in talking with these sports-types? Many students think, “apologetics might be good for these intellectual-types, but it won’t help me talk to my friends in soccer.” Don’t discount the value of being ready with answers at the little league game, on the basketball court or even on the golf course.

As a student ministries pastor, I used to work with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and I know kids in sports ask questions about spiritual things. If youknow me, you know I’m no athlete. But I have friends who are!

I recently caught up with Steve Burdick and asked him to share about how being a ready ambassador has helped him talk to athletes about Jesus.

Here’s what he said:

I work for a ministry called College Golf Fellowship where I get to share the hope of Christ with college golfers and coaches all across the country. One of the best parts is getting to talk with guys who have very little or no spiritual background and explain to them what a relationship with God is all about.

Through the course of developing relationships, I get to breakdown some misconceptions of the faith and answer questions such as:

  • Is there really a God and if so, what type of God is He?
  • Is the Bible reliable?
  • Why is Jesus different than other religious leaders?
  • Can we really believe that Jesus rose from the dead?
  • How can Jesus really be the only way to God?

On a retreat that our ministry hosted, I sat up one night until midnight simply talking with a non-believing college golfer about some of these questions. He was an extremely logical and rational young man who was genuinely interested in understanding spiritual truth. In the past, he looked at Christians as people who blindly placed their faith in something that had no basis on historical evidence.

After our conversation, he admitted that he had never talked with someone who could give him reasonable and well-thought out answers to his questions.

He said there was much more compelling evidence for faith in Christ than he originally believed, and he was intrigued to learn more. I gave him a couple good apologetic books to read (The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel and The Reason for God by Timothy Keller), and we agreed to keep talking and discussing his questions.

Our answers are never going to save a person. God is responsible for that. However, God has chosen to use ordinary people like you and me to share His message of hope and reconciliation found in Jesus Christ. He also calls each one us to be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks you about this hope that is within you (1 Peter 3:15). Are you prepared?

Find out more about Steve Burdick’s ministry at College Golf Fellowship

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