Monday, February 2, 2015

Super Bowl of Faith

Super Bowl 49
I don’t know which Super Bowl team you were rooting for yesterday but I was keeping my eyes out for two men on opposing sidelines. The Seattle Seahawks Karl Payne and the New England Patriots Jack Easterby are not players or coaches but rather are their respective team’s chaplains. Dr. Karl Payne has been the Seattle Seahawks Chaplain for 20 years. He’s at the 30-yard sideline on game days. During the week, he meets with team members and is a fulltime pastor at a local Seattle Church. Regardless of a player’s chapel attendance, Karl commonly serves as confidant and inspiration coach. Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor says, “It’s good to know a guy like Karl, he keeps me going, he keeps pushing me and he just motivates me every week.”

NFL players, coaches and staff work in a unique profession. As chaplain, Karl is player-appointed, required to give discreet, pastoral care. Dr. Payne sees himself as an “encourager, trainer and someone who tries to give the players tools they can work with day in and day out to keep balanced. In interviews with the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) on Super Bowl Media Day, Seattle players shared what their faith in God means to them.

Clint Gresham, the team’s long snapper realizes that championships are temporal but his faith in Christ is eternal. Lineman Russell Okung likens himself to a soldier in God’s army taking ground for Christ. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson says he takes Christ with him wherever he goes and his Scripture Verse of this year is John 3:30 “He must increase and I must decrease”. This season, Karl Payne says he has watched players mature deeply in their faith, several who are team leaders and many who have become outspoken in their convictions.

Tomorrow we will look at Patriots Chaplain Jack Easterby and some of the faithful players from New England.

Your pastor and partner in ministry,

Encounter His Team     Wendys
Come to Hays SOUTH Wendy’s TONIGHT (Monday) 5-8pm and C3’s College age ministry Encounter will receive 20% of your purchase to help fund their summer mission trip to Haiti.

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