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Published on July 27th, 2009 | by Alex and Brett Harris

Tim Tebow: The Quarterback-Preacher




Tim Tebow is an amazing quarterback. But more importantly, Tim Tebow is a Christian, with a passion for proclaiming the gospel. From his missions work to his eye-black, Tim knows what really matters — and it’s not football. By God’s grace, he stands as a stellar example of how to use your platform to magnify the Lord.

At our conference in Orange County this weekend, Brett and I read the latest cover story on this God-glorifying young man and his family. Whether you’re into sports or not, as rebelutionaries we should all be inspired by Tim Tebow’s example and committed to lifting him up in our prayers. The enemy would love to take him down.


    You Gotta Love Tim Tebow
    by Austin Murphy

    He’s a Heisman Trophy winner and a two-time national champion, but the Florida quarterback will tell you he does his most important and rewarding work off the football field.

    [Williams] was ferrying Tebow and three other Gators to the Lawtey Correctional Institution, one of Florida’s four “faith-and-character-based” prisons. There would be prayers and singing, and gospel music from the prison’s own band. But the highlight of the night would be a 25-minute oration by Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, who would stress the importance of “finishing strong” and conclude with an invitation for inmates to come down from the bleachers to be his “brothers in Christ” and be born again.

    “It’s one of my favorite things to do,” Tebow said during the drive, making it sound as if he were bound for Walt Disney World rather than this razor-wire-ribboned stalag 35 miles northeast of Gainesville. “You’re talking to guys who have no hope, no support, who have been totally written off by the world.”

    Watching Tebow zip passes into the seams of opposing defenses, lower his shoulder in short yardage and exhort his teammates like King Henry V on St. Crispin’s Day, one might think that he was put on this earth just to run coach Urban Meyer’s spread offense. Watching him pace the floor of a gymnasium packed with 660 wayward men hanging on his every syllable is to realize that regardless of what position Tebow eventually plays in the NFL, and for how long, the football phase of his life is merely a means to a greater end.

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About the Author

are the co-founders of TheRebelution.com and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.



  • Katelyn Snell

    I read another article on him in the July/August edition of Christian Living. It’s a good one, too. I think it is really cool how he lives out his faith on the field.

  • WOW! That’s really amazing.
    I’ve never even heard of him, but it’s amaxing to see how God is working in his life!
    I used to see a preacher as a child and think of them as strict people who spent all day everyday getting ready for church services on sundays.

    This shows that God can take any good Christian man and turn him into His servent and give him control of a whole church!

    It’s amazing and I hope that someday God will work like that in my life!!

    Blessings
    Alesia

  • Cool. I’ve heard a lot about Tim Tebow’s faith, and I kinda always thought he did it just for show. That Tim T. was like “I’m a Christian football player, watch me pray for my team” sort of person. But after more information, I know that I was very wrong, he really lives out his faith in Christ, and more than that, it’s real! I think that’s pretty amazing! Thanks for this article, it was great to be able to read more about Tim Tebow!

    Camille E.

    P.S. Alesia: My comments are “moderated” too. Normally I think it happens when I leave a rather long comment. But I don’t know, I’m not the Moderator! :) P.S.S. I enjoy reading your comments!

  • oh ok, and thanks Camille E. =)

    Blessings
    Alesia

  • Cherry Ann

    Yeah.. I read the article from Sports Illustrated last week. It is nice to see him open about his faith. Thanks for the article.

  • Bekah

    I really admire him!

  • Kate Victoria

    Did anyone notice what is written in his eyeblack??
    I think it is Phil. 4: 13 ” I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
    Isn’t that what it says???

  • Hannah

    Cool. How awesome to have someone like that in the sports community. In a field where it has become acceptable for these American icons to act like preschoolers, it is so encouraging to have that strong and godly figure giving a witness to the power of Christ’s saving grace.

    ~Hannah~

  • Noella

    Wonderful ariticle and great guy. Hope he impacts many more lives for Christ.

    I had heard about his birth and thought that was pretty neat, as I’ve done some anti-abortion campaigning and his story helps.

    Hat’s off to Mr. Tebow! Glad you guys did this post.

  • PTL

    I think its such a great testament to how God gives us gifts, strengths and abilities for His Kingdom. He gives people athletic ability(Tim Tebow), beauty (miss California), music ability, the ability (and guts) to sail around the world (zach :P) speaking ability, writing/blogging/speaking ability 😀 etc. and uses it to draw people to Himself. Its like in 1 Corinthians 12, “as it is there are many parts, but one body” (v19)
    And for those of us who arnt as publically acclaimed “the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable” (vs22) good news for us :)
    PTL always!

  • Josiah

    wow, never heard of him, but I don’t pay to much attention to sports anyway…
    Alright, i’ll do that, thanks! :)

    😛
    Josiah

  • This article touches me personally. My father is in prison and is trying to become a follower of Christ. He also loves watching football and reading this article gives me another idea to try and reach out to my dad. Thank you Tim, for having faith and being willing to share it with the world. :)

    Stevo

  • It’s encouraging to know that there are genuine Christians in positions like that using their influence like he is.
    :)

  • Eleanor V. B. H.

    Right on, Katie!

    Younger children, particularly boys, idolize sports heroes. They love some and hate others based entirely on where they are from. I don’t think this is healthy at all. For one thing, then you get sports “heroes” that aren’t terribly heroic (“Say it ain’t so, Joe!”). It is great to see that Telbow is setting a brand new standard of normal for people to follow! Go Tim!!!

    Ew… Have I just become a sports fan…? Yuck. 😉 (No offence to any sports fan or team!)

  • Elizabeth Kelley

    Yeah, Kate, that’s what is says (I had to look up the verse.)
    That’s so amazing! Talk about a huge sphere of influence. Praise God for men like that, who aren’t afraid to look “dumb” for their King, and who live for eternity.

  • Mardi

    Great article! I am inspired at how Tim Tebow lives faith in God, and isn’t afraid to show it! He’s my favorite football player, and definately a role model I am glad my nephews know about! He definately needs our prayers! I look forward to seeing how much more God uses him for his glory!

  • Erin

    I live in Gainesville and there are some insane Tim Tebow fans, but I have always noticed his humbleness! He was one of the youngest heismen trophy winners and yet with all that fame you can see him around town riding his scooter with no shame. He always puts God first and it is awesome how, when you give Him your first and best He keeps giving you more and more! He is an exxample of that. The whole family is awesome too! Definitely a “Do Hard Things” kinda guy : )

  • Lissie Luvs 2 pray

    Love the Memory verse in the eye-black

  • Cool, it great to have men like him.

  • Matthew

    Alesia,

    No one mentioned in the article has control of a whole church. Bob Tebow is a church planter and a trainer of pastors and Tim Tebow is a football player who serves in a jail ministry. Both of which are great but neither is running a whole church.

    The way the article uses the word preacher and the way you are using the word preacher are emphasizing two different senses of the word. The article is referring to someone who shares the gospel to a group of people. You are referring to a pastor who speaks to a congregation every Sunday. Pastors, who preach every Sunday, do usually spend the week in study (at least they should be) preparing for their messages on Sunday morning. Most preaching pastors give themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word every week, day in and day out.

    You are right about God using ordinary men to do extraordinary things. God gives gifts to men and then he gives those men to His church.

  • The news just came out that Tim Tebow is openly a virgin. Yet another reason to pray for his spiritual, mental, emotional, moral, and physical protection! God keep him and all my brothers in the faith.

  • Joel

    I’ve always loved watching Tebow and was really excited when he was able to share his faith on national live TV during the champion ship last year. I’m inspired by his humbleness in his situation, his dication to his purity, and most of all, his openness about his faith (thousands of people looked up John 3:16 online after seeing it on his eye black).Thanks for posting this guys! I look forward to seeing him play this next year.

  • First knew about him when he was featured in a newspaper here in the Philippines. Kids, down where their orphanage is, loves him very much though they have a faint idea what football is. May God continually use him! :)

  • Grace

    Wow! This is great. Praise God. I don’t watch football, but it sure is amazing to hear about athletes using their fame to make a difference, proclaim the Gospel. I love his eyeblack idea, and that is so cool what you said Joel. This is definitely an example “Doing Hard Things.” No matter what you do God will give a talent, and you are to use it for His glory. When other football players are just out their for their own glory Tim Tebow is on the field for his Father’s glory. Phillipians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambision or vain conceit. . . . ”
    Romans 5:20
    2 Corinthians 5:9
    James 3:14

    Always in Christ,
    Grace Leigh

  • Thats so cool. There aren’t many atletes these days who are good on and off the field.
    I’ve always liked him, but I never knew he was a Christian.

  • Jay

    I started paying attention to Tim Tebow when he became the first sophomore to win the Heisman in 2007. Then last year, he won his 2nd National title, first as a starter. After doing some research on him, I saw that his family members are missionaries and that they homeschooled him. I also saw that his mother was having pregnancy issues with him, and the doctor recommended abortion! Can you imagine?! It’s just so great to have a sports figure that actually stands up for what he believes in and what’s right.

  • Brandon

    I locve stories about athletes who are used by God. A lot of great stories out there. One of my favorites was the 2008 Home Run Derby. for any of you non-baseball fans, a center fielder from the Texas Rangers named Josh Hamilton broke the record for the most home runs hit in the first round. During his interview after the derby, he told his “life’s story”. he said that early in his baseball career, he was doing drugs, drinking, and getting into a whole bunch of trouble. he was suspended from baseball for to years, and during that time period gave himself to christ and turned his life around. He said at the end that he wanted to give God the glory for his accomplishment that night. That was great to watch and hear. He was at the Home Run Derby again this year, and when asked what his favorite part of the 2008 HRD, he told reporters that his favorite part and part he most remembers is sharing God with millions of people across the country. I love it when stuff like that happens!

  • Were SOO proud of Tim Tebow here in Florida, for all he does and stands for :) and he also was a homeshooler! Another thing to be proud about :)
    He’s got tons of support , you can’t walk through a Florida walmart without seeing a #15 on someone :)

    Awesome article :)

  • Matthew

    Oh…yikes..I guess I didn’t understand what I was reading..oops.. I tend to do that, I guess cause I have a speed-reading problem..lol

    Thanks for clearing that up for me

    Blessings
    Alesia

  • Jill

    Tim Tebow is an amazing christian and an amazing person. i’ve been to the Philippines with his father’s organization and i’ve been to the orphanage. Everyone in the Philippines loves him, especially those kids! To them, Tim is just a guy who comes and plays with them, he’s not some big football star. They love it when he comes and plays football with them!

  • I love Tim Tebow. He is amazing!!! He is not only a great quarterback, but an amazing example and more importantly a godly man. I am glad he is not shy about his faith; he is open and pround of it. GO TEBOW!!!!!! :)

  • Ethan

    I have always looked up to Tim Tebow. He’s a great quaterback but more importantly he is a standout Christian. He is doing a very hard thing by publicly proclaiming his faith. He’s a very committed and passionate young man.

  • Kate

    Tim Tebow is an inspiration to all Christians. He has God in his life, and he inspires other people to do the same, but he doesn’t push, or try to force his religion upon people. He wants them to look at his life and say to themselves, “wow, I want what he has.” It’s inspiring. I think we should all try to change non-believers not by ostracizing or criticizing them, but by showing them the way through our actions and our faith.

  • Cierra Jordan

    WOW! He sounds like a really good guy. He’s an inspiration. We really should be using whatever gifts or ‘platforms/stages’ to spread GODs word.

  • Kind of off topic; but I was wondering if anyone could give me the link to the first few blogs posts that were posted on this blog back when The Rebelution first started?

    Thanks
    Blessings
    Alesia

  • Suzie Brush

    I was not a football fan but when I heard the story of Tim Tebow and being home school parent…I pray for Tim every day, and use him as an example for my kids.. Is so amazing to see true Christians out in the world.. My son is going to Colorado State next year and I told him to be a the light of this world as we are commanded and be sure that whatever you do GOD is King and you do everything un to Him!! I will be cheering for Tim Tebow next year and ofcoarse my son’s college team also :)
    May our amazing GOD use Tim and my son and all those true Christian college kids for His glory!!!!
    Suzie

  • Brianna

    I read in article over the summer about Tim Tebow using a good portion of his summer to work on the missions field with his parents. I had never heard of him until that time and I was definitely impressed. I pray that God would continue to strengthen and encourage Tim in his faith. It is such an awesome thing to see athletes genuinely living for the Lord.

    God Bless,
    Brianna

  • Crazy Drew

    I’ve always liked Tim Tebow, even before I knew he was a Christian, which I just found out last year. He has such a great testimony of faith on and off the field. I mean look at his eye black. It has Phil. 4:13 on it- ” I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” And He does mission work? thats awesome. I went on a missions trip a couple of weeks ago. It was one of the most fun, God-honoring,and eye-opening experiences of my life. Thank God that in a world with players such as Terrell Owens, Michael Vick, Chad Johnson, and Adam “Pacman” Jones, we still Have a great example in Tim Tebow, who gives the glory to the right place.

    God Bless!,
    Drew

  • I’m a sold out Gator fan from Florida. Thanks for featuring Tebow on your blog and sharing his story with more people.

  • Tim Tebow is quite a Rebelutionary! Even though I’m a big Alabama fan girl, when the Florida football team beat Alabama and had a for-sure chance of getting into the National Championship (which they ended up winning) I was still happy since he’s such an inspiration to so many people, it’s really cool.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Kf16qExpZQ < Here’s a video clip of him accepting the Heisman Trophy. Really amazing story.

    His whole life story is really interesting, thanks for highlighting him! He’s going to be really great in the NFL one day, and it’ll be so nice to see some more Christian athletes take the field because of Tim Tebow’s example, too.

  • Ryan

    I absolutely love when God is glorified. There is nothing better than him being the center of attention.

  • Marshall J

    Alesia: I was thinking the same thing. Maybe just spend a few minutes clicking the “previous post” button at the bottom of the page (?)

  • Marshall J
  • Marshall J

    I can’t believe it!!!! I made the first comment of the first blog post of the Rebelution!!!!!!! Sorry Alesia… 😀

  • Emily R.

    This was really cool for me to see. When I saw the title, I immediately thought of my friend who wants to be a pro football player and a pastor. I sent him a copy of the article, and I’m hoping that it really encourages him to be whatever God wants him to be. Thanks for the post!

  • Nathan

    real cccooolll, he is an inspiration to many young athletes like me who love sports but play at a tough, rough, public school, with some pretty messed up kids, who need
    God, Thanks a bunch guys

  • Rebecca

    Cool post!!!!! I’ve never heard of him but from reading the post he’s a great example!!!! May God bless him and his family, and that he would also continue to touch thousands of lives!!!! 😀

  • Marshall J:
    Thanks! =)

    God Bless
    Alesia

  • Brandon

    Sorry to burst your bubble marshall, but it looks like that was the 8th post

  • Brandon:
    haha, it’s ok, I was able to get to the very first post through that one =)

    Blessings
    Alesia

  • Nathan

    Hey Camille E. are you the same Camille from the Switchfoot discussion, could you check out the abortion debate, I’m stuck and don’t know what to say, if anyone reads what I said near the end, do you agree or disagree, did I overstep my bounds, was I really hipocritical?

  • Yes, it’s the same old me! I’d love to check out what to said, but I’m not allowed to “blog surf”…is the post on the Rebelution? Could you give me the link so I can see if I can get on it or not? Thanks!

  • Nathan

    yup, it’s on the rebelution, just a ways back, before “are you doing to much” I think. Thanks for asking

  • Ok, cool…could you comment me the link?

  • Nathan

    It’s a blog post, on the previous page, in between “doing to much” and “don’t let them despise you”, I ‘m not quite sure what you mean by link, but it’s in the blog area posted like june 11 or something like that

  • Hannah

    I am very familiar with the QB Tim Tebow, being a Florida Gator fan, but the off-field Tim Tebow has made such an impact that the QB seems very small. But it is great that he is showing a witness on, and off the field. The “perfect” Rebelutionary, because he is certainly doing “the hard things”.

  • Nathan: never mind about the link. I didn’t get to read all 149 comments, but when I found out who you were addressing, I went back and read a few of their comments. First off, all this is my opinion, so I might be wrong! You were NOT hypocritical. It sounded like they were disagreeing (which is fine in itself) but being very disrespectful and short-tempered in how they presented it. Your reaction WAS strong, but I don’t think it was wrong. But the fact that I didn’t see you comment anywhere else on the debate makes me think that you could have started out a little different. You were a “newcomer” to their conversation. If you were saying what you said in love (and even correction to a certain level) then I think you were fine, but if you were just getting frustrated and “blew up” and said what you did* then I think it was right for you to apologize for the way you said what you did. *I’m referring to the comment that was in capital letters. Gotta go now, hope that helped, I didn’t really have time to think about it that much, but I tried!

  • Clarissa

    I was so happy when I got my copy of SI and found the story of Tim Tebow. It is amazing that they put it in SI and I love them for it. Go Gators! and I love the blog.

  • Marshall J

    I know this is off topic but… if thats not the first blog post where is the link to the first one?

  • Marshall:

    I was able to get the link to The Rebelution blog they had BEFORE this one was created, you can find it here http://www.therebelution.com/2005/09/this-blog-is-different-in-special-way.html =)

    Blessings
    Alesia

  • Marshall J

    Thanks 😀

  • Anastasia S.

    It is really neat to hear about atheletes not only standing for their faith, but actually proclaiming it. There’s just one thing about Tim’s story that bothers me: why he went into a sport that was played on the Lord’s Day?

  • Lauren

    I can second everything that’s already been said…it is so GOOD, in this day and age of “so-called celebrity Christians”, to see a real, genuine person of faith.

    And to Anastasia: Probably because not every Christian believes that the sabbath is required to be kept, per Romans 14 and Colossians 2:16, for example.

  • Bethany Quinn

    This is totally awesome!!! Tim Tebow is more awesome than i gave hime credit for!! But, my Wolverines did beat his Gators..anyways that is just awesome to hear that God is using him as a pro athlete. It is really encouraging to me especially since i am an athlete and in my wildest dream want to go pro..God works in amazing ways..It justs makes me have a really big smile 😀

  • Phillip K.

    @ Anastasia: I echo Lauren except that I think it could have more to do with what people think it means to keep the Sabbath rather than whether it should be kept or not.

    @ Joel: I saw the John 3:16 in the championship game. It’s really cool that it caused people to look it up because that verse is possibly the best single verse summary of Christianity.

    @ Brandon: Josh Hamilton really is a great story. It’s even more powerful because the transformation that finding Christ caused is so obvious for him.

    Another guy who I’d like to mention that is in this high profile Christian athletes group is Albert Pujols. (A first-basemen for the St. Louis Cardinals and probably the best hitter in baseball for those of you who don’t follow baseball.) Every article I read about him makes me praise God because he is so humble (in a non-false humility way) and he is not shy about professing his faith in Christ and talking about living for God’s glory. And it’s so constant and backed up that you can tell that it’s not superficial.

    Tebow, Hamilton, and Pujols are guys that exemplify how to honor God and make a difference for him with their fame. God also uses them to inspire Christians in various situations to take advantage of the opportunities that God gives us.

    Just some of my thoughts.

    In Christ,
    Phillip

  • Nathan

    thanks Camille for your help and support. You know what your doing, and I’m glad your there, Thanks
    In Christ
    Nathan

  • Roger Sisk

    Go Tim!! Keep it up!

  • Hayley Drew

    This is cool. I’ve known about Tim Tebow since he first got to Florida. He is a great role model. My family are big Georgia football fans and Florida is one of Georgia’s big rivals. So, I hear alot about him. I always joke with my parents “Why didn’t he go to Georgia??” so that I didn’t have to cheer against him. Oh well… Haha.

    I dont know if anyone else has said this yet, I didn’t read everything posted on here. But, another way to pray for Tim Tebow is to pray for his time spent with God. I know he’s a very busy guy. He’s always on the go, always doing stuff. It’s good stuff – what he’s busy doing, but I pray that he still has personal one-on-one with God. That is very important.

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  • Elinor Griffin

    Thanks so much for posting this article! Tim Tebow is my favorite athlete for various reasons, the most important being the fact that he is a Christian and is not afraid to tell about it. I agree that Tebow needs our prayers. Having the large platform that he does, I would imagine there are a lot of trials and temptations.

  • Jessica

    That’s so AWESOME!!! Tim Tebow has clearly seen how to use his “fame” to influence people and that is incredible!! If every sports person (who was a Christian) used his/her influence like Tebow there would be alot of lives changed..

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