Summary: What does it take to be a champion on God’s team? Compares crown of Rightwousness to championship ring. Student Ministry PowerPoint format

[Becoming a Champion]

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)

This Material was originally presented to a high school audience in PowerPoint format. If you have any questions or would like a copy of the original PowerPoint (less the video clips, which are too large for email), send me an email at

[Becoming a Champion]

Slide Graphic – pictures of “Touchdown Jesus” mural on Notre Dame’s library.

Slide Text –

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)

This is the last week of the series where we are looking at football as a metaphor of Christianity. I hope this hasn’t come off as treating lightly the spiritual battle raging around us.

I think of this series like Paul saying that, when we are in Rome, we should adapt our message to the Romans. That doesn’t mean the message changes – it just means that we use the things that are relevant to the culture around us to show people the Truth. God’s message is as real today as it was 2000 years ago, we just have to show that to people.

First century fishing is not relevant to people’s lives today like it was when Jesus used fishing as a metaphor for life. Today, people understand football. There are a lot of ways that football can be used to show the Truths of Christ. People see this – they understand this. This world could use a little more football Jesus.

At Notre Dame, a artists were commissioned to design the mural that was to cover the outside wall of the new campus library. Many artists were considered, and their proposals sent to the approval committee. What the committee didn’t realize was that they were being duped. The picture was carefully crafted so that, when viewed from the nearby Notre Dame stadium, only the top of the mural showing Christ with hands raised was visible, just over the home team end-zone. This mural is now known as “Touchdown Jesus”. I like that. I serve Touchdown Jesus.

• How being part of a football team with a common goal is like being one of Christ’s followers (week 1)

• I thought about how playing your unique position on a football team is similar to serving the unique mission God gifted you for (week 2)

• I thought about how the special equipment you need – helmet, shoulder pads, cleats, etc. – is like the armor of God (week 3)

• And I thought about how being dedicated and giving your all to win a championship ring is like living a life sold out to God and receiving a crown of glory (week 4)

Paul told the people of the Church at Philippi that he was living his life in pursuit of a prize. A prize that Christ had called him to. Paul wanted to be a champion for Christ.

Today we are talking about what it takes to be a champion for Christ. To reach the end of your life and see Jesus himself in the end-zone, throwing up his hands. Touchdown Jesus.


Slide Video – trailer for movie “Invincible”

This is the trailer for the movie “Invincible” – a true story about a time when the Philadelphia Eagles held open tryouts and offered anyone who showed up a chance to earn a position on an NFL football team.

Hundreds of men showed up. Every one of them wanted desperately to make the team. Each one gave the best performance they could. Only one made the team – a 30 year old part-time schoolteacher named Vince Popale.

How come he made it when all the rest didn’t? Every one of those men wanted desperately to make the team. Every one of them gave it all they had. Why did only Vince make it?

We’ve been comparing being part of a football team to being a Christian. All of you have received an open invitation. I would like to think that all of you have accepted the invitation and are in line, trying out for a special place on the team. Each of you really want to have what it takes – you want to be selected by God for an important mission. You want to make a difference. You want your life to count. You are willing to give it all you have. That line of people in the trailer – that’s us! God has declared open tryouts. All you have to do is show up and say you want to be part of the team. How come some of us, most of us, don’t seem to measure up? We accepted the invitation. We are Christians, but we aren’t one of those champions on the team. We settle for sitting in the bleachers and watching them from a distance, cheering them on and wishing we had what it takes to play on that field.

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