Top Christian Athletes Who Are Not Ashamed To Proclaim The Gospel Of Jesus Christ (2023)

We give praise to God for the people He has blessed and put into places where His name is glorified and heard by millions across the planet, through their actions and words.

Top Christian Athletes Who Are Not Ashamed To Proclaim The Gospel Of Jesus Christ (1)

The sports industry is one such place where Christian men and women have been used by the Lord to spread the Gospel and point others to Jesus Christ who was sent to redeem us from our sins through His death and resurrection.

Here we provide a list of those men and women, who are not only admired for their physical feats and prowess on the field in their respective sports but also for their exemplary lives as followers and believers of Christ on and off the field.

1. Israel Folau

Top Christian Athletes Who Are Not Ashamed To Proclaim The Gospel Of Jesus Christ (2)

Israel Folau is an Australian professional rugby union footballer who plays for the Shining Arcs in the Japan Rugby League One and the Tonga national rugby union team. In 2019, he became the record holder for most tries scored in Super Rugby history.

In April 2018, when a follower of his Instagram account asked him what God’s “plan for homosexuals” was, Folau replied: “Hell.. unless they repent of their sins and turn to God.”

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Folau’s statements about what he understands the Bible to say about same-sex marriage and homosexuality brought him into conflict with the administrators of Rugby Australia. Following his stand against the issue of homosexuality, Rugby Australia terminated his contract in 2019.

Also, In 2019, Folau, posted a screenshot, on his Twitter handle, of the news headline that read: “Tasmania becomes first Australian jurisdiction to make gender optional on birth certificates”. He then tweeted: ‘The devil has blinded so many people in this world. Repent and turn away from your evil ways. Turn to Jesus Christ who will set you free”.

“Faith in Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of every single thing in my life” and “I believe that it is a loving gesture to share passages from the Bible with others. I do it all the time when people ask me questions about my faith or things relating to their lives, whether that’s in-person or on my social media accounts”, he has been recorded saying.

2. Tim Tebow

Top Christian Athletes Who Are Not Ashamed To Proclaim The Gospel Of Jesus Christ (3)

Known for his many accolades on the field, such as winning the prestigious Heisman Trophy, his efforts to protect vulnerable children, and many charitable works. Tim Tebow has become known worldwide not only for his achievements as a former NFL and MLB athlete but as an important Christian celebrity today.

Tim is also a speaker and has been a great source of inspiration for many through his powerful talks, where he has frequently shared his background as a missionary child in the Philippines where he saw great poverty and learn the importance of giving back to others with what God has blessed us and leading them to Christ. His message is that everyone is special and we have a mission from God to complete while we are on earth and as long as we have the breath God has given to us, we must strive for the Lord.

“Being outspoken about my faith isn’t just something that I do; it’s who I am because my faith isn’t just a little piece of my life. It is my life. It’s not a question of whether I’m outspoken about it or not. I’m definitely not ashamed of it, ” Tim said.

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3. Sydney McLaughlin

Top Christian Athletes Who Are Not Ashamed To Proclaim The Gospel Of Jesus Christ (4)

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone is an American hurdler and sprinter who competes in the 400 meters hurdles and is the 2020 Tokyo Olympic champion with the Games record, and 2022 World champion with a world record time of 50.68 seconds.

When she entered to compete in the 2020 Olympics, McLaughlin revealed that her goal was to glorify God, win or lose. “I didn’t know what was gonna happen in the race, but I knew where my intentions were,” she recounted. “Regardless of what happens, whether you win or lose, they’re going to ask you about it. And you’re going to say the reality: ‘God gave me the opportunity to be here, and I’m really grateful for that and all the glory is for Him, regardless of what happens, ” she openly declared.

Mclaughlin said that she grew up in a Christian household. and always knew that God existed and that God definitely played a big role in her life, but there was no personal relationship with Him. It was only during the onset of the pandemic that she truly began to seek God, having gone through personal setbacks and bouts of depression after straying away from the righteous path.

“I found a lot of comfort and peace as I started to watch sermons, started to read the Bible, things I didn’t normally do on a daily basis,” she said. Through the help of others and her fiance, she began to understand the Bible more and was able to grow in the word of God.

She proclaims, “I’m a child of God, and the track is not who I am, it’s just what I do. It’s the opportunity He’s given me to bring all of the glory back to Him. Ultimately, the lessons that He’s taught me through it, I can now use as my testimony.”

4. Darrell Green

Top Christian Athletes Who Are Not Ashamed To Proclaim The Gospel Of Jesus Christ (5)

Considered as one of the best defensive backs in the history of the NFL. Darrell had a lustrous twenty-year career in NFL and is a 2 time Super Bowl Champion. He’s also one of the fastest players and won the NFL’s fastest-man competition 4 times.

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He first heard about Jesus in 1978 when one of his trainers, Doug Taft, invited him to a Bible study. Looking back on his early Christian life, Darrell said that he really did not know the principles that he was supposed to live by. So he made a strong commitment and declared to himself, “Lord, I’m going to follow you.”

The NFL veteran and Pro Football Hall of Famer says that all of the attention that he received from winning those championships and personal accolades he used to give glory to Jesus Christ.

“Jesus Christ is everything. I like to identify with him, I like to be, you know, they say that the, the first uh, in Acts, it talked about they were called Christians. They didn’t call themselves Christians, they didn’t say I’m a Christian. People said man, you’re—you’re—you’re like that guy, yeah, you’re a Christian, you’re Christ like. Just like when people see us, our family, they say you’re a Green. I like—I like when people, not so much to remember, but to see that I look like Jesus. And my actions look like Jesus’ actions. Probably don’t see it, but I hope they do in time. Uh, that would be my goal.”

At present, Green and his wife Jewel run a faith-based foundation that works to empower children, and his own grown children (one of whom is a pastor) are also centering their lives on their relationships with Jesus.

5. Kurt Warner

Top Christian Athletes Who Are Not Ashamed To Proclaim The Gospel Of Jesus Christ (6)

Kurt Warner is a former football quarterback who played in the NFL for twelve seasons, primarily with the St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals. He won two-time Most Valuable Player and Super Bowl MVP. His 12-year NFL career has been regarded as one of the greatest Cinderella stories in NFL history.

Nobody, even himself, ever thought that a young man who was working in a grocery store and waiting for years to be drafted, would one day go on to win championships, break and make records, and be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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Kurt shared that although he grew up in Church, he never experienced a personal relationship with Christ. That was until he met his wife Brenda who challenged him to seek Jesus and develop a personal relationship with Him.

In January of 2000 when he accepted the Super Bowl MVP trophy, Kurt shared with the entire world, his faith in the one who created him:

“First things first, I’ve got to thank my Lord and Savior up above – thank You, Jesus!”

Currently, together with his wife, he leads the First Things First Foundation to help children. His life story and faith in Jesus were the subjects of the movie, ‘American Underdog’.

We are grateful to God for using His children to open the eyes of the people to the truth. These Christian athletes are using the attention they have garnered by winning games and championships to point others toward Jesus, who is the greatest hope for humanity. Winning or losing a championship or a competition is not important but glorifying God in every circumstance is what counts. They are inspiring others to live just like that.

FAQs

How is a Christian like an athlete? ›

Similarly, every believer must live in obedience to the Scriptures. Paul writes, “An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules” (2 Tim. 2:5). Obedience to the commands of the Bible is required for everyone who runs the race of faith.

Why are athletes so religious? ›

First, athletes may identify with religious beliefs for direction and humility. Second, athletes may turn to religion to gain a sense of optimism and security, benefiting from such beliefs following a disappointing athletic performance.

What does Jesus say about sports? ›

Now risen from the dead Jesus Christ calls us to play to his glory. Romans 12:1-2 urges us to: 'Offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, this is your spiritual act of worship'. That means that sport is an area of life that can be offered to God as an act of worship.

What 3 sports are mentioned in the Bible? ›

The sports that can claim to be mentioned in the bible include wrestling, boxing and endurance running. "And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day."

Who in the Bible was an athlete? ›

Athletes in the Bible spotlights:

David. Elijah. Samson. Peter.

What God says about athletes? ›

Isaiah 40:29-31

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even the youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on the wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.

Does God care about sports? ›

God cares about winning and losing because of what it says about His glory. He cares who wins.

What is the most spiritual sport? ›

The Kodokan: Inside the world's most spiritual sport.

What does God say about football? ›

There is much in the Bible that supports the qualities needed for playing football. Many stories in the Bible tell of battles, of perseverance and of commitment. Romans 8:29 tells us God wants our character to be formed like Jesus, and football is a character building enterprise.

Is it OK for Christians to play sports? ›

> Thus, athletic competitions are opportunities to witness to Christian faith. “Christian athletes must live 'in the world' of contemporary sports, but not 'of that world,'” Kerrigan concludes. “Christian athletes can be role models of sportsmanship, fair play, discipline, and integrity.”

Which football team is mentioned in the Bible? ›

"It is often said that 'Queen of the South' is the only team mentioned in the Bible - but I can find many mentions of 'Bury' (starting in Genesis 23) and 'Reading' (Acts 8:28), and, stretching a point, 'Hearts' and 'Wolves' also get some space.

Is Tiger mentioned in the Bible? ›

In the Bible, lions and leopards are mentioned but no tigers. Furthermore, interestingly there is not one mention of a domestic cat. It is because tigers are not native to the Middle East. We can assume that none of the Hebrew speaking, Aramaic speaking, or Greek speaking authors ever saw or heard of a tiger.

Who had physical strength in the Bible? ›

Samson is one of the most intriguing figures in the Old Testament. As GotQuestions.org noted, Samson "was a man of great physical strength yet displayed great moral weakness." His life is one that shows how God can use anyone to accomplish his purposes.

What the Bible says about athletics? ›

Isaiah 40:29-31

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even the youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on the wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.

What does the Bible say about training like an athlete? ›

1 Corinthians 9:27, NLT: I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

What does Christianity say about sports? ›

Christian athletes must live 'in the world' of contemporary sports, but not 'of that world,'” Kerrigan concludes. “Christian athletes can be role models of sportsmanship, fair play, discipline, and integrity.” In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, how does the Apostle Paul deploy sports 1.

What is the relationship between sports and Christianity? ›

Athletes rely on faith to help them accomplish their goals through strong beliefs related to their athletic capabilities and skills. Athletes also make a promise to God expecting Him to help them in achieving their goals.

Who was athletic in the Bible? ›

Athletes in the Bible spotlights:

David. Elijah. Samson. Peter.

Does the Bible tell you to exercise? ›

1 Corinthians 9: 24-27 – Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.

Does God want us to exercise? ›

“Train yourself for godliness,” Paul writes, “for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:7–8).

What does Paul say about an athlete? ›

The metaphor of running a race "with perseverance" appears in Hebrews 12:1, and related metaphors appear in Philippians 2:16, Galatians 2:2, and Galatians 5:7. In 2 Timothy 4:7, Paul writes "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

What is God's Favourite sport? ›

God's Favorite Sport Is Wrestling And He always wins.

What is the first sport in the Bible? ›

The first mention of physical activity that is directly related to sports in the Bible is “running.” But “wrestling” was the first sport mentioned in the Bible.

Can Christians play sport on Sunday? ›

Answer: No they're not sinful, either to participate in or to attend as a spectator. Some may think such Sunday participation is sinful because Protestant sensibilities regarding the Lord's Day have long reigned in the United States.

How to spread the gospel in sports? ›

Practical ways to embrace sports evangelism:
  1. Invite people in the community to get involved in sports activities at your local church.
  2. If there is a competition among churches then include them in the lineup (one condition. ...
  3. Use every opportunity to teach about Christ.
Jul 5, 2022

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