By Chris Roberts and Chase Allcott, Christ In Youth‘s senior director of customer service
In the weeks and months before and after this year’s Super Bowl, there was a lot of chatter about the faith of quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson. While Manning’s faith is something he holds close and keeps relatively quiet, Wilson has become someone who is outspoken about his beliefs. Following his team’s win at Super Bowl 48, Wilson credited his athletic performance and victory to God in several post-game interviews.
This isn’t the first time a public figure has used his or her platform to profess faith, nor will it be the last. But when those moments happen, they serve as perfect teachable moments for our students and the importance of attaching real-world heroes to Christ.
Adam LaRoche is another athlete – he plays Major League Baseball for the Washington Nationals – who uses his fame to point others to Jesus. Recently CIY had the chance to interview LaRoche and create a video to share with students around the country during its summer MOVE and MIX events.
According to Chase Allcott, senior director of customer development at CIY, LaRoche is one of those rare individuals who is genuine and the kind of man that he would point any student to as an example of a Kingdom worker.
“It doesn’t matter what level you’re at in life, you can use your gifts, talents and abilities for the Kingdom,” Allcott said. “We all have our circles of influence. To me, Adam is a guy who kids can look up to and see someone who strives to be the best in his field so that he can be the best Kingdom worker. His words are powerful to students because of the platform that he has, and he’s not afraid to use those words to point to Christ. He’s not afraid to tell people about Jesus. It’s incredible – he tells people about Jesus on a daily basis.”
Allcott said that when students see Kingdom workers such as LaRoche and hear their stories, it inspires them to live lives in similar ways – outwardly, outspoken, unashamed.
Students today are surrounded by media – our culture is flooded with stories. In fact, considering how accessible the rest of the world is and the multitude of stories from all over the globe, it’s easy to understand how today’s young generation could consider themselves and their stories as insignificant.
Allcott said it’s for that reason that it’s so important to establish icons in the faith journey of your students. When they see people take a chance and use their influence for Christ, and when they listen to the nudge of the Holy Spirit, they realize that they, too, can do something for the Kingdom.
CIY will be showing videos of LaRoche, as well as fellow MLB stars Matt Holiday and Adam Wainwright, at this summer’s Sr. high MOVE and Jr. high MIX conferences. LaRoche’s video can also be seen online at www.ciy.com/move/about/kingdom-workers.