Last week, Renewanation joined with and sponsored former Indianapolis Colt, Steve Grant of Sports World Ministries for a 3-day outreach to a combined audience of 1,000 plus students, 800 of them in public schools. Thanks to our partnership with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, we were able to coordinate visits to six Roanoke Valley high schools and two Giles County high schools. We were also pleased to have Steve visit four of our local Christian schools.
Steve is a graduate of West Virginia University where he was All Big East Conference and Team Captain as a junior and senior. He received the MVP award in the Blue Gray Game and the John Russell Award for spirit and leadership. He received the Gridiron Gladiator Award in both his junior and senior years. He was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 1992 where he started on defense four of his six years. He led the Colts special teams in tackles in 1993. Steve finished his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1998. While his football career is impressive and an important part of his life, it did not take long to realize the message he was most interested in conveying to students was the importance of making positive choices.
During the three days of outreach, Steve stressed to the students, “You are not born a winner. You are not born a loser. You are born a chooser.” He made his case through illustrations and real life examples. His talk provided encouragement to make positive choices, tools for equipping them for transformation, and empowerment to succeed.
As Steve spoke, he wove in biblical principles as a basis for each point he made. He shared his personal life story giving examples of situations where his choices had a negative or positive impact. He told the students real success did not occur until he surrendered his life to Christ in 1991, just before joining the Indianapolis Colts. In the larger public school-sponsored assemblies, Steve was able to talk about his faith in Christ but wasn’t able to extend an invitation to the young people. However, in the FCA huddles, he was allowed to invite the students to accept Christ. In one of those huddles, five young men and women prayed and accepted Christ as Lord and Savior.
At the close of Steve’s speeches, students were given an opportunity to provide feedback about the program through response forms. Many shared about serious life choices or difficult situations they were struggling with. We were able to share those responses with the appropriate school and FCA personnel who in turn will take the necessary action to help the students.
At Renewanation, we are fully committed to using all available means to see 100,000 children developing a biblical worldview by the end of 2020.