While the NFL may have kicked off the 2017 regular season in political turmoil and weekly kneeling headcounts, we’re seeing a different movement evolve on this back end, and it’s putting Jesus front and center.
Earlier this week, Faithit shared a story about how the Faith of the Philadelphia Eagles is inspiring millions. But Carson Wentz isn’t the only NFL player to be spearheading a faith movement.
Washington Redskins star cornerback, Josh Norman, took out a full-page ad in a South Carolina newspaper last week because he felt like God told him to.
The Greenwood, South Carolina, native placed an ad asking for all of the local churches in his hometown to send him a letter stating “the concerns of the church and the needs of the youth.”
Norman says that the stewardship and service of the county’s churches have not gone unnoticed, and he felt strongly that the Lord has called him to bless them.
“This season, God has laid it on my heart as a servant of the crown to reach out and touch every church in Greenwood, S.C., with my tithes and offering of love and peace. It is my wish that everyone in your place of worship be touched by this blessing that I’ve been blessed by and now giving unto you.”
“I can’t fulfill the entire list,” he continues, “but I am going to do my very best with what God has blessed me with to uphold the needs and the standards of your church.”
Norman included an address at the Redskins headquarters in Virginia for all of the letters to be sent to with a deadline of December 12.
“I will read through each one and get back to you all respectfully. I truly thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being that beacon of hope to look up to and strive for greatness in your teachings and vessels on earth to reach our Father who is in heaven.”
His letter to the church almost reads like something of Paul in the New Testament. So it only seems fitting that he closes by quoting Paul himself: “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (Romans 12:13).
After garnering widespread attention for his selfless act, Norman has deflected all credit for his generous gesture, insisting he was simply being obedient to the Holy Spirit.
“I just followed instructions in what I was asked to do. I don’t think it was anything I went out and sought. It was something the Lord told me to do,” Norman said.
In his 5 ½-year career with the NFL, Norman has been known for his philanthropy and random acts of kindness, often giving away his game cleats to kids and veterans. In September, he donated $100,000 to relief efforts in Puerto Rico and is leading an effort to raise $250,000 for rebuilding its Boys and Girls Club.
“This is all about them, and a gift to them to keep everything going and maximize what they have. Those kids are our next generation and we need to teach them the right things to do not only to be a good citizen, but a strong believer in Christ. What you do for others, once you check out, it echoes in eternity,” Norman said. “So it’s going to be pretty awesome to touch every church in a way that’s unique.”
It’s generosity and faith in action like that of Josh Norman that the NFL should be covering this season. Share it with your friends today, and let’s shift the conversation from the league’s turmoil to the many ways God is at work in the NFL.