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Former NFL Coach Joe Gibbs Shares the Gospel at CIU

March 30, 2011

NFL Super Bowl Coach and NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs says life is like a game – the biggest game of all – and you want to be on the winning side.

That was Gibbs’ message to nearly 500 people at a lunch in the Moore Fitness Center on the campus of Columbia International University March 29.   And Gibbs knows something about winning.  Gibbs led the NFL’s Washington Redskins to three Super Bowl Championships, and as a NASCAR team owner, Gibbs has won three NASCAR Cup Series Championships. 

But Gibbs says if you want to win at the game of life, you need a good coach.  He says he got on the side of the winning coach when he gave his life to Christ at age nine.  He says it was the most important decision of his life – deciding whether he was “an accident” of evolution as explained to him in school, or created by God, as taught him by his family and pastor.    

“A loving God – He made this world, he knit me together in my mother’s womb, He made me special and different, and wanted me to have a personal relationship with Him,” Gibbs explained.

Gibbs shared some of the victories and defeats in his sports career and family life.  He admitted that some of the defeats were brought on by not following the Bible, including problems with diabetes and near bankruptcy. But he said no mess is too big for God.

“I don’t care what your mess is, it can be a relationship, it can be an addiction, it can be finances,” Gibbs said.  “Nothing is too big for God, if we’re on God’s team.” 

As Gibbs compared life to a football game, he cautioned that God says there are only two teams in life. 

“You either play with Him forever, or you play against Him forever,” Gibbs said.  “OK, think about that.  He made us with a soul that will live forever.”

He admitted that it takes courage to stand for Christ.  But he said Christ also demonstrated courage. 

“Think about this.  Crucified on a cross.  That takes courage.  That’s what Christ did,” Gibbs said.  “For you and for me.” 

The lunch was a benefit for the ministry "With Open Eyes," a group that meets the needs of the Church in Africa. 

In the morning, Gibbs spoke to South Carolina prison inmates who are housed just across the Broad River from CIU.

The event garnered local and nationwide media coverage.  Check it out at:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6270527&campaign=rss&source=NFLHeadlines

http://www.thestate.com/2011/03/30/1756330/gibbs-spreads-message-throughout.html

http://www.midlandsconnect.com/news/story.aspx?id=598674

Photos of the event can be viewed on the CIU Flickr site:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/ciuimpact/sets/72157626366920845/