January 31 was a very early morning for Sheila and I, since we needed to be 45 minutes away from home at the JW Marriott in Phoenix at 5am. We were there to help set up for the NFL sanctioned breakfast which is hosted by Athletes In Action, one of Cru’s ministries. We thought it would be a novel experience to be around sports figures we didn’t recognize or know about, at an event about which sports fans would envy us. Another motivating factor was the opportunity to help with an event that has the potential to help change people’s lives for eternity – and to get free breakfast. We helped distribute programs and follow-up materials to the tables and then manned the doors to take tickets and keep out would-be crashers.
You have probably already heard that Peyton Manning was awarded the Bart Starr Award at the breakfast this year. The other speakers included Tony Dungy, Bart Starr, Jr., Drew Brees, Benjamin Watson, Steve Largent, Brent Jones, and Troy Vincent. Benjamin Watson of the New Orleans Saints has a gift for speaking/preaching, and he gave an excellent gospel message. In fact, 39 people indicated decisions that morning, 76 wanted more information about a personal relationship with God, and 56 indicated interest in being in a small group Bible study.
Here are a few of the comments afterwards:
“What an outstanding job you and the whole team did with this program. It was my first experience with the Super Bowl Breakfast, and I was blown away! I thought the gospel presentation by Benjamin Watson was one of the best I had ever heard – is he a pastor? If not, he should be – and I’m not easily impressed. I’ve been a believer in Jesus for 40 years and heard thousands of gospel presentations – his testimony was truly inspirational.”
“I accepted Jesus when I was in High School but have needed something to pull me back to Him. I now fully understand why I was randomly offered this opportunity to come today.”