Basketball Evangelization

Is anyone old enough to remember the guy that traveled from pro basketball and pro football games around the country for many years with his favorite sign: John 3:16? One thing he did was to raise awareness of that Bible verse. People around the country talked about him a lot. And most of the conversation was not very complimentary. Anyone that speaks openly about God or Jesus Christ is looked at as it’s being way outside the box. I am speaking here about conversations with friends and family members, not about giving talks at places of invite. 

I am sure you remember Saint John Paul II’s words on the “new evangelization”. I believe that he knew how much it was needed around the world. We can write all sorts of books on the subject but, are we as Catholics really evangelizing? The man at the basketball / football games was doing what he felt he was supposed to do, promote John 3:16. 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” I applaud the man who had the guts to promote his God. To promote John 3:16. He was a fool for the Lord. When I heard people talk about him he was looked upon as some kind of Jesus freak. I heard that term for the first time back in the 60’s. It was about the same time the phrase God is dead was born. Also, about the same time that Madalyn Murray singlehandedly convinced the Supreme Court that there could no longer be prayer in public schools. How is that possible?? I was in the 6th grade in 1956 and Miss Mary Ewing read Bible passages to us almost every day! It was wonderful. 

The Church gives us this time of Lent to make sacrifices and to pray more to clear our minds on the state of our spiritual lives. Pray about it. The Lord will tell you what He wishes you to do. Let’s be in eternity together!

Serving with joy! 

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Deacon Dan Schneider is a retired general manager of industrial distributors. He and his wife Vicki recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They are the parents of eight children and twenty-nine grandchildren. He has a degree in Family Life Education from Spring Arbor University. He was ordained a Permanent Deacon in 2002.  He has a passion for working with engaged and married couples and his main ministry has been preparing couples for marriage.

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