Superbowl Veteran is Going to Disney Heaven

by Shane Johnson

Anthony Lynn was being
serenaded by reporters after
a particularly impressive
performance in a bowl game.
Up walks a man with a notepad to interview the Texas Tech
running back.

Instead of lobbing another softball question, the reporter fires a bullet right at Lynn’s heart. "On a scale of 1 to 10, if you died today would you go to heaven?" asks David Kesey of Athletes in Action.

The football player gives himself a 7 or an 8. "Not good enough," Kesey responds. "You need to be a 10."

Lynn became a Christian at age 7, and then confirmed his salvation when he was 14 at an FCA Camp. The question now asked by Kesey stunned him and made him doubt his faith. Why did he lack confidence in his salvation?

The answer was easy: Lynn had never been discipled and Kesey was challenging him. Once the football player expressed a desire, Kesey arranged discipleship meetings every Thursday for three hours at a time. Lynn ate it up. "That was the turning point of my life," he says.

Now a special teams fixture with the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, Lynn has become the discipler. The talented Texan has no problem speaking to teenagers about highly important spiritual matters. In fact, he is now the one who fires the hard questions and throws down the tough challenges.

"Keep this group real," Lynn tells an FCA gathering of 150 in Cheyenne, Wyo. "Never make this group a goody-two-shoes group, keep it open to the unbelievers."

Lynn, a popular Bronco, lives out his faith by winning converts with few words and by being friends with everybody on the team.

"It’s kind of like a good salesperson," he explains. "If you listen to a person when they’re talking to you, you learn when to give your little pitch. Most of the time, however, I let the guys come to me."

Lynn enjoys participating in a team Bible study that takes place Monday nights at the home of Mark Schlereth, a guard for the Broncos. Another participant is Howard Griffith, the team’s starting fullback. Lynn, the third-string fullback, says he has learned a great deal from Schlereth, Griffith, and other mature Christians on the team.

"Guys in the locker room know that the study is open to anybody," Lynn says. "If they want to get together and have a good time, pray, talk about life issues and study the Word a little bit, they know they’re welcome. It’s not like it’s a little clique or anything.

"It’s very uplifting for me and it keeps me humble. Sometimes when you’re winning like we’re winning you tend to get away from the Lord, but every Monday, whether we win or lose, it helps bring you back down to earth and lets you know that you’re here for a higher calling than just playing football."

Lynn is obviously comfortable speaking before a crowd. In a bonfire setting with the Cheyenne FCA group, he throws the discussion wide open for questions. Some of them are tough, but he answers them all directly.

Every fourth question seems to be worded like this: "Can I see your Super Bowl ring?" Lynn graciously obliges, pausing to have a little fun with the crowd. "I’m afraid to pass it around in the dark," he says. Eventually, though, it travels the full circle as he continues to interact with the teens.

Questions come from every direction. A particularly clever girl decides to ask one that Lynn has certainly heard before.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, if you were to die today would you go to heaven?"

"Oh yeah," Lynn responds. "I’m in there, sweetheart. How about you?"