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
Instead of lobbing another softball question, the reporter fires a
bullet right at Lynns 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
Lynn, a popular Bronco, lives out his faith by winning converts with
few words and by being friends with everybody on the team.
"Its kind of like a good salesperson," he explains.
"If you listen to a person when theyre 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 teams starting fullback. Lynn, the third-string fullback, says
he has learned a great deal from Schlereth, Griffith, and other mature Christians on the
"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 theyre welcome.
Its not like its a little clique or anything.
"Its very uplifting for me and it keeps me humble. Sometimes
when youre winning like were 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 youre 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. "Im 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
"Oh yeah," Lynn responds. "Im in there,
sweetheart. How about you?"