Home Children's Ministry Leaders NFL Star Quits to Play for God’s Team: 3 Lessons for Families

NFL Star Quits to Play for God’s Team: 3 Lessons for Families

khari willis

You might have missed this story from last week, but there are some great lessons in it for families…Khari Willis leaves the NFL to enter the Gospel ministry, potentially leaving millions of dollars on the table. Khari was a starting safety for the Indianapolis Colts who unexpectedly announced his retirement this past week.

“I have elected to officially retire from the NFL as I endeavor to devote the remainder of my life to the further advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ… I am both humbled and excited to pursue the holy call that God has for my life which brings me much joy and purpose,” said Khari.

Here are three life-lessons worth discussing with your kids about his decision.

There Is Something Far More Important Than SPORTS.

We live in a culture that is saturated with prioritizing sports, and especially for children. Parents often make massive investments of time and money in their child’s sports success. I am not against kids sports, as my children have participated in many themselves. However, when what is good becomes the enemy of what is best in the lives of our children, we must be on guard against the enemy’s attacks. Here is a helpful article I shared this past week on this topic.

Someone once wisely said, “There is a .0296% chance your child will become a professional athlete. There is a 100% chance your child will stand before Jesus.”

Jesus himself said, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul.” (Mark 8:35-36)

There Is Something Far More Important Than MONEY.

Khari Willis was making $850,000 in his rookie season, and was expected to be offered millions at the end of this coming season. However, there was something of more value to him than any amount of money. What could possibly be of such great importance that he’d give up “the dream life” that many would do just about anything in order to gain? What would a rising star in the NFL who is on track to make millions give it all up for?

One thing – the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven… For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

There Is Something Far More Important Than FAME.

What value is there for all of earth to know one’s name if that name is never known by heaven? Khari is a great example of someone who was willing prioritize what matters most – to give up an earthly crown for a heavenly one and temporary fame for eternal gain. Few people are willing to make such a sacrifice.