Saying it’s “long past time for a Christian revival” in America, Tony Dungy and Benjamin Watson are calling on believers to read through the Bible, pray more, and return to their home churches in 2021.
Dungy, a former NFL coach and a current football analyst on NBC, and Watson, a former NFL player and a current speaker and parenthood advocate, co-wrote a column in Sports Spectrum that urges the American church to “clean up our doorstep” in order to “witness to non-believers.”
“Too many churches are afraid of having challenging discussions and reluctant to point to Biblical truth out of fear of pushback from secular culture,” they lament. “Others would prefer people in the seats and money in giving baskets, so they refrain from doing anything that would offend or challenge. Some pastors, who are doing everything they can to keep their churches thriving, spend far more time building platforms on Instagram than saving souls.
“... If we live like the world, why should non-Christians listen to us, and more importantly, to God?” they asked.
Dungy and Watson issue five challenges for Christians:
- Read the entire Bible in 2021.
“While such an undertaking may seem daunting, it’s not. It equates to about 15 minutes a day,” they write. “There are online reading plans and even resources like The One Year Bible to help with this blessing – and it is a blessing, not a task. Encourage others to join you. We even have an option for you to engage with the Bible and a journal to equip yourself in reading the Bible available at TheIncrease.com/Bible. How can we expect to share God’s Word passionately and accurately if we Christians are not Bible-literate?”
“Pray for our pastors, teachers, politicians, family, and friends. Many of us tell one another that we will pray for them, but do we do it? Instead of telling someone that you will pray for him or her, say, ‘I am going to stop now and pray WITH you.’ Then, stop, and pray.”
“Repentance is a word we have lost sight of, but it means to turn away from the direction we have been headed. Repentance not only applies to salvation but everyday life. If 2020 has exposed worry, jealousy, racism, pride, greed, or anger in our hearts, we must repent before we can expect to share God’s Word passionately and accurately.”
- Return to church, whether it is in-person or virtual.
“The relationships built in our local churches are critical for our personal growth and the church’s growth as a whole.”
- Give tithes and offerings.
“The Bible requires Christians to give to the Church. We can debate whether tithing is Old Covenant or New Covenant, but we all know God calls us to give, and give generously,” they write. “Tithing is challenging, especially during uncertain times, but our churches are in dire need to survive. If you are in a position to dig deeper, now is the time to do so.”
Dungy and Watson are co-hosting a faith-based, football-themed “Football Sunday” streaming special in February. Often, churches use it in conjunction with Super Bowl Sunday.
“We don’t know what the future holds, but God called us to follow Him,” they conclude in their column. “It’s long past time for a Christian revival in this country, and following the steps above is a call to action that will impact our country in ways that we can’t even imagine.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Robin Marchant/Stringer, ©Getty Images/Scott Halleran/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.