The climax of the CFL season is just around the corner, as teams battle their way through the playoffs in hopes of heading to the 103rd Grey Cup in Winnipeg.
These showdowns will also determine who will speak at the 37th annual Grey Cup Breakfast.
Players from each of the two teams competing in the Grey Cup will appear at the Grey Cup Breakfast, one of the marquee events of Athletes in Action’ professional sports ministry. Along with other current and retired CFL stars, coaches, and their wives, these players will share with hundreds of football fans about how their faith has impacted their lives.
“The Breakfast is a great way to learn about how players have clung to God through their football careers,” says Keith Shologan, defensive tackle for the Ottawa REDBLACKS, who has been to four of the events. “He’s been there through trials and tribulations and you can see how God affects lives.”
Beyond the Grey Cup Breakfast itself, Athletes in Action is active during the festival week leading up to the Grey Cup. Each year they partner with organizations local to the host city to send CFL stars to share their stories of faith and perseverance to different groups of people.
Last year, with the Grey Cup in Vancouver, Shologan was invited to do prison outreach throughout the lower mainland of British Columbia. He shared his personal testimony but found that the prisoners he was sharing with had a major impact on him as well.
“We were there for four or five days and we visited seven or eight prisons,” Shologan recalls. “It was an awesome experience. I learned so much about the grace of God.”
“It wasn’t so much what we had to say,” he continues. “Like, they enjoyed having us there and they enjoyed talking to football players and hearing our stories, but the biggest thing was that you could tell that the grace of God was there.”
“It showed how you can touch people with the good news of Christ,” he says. “These are guys that have been through some bad things. They need forgiveness just like every single one of us and you can see it in their faces: repentance.”
“These guys understood what Christ did for them. You could tell how they had repented and know they need Christ, they just have to cling to it. It’s eye-opening.”
For Shologan, doing this type of outreach with Athletes in Action is a natural response to everything that they do for him and other athletes.
“Being a part of AIA is like our church in a lot of ways,” he says, “During the football season when you’re away from your home and from what you’re used to, it becomes your family. It keeps you grounded and keeps you focused on Christ and what’s really important in our lives. It gives us a brotherhood of guys who are believers.”
The 2015 Grey Cup Breakfast is coming up on November 28th in Winnipeg and is a fantastic opportunity for evangelism. Get your tickets today and invite your football-loving friends!
If you’re unable to make it to the event, please be in prayer for the chaplains of all the teams in the CFL and for the players who will get the chance to speak at the Grey Cup Breakfast and at outreach events in the week leading up to it.