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War Room Star Talks Playing on God's Team

Author and War Room actor T.C. Stallings discusses faith and how to remain a true follower of Jesus. Read Transcript


No more game-day-only athletes.

TC Stallings is calling all Christians to be in top form

every day of the week, both in season and out.

Take a look.

NARRATOR: You may remember TC Stallings' breakout performance

as Tony Jordan in the 2015 faith-based film, "War Room."

But before he found success in Hollywood as an actor,

TC was a professional athlete who

understood the importance of following the coach's game

plan.

In his latest book, "Playing on God's Team,"

TC offers 21 lessons to help build up your spiritual game

so you can play your best on a winning team.

And please welcome back to The 700 Club TC Stallings.

Hey, it's great to see you.

How you doing?

Good.

I love that walk shot where you're walking out.

Like coming out of the locker room for the game.

Yeah, that's how I felt.

Yeah.

I mean there's just something about you.

I mean, even reading your book, "Playing on God's Team,"

it just makes me want to get down and do push-ups--

TC: [LAUGHTER]

--and I did.

I did 25--

Did you?

WENDY: --push-ups this morning.

I can see it.

Yeah.

Can you see it?

You're ready to go, yeah.

All right.

Well, TC, when you played college football,

you took pride in being a Christian athlete.

Yeah.

WENDY: Everybody on campus knew you

were a good Christian athlete.

Yeah.

You even led a Bible study on campus.

Yeah.

But what was really going on with you spiritually?

Well, Jesus was my Savior but he wasn't my Lord.

And that was a lesson I ended up learning

and I hope it's a lesson everybody learned in the book.

When I accepted him, I said, man, what a belief, but he

wasn't Lord.

He didn't lead my decisions in terms of what I watched on TV

or what I did with my life or just what I thought about

and what I pursued in my life.

He wasn't Lord.

WENDY: Well, how did that change happen?

Because you were living this happy Christian life thinking

I'm cool and everybody--

Yeah.

--thinks I'm cool and then suddenly, everything changed--

Yeah.

--and the Lord revealed to you that you were a strong athlete,

for sure, but you were a weak Christian.

Yep, there it is.

I mean you go 18, 19, 20 years of believing that you got it

all together because the standard for being a Christian

is so low, but then a student comes along

who knows what God's true standard is biblically

and he just pursued me on campus and asked me to study with him.

And in doing that, I read scriptures

that say like James 2:19, like even the demons believe.

Your belief is not enough.

WENDY: Right.

You've got to be a true Christ follower.

That's what Christian means by definition.

And so me seeing these scriptures and studying

with this person--

WENDY: Right.

--and then I go try and actually pull it off now.

I'm like OK, well, I see the error of my ways

and now I want to try and be what God has really

called me to be.

So I start trying to make those changes.

What were some practical changes

you made right away that you knew,

OK, I can't bring girls back to the dorm room anymore.

Yeah.

It's just like a person who tries to like stop smoking

or starts dieting, eating a cold turkey thing.

WENDY: Yeah.

After reading all these convicting scriptures,

I started trying to get rid of everything

that I thought God didn't like from what

I've seen in the scriptures.

So I throw away all the bad music.

I throw away all the movies.

I stopped going to the parties where I was lusting

and all the other things and this is just me thinking,

I can just do this.

And it seemed like it got so much harder at that point,

more so than it was before when I was kind of lukewarm

and didn't know any better.

WENDY: You were trying to do it all.

You were trying to be this perfect--

Yeah.

--almost legalistic--

Yeah.

--like a perfect Christian.

You were like, God--

Yeah.

--I can't do this.

Yeah and the thing is it was the things that the Bible tells

you you shouldn't do but I'd just

try to do them just because I thought I had the power

to stop doing them.

I didn't know enough about the Holy Spirit and the power

that He provides.

And so after failing, I started thinking nobody really

lives this way.

There is no way.

Even the kid who came to me, I don't think he's real.

But I'm trying now.

Right.

TC: And so I was ready to give up.

But then I looked at my life as an athlete

and I saw how hard I battled as an athlete and all the strength

training, and the endurance training, and all of the things

here to be a good athlete-- do everything

my coach tells me to do.

Knew my playbook backwards and forwards.

WENDY: Yeah.

And I'm just like I read 1 Corinthians 9:24 through 27,

where Paul compares the effort of an athlete to the effort

of a Christian and just saying, do you suppose--

they do it for a crown that won't last,

but we do it for a crown that will last forever.

And me being the "they" and the "we."

I was a Christian and an athlete.

I started to compare my effort on God's team--

what being a Christian is like--

I call that "Team Jesus" and my effort for Jesus stunk.

And I just felt like in reading 1 Corinthians 9:24 through 27--

WENDY: Yeah.

I felt like he was saying, hey,

if you will give me the kind of effort

you gave your football team, then

you'll be a better player on my team.

WENDY: Wow.

And that's when I started really

kind of really digging in and seeing.

WENDY: So that's why you tell us in your book,

don't be just a game-day-only Christian.

Yeah.

Be an everyday Christian.

Yeah.

I was the guy that when I played,

I'd pound my chest and point to the sky

like every other athlete, but throughout the week

I'm not thinking about Jesus that much.

I didn't think he cared about what I did throughout the week.

WENDY: Well, you have a chapter called, "The Playbook".

TC: Yeah.

WENDY: And I love that because you

said even like in college football,

and even at the national level, they refer to the playbook

as the Bible, right?

That's right.

And if you don't know your playbook as an athlete,

you're not worth much.

Right.

Because you've got to know it in that moment.

And what is our playbook, as believers?

Yeah, our playbook is the Bible.

I talk about it in the book.

You've got to look at life as a team by definition.

There's a collection of people coming together

for a common goal.

And we as Christians know we are all

supposed to come together for the glory of God,

and to pursue our God-given purpose in life.

That makes us a team.

Jesus Christ, God and the Holy Spirit, those are our coaches.

The game we play is called life and we play every day, all day,

365 days a year.

That's our game schedule.

Our opponent is Satan.

And so all sports teams, they operate

through a playbook-- the coach calls the plays and we execute.

It's the same way with Jesus.

Our Bible--

WENDY: Right.

--is the playbook.

And that's the way that it is given to us so we can live

the life he called us to live.

So without knowing the Bible, you can't know the plays.

And so when you start thinking of it that way,

it's just like, man, that wouldn't

work in any other team.

So God's team is no different.

You've got to know your plays.

And you got to listen to your coach--

WENDY: Right.

--and stay in constant communication with him through

prayer and then you'll do well in the game of life.

Amen.

I love that analogy.

Now most people know you, TC, from your recent portrayal

of the character in "War Room," which was a fantastic movie.

So you kind of made that transition

from professional athlete to actor a few years ago.

Yeah.

And, of course, "War Room" was,

I guess, your biggest film so far.

TC: Yeah.

WENDY: Are you still reeling from that?

I mean, people are still talking.

TC: Yeah.

WENDY: I know people that have watched

that four or five times.

TC: Yeah.

WENDY: That was--

TC: I am.

You I just want to help people.

And people who ask me, why are you here?

I said, my goal is to use all my gifts and talents for His glory

and "War Room" was another platform to be able to do that.

So now I've got people in countries

all over the world who would otherwise not

care if TC Stallings knew how well they pray

or how well their lives improved.

But because they saw this film, I

get to hear these things on social media

and in emails and things like that

that, hey, that movie changed my life.

WENDY: Yeah.

TC: And that's what I live to do is inspire people or help

people.

That's all I want to do.

That's why I write, that's why I speak,

that's why I do anything.

I continue to hear these stories so that

was a great opportunity.

WENDY: Well, you're a great actor because you're

a pretty ornery guy in that movie--

at least at the beginning-- and you're

a really nice guy in person so.

You're a good actor.

Hey, do you have anything else?

Working on any other roles right now, any movies?

Yeah.

2016 was a very busy year.

There were six films that are shot.

WENDY: What?

Yeah and so if they stick with the production schedule,

they'll all be out this year.

So it's a great year to see them.

WENDY: Just get them all.

Get all of TC Stallings' movies--

Yeah.

--they're coming out in the next few years.

Yeah.

Getting around the country, speaking a lot, again,

about the pursuits-- the first book and then this book.

Again, I just want to help people to know who Jesus is.

I want to see people getting the Bible.

I want to see if people understand what it truly

means to be a Christ follower.

And I hope this book does just that.

The team that matters most is "Team Jesus."

WENDY: "Team Jesus."

If you claim to be a Christian,

you got to go all out for him.

Be a spiritual athlete.

It'll also make you want to get down and do some push-ups.

TC's book is called, "Playing on God's Team"

and it's his 20-week devotional for building

true Christian spiritual athletes.

And God bless you.

Thanks for being with us.

Thank you.

Thanks for having me.

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