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Playing on God’s Team

Actor, author and speaker T.C. Stallings shares how to remain committed to the faith and truly play on ‘God’s Team.' Read Transcript

REPORTER: 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 gameplan.

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.

Well, TC is here, and let's get right into it.

You know from firsthand.

You've played for the Louisville Cardinals.


And that's serious, prime-time--


No cards.

No cards.

--you know, college football.


You tried to make it into the NFL.

You just kept going and going and going and going and going.



College football, four years there,

then went to the arena league.

And then I went on to play in Canada for the Stampeders,

went to Europe and played for the Bergamo Lions.

And it was just this process of pursuing my childhood

dream of going to the NFL.

And God had another plan.

He did.

He did.

And you know-- and you know, that's

what the book talks about, is the lesson that I learned,

was that He needed to be Lord so that I'd accept that plan.

I mean, He needs to lead my passions, lead my desires.

And you know, when I went to see "Fireproofed" in 2008,

all of a sudden, my heart's beating to do acting and impact

people through film.

And, you know, I got to the point

to where I pray about what I do now through the situations

that I had been through in college

and learning to put God first.

And I said, man, let's start praying about, you know,

working with the guys who made this film.

Who made this film?

They said the Kendrick brothers.

I said, well, let's start praying about meeting

the Kendrick brothers.

About a year and a half or so later,

I meet the Kendrick brothers, and I

get a role in their big film "Courageous."

And off I went.

Yeah, well, there you go.

Why is it so hard for us to change, though?

We all read the scripture.

If we put Him first, then He's going

to give us our heart desire.


But we don't understand in all of that He might actually

change our heart's desire to be what his desire is for us,

knowing that that will fulfill us.


I think the hardest part about changing

is that we don't understand that thing that I just

said two seconds ago about him being Lord as well as Savior.

See, a lot of people, they become Christians,

and then they think that's the finish line.

But that's really just the start.

The only thing that's done is the old life

that you used to live.

Now the new life to Him needs to start.

And so the reason I use the team concept is because, you know,

when I joined a team, they started

to change you in a way to make you a more effective player.

You know, when I was in high school,

there were some changes that needed be made

to get me ready for college.

You know, when you go from your own life to becoming

this new believer in Jesus, it's like, OK,

there's some changes we need to make.

Your goals, your dreams, your desires, those are done.

You replace that with mine.

You gotta trade them in.

And not realizing that he needs to be a Lord of our decisions

and what we do, we still think we

can go on just believing in him and then

keep doing the same things we've been doing.

GORDON ROBERTSON: I've got this.


And that doesn't work.

And it takes a lot of that not working for you to find out

what will work.

You had a really profound moment in college--


--where you realized that, yes, you're a Christian,

but at the same time, you weren't.



You know, that, yes, you believed,

you believed in Him as Savior.

You understood the Bible.

You understood the concept of salvation.

But you still hadn't made Him everything.


He wasn't Lord.

GORDON ROBERTSON: What happened to you?

So I go to college with this--

again, the standard for being a Christian was already--

is already too low.

You know, people think if you carry your Bible around

and you pray a little bit, then you're this big-time Christian.



GORDON ROBERTSON: I've got my hell insurance.


Yeah, you know, that's it.

And so it was easy for people to put you up on this pedestal

and, you know, hey, you need somebody

to come speak somewhere for the football

team, good Christian athlete, go get me.

Go get TC.

And so, you know, you're living this way, living this way,

living this way.

But somebody on campus who really knew what it truly

meant to follow Jesus Christ asked

to study the scripture with me, and I wondered why.

Kept putting him off.

Finally, we did.

And after seeing what scripture said, you know, James 2:19,

it's not enough to believe.

Even the demons believe.

Matthew 7:21, not everybody who calls out to me

and says my name will enter the kingdom of heaven.

Realizing that there was a possibility that this could

be me as I looked at scripture and saw all my mistakes

and [INAUDIBLE] being opened up, I

knew I had to change at that point.

And so that was the revelation for me that changed everything.

I'm like, oh, my gosh.

I've been living all this time with Jesus just

being the Savior, somebody I say, hey, I believe in You,

so see You when I die, or see You when You come back,

and thinking that's it.

Whereas like no, I'm your Savior,

but I also need to be the Lord, and you

gotta follow my son Jesus Christ and his plans.

And I hadn't traded in my goals for his.

It was all about me and, hey, Lord, come with me, as opposed

to, Lord, where are you going?

And I'm following.

And that was the big change that happened in college.

God's on my side, as opposed to I'm on His side.


[LAUGHING] And it's a different approach.

Why was this person pursuing you?

Well, because, you know, again, he--

he knew what it truly meant to be a Christ follower.

And so I'm on TV every weekend.

I was a starter on the football team.

And he'd see me speaking at all these different FCA

events and all these different things,

but yet that same day, I might go home, and in the dorm room,

you know, you can hear all the cussing movies

coming out of my TV.

You can hear the cussing music coming out

of my stereo system in my car.

You would see me taking girls to my room at night.

And I'm thinking that the Lord doesn't

care about these things.

It's just all about my belief, and that's it.

I don't need to change anything else.

He would see these things, and when we met,

I'll never forget him saying this

at the end of the Bible study.

He said, the reason I pursued you

is because if people knew what the Bible truly says about what

it means to follow Christ, they'd see you as a hypocrite,

and you'd kill your platform.

And I just don't want to see you do that.

If you really knew what it means,

then, you know, you can start living the way

that He would need you to be so you can be a true Christ


And I just don't want you to ruin your platform.

So that's why I wanted you to see these scriptures

and remind you of what Christ died for so that you

can properly represent Him.

And so that was it.

And so that was his-- he knew I had a platform,

and he didn't want me to mess it up.

And so I-- I'm so grateful that it happened, because it

changed everything for me.

What would you say to people that would say it's too hard?

You know, I tried.

I tried to be good.

And then I keep messing up.

What would you say to that?

Yeah, that's the second purpose of me even

writing this whole thing, is at first,

you realize what it truly means.

And then I start trying to do that in college.

I tried everything.

And I failed miserably.

Now I'm upset.

I'm upset with God.

I'm like, man, I just studied these scriptures

where it talks about all this power I'm supposed to have.

Well, I'm not experiencing any of that.

I feel like I lust more now.

I feel like I'm frustrated more now.

And here I am really, really trying.

So what's going on?

Where you at?

Where's this power?

And then so I was ready to give up.

But then I read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27,

where you see Paul compare the effort of an athlete

to the effort of a Christian.

And he says, they do it for a crowd that won't last,

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

talking about the strict training.

And I realized I was the "they" and the "we."

I was the Christian and the athlete.

So I looked at my effort as an athlete when things got tough.

And man, I would do everything my coach said to get better.

If I found out I was weak in an area,

I'd do everything to strengthen in the strength-training room.

If I found out I was lacking in endurance in an area,

I would do everything I can to get my endurance up.

I knew my play book.

And I looked at that.

Then I looked at Team Jesus, me as a Christian.

And I didn't do everything my coach said, Jesus Christ.

I didn't know my play book, which is the Bible.

I didn't know it like I knew that other play book.

I didn't, you know, strength train in the areas

that I was weak in my faith.

I gave no effort.

And I grew up with this belief that grace

takes care of everything.

Well, grace puts you on Team Jesus.

Grace is how you got saved.

But what you do reflects your appreciation for that grace.

And I learned all of that.

And so that was a comparison that I made.

And so I would say for anybody who is struggling,

look at your life.

Look at anything you ever really wanted in your life

and how hard you worked for it doing your part.

You know, and compare that to your effort towards Jesus.

Do you know your play book?

Do you pray regularly and talk to your coach?

Do you strength train the way the Bible

says we can get strong?

Do you endurance train the way the Bible

says we can endurance?

And if you're not doing these things,

that explains why you're failing as a Christian.

And that's what I learned.

And I didn't fail as an athlete.

It's like showing up on game day

and not being at any of the practices.


And not talking to the coach, ignoring the plays,

not doing the weight-lifting.

And of course you're going to lose.


And it's no different.

Why should it be any different with Team Jesus?

It's not.

All right.

Well, if you want this, it's "Playing on God's Team."

And it will give you a wonderful guideline.

It's a 21-week devotional for building

Christian-- true Christian athletes.

And it's available wherever books are sold.

And if you're struggling in the battle,

here's a great thing that will really train you and really

get you in the game.

Or not you're going to just be in.

You'll be winning the game.

And wouldn't that be great?

And that's a crown worth fighting for.

Yes, it is.

That's good.

All right, thanks for being with us.

Thank you.



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