Photos Courtesy of First Assembly and Evangel
When most NFL starting quarterbacks are enjoying the offseason on vacation or spending time with their families traveling around the country, the Philadelphia Eagles second-year field general is back home in North Dakota. Carson Wentz’s schedule this summer wasn’t as hectic as it was prior to his rookie campaign, but he’s having no problem finding events and gatherings to attend.
While he was back in Fargo, he spent one Sunday night preaching during a church service he would’ve likely attended had he still been in college. Wentz’s sermon at First Assembly in Fargo was the first time he was in front of a crowd, spreading his love for Christianity. The following week, when he went home to Bismarck, North Dakota, he gave three sermons at Evangel, his mom’s church.
Stephen Glasser, a pastor at First Assembly and friend of Wentz since his Bison days, said this was Wentz’s idea. He wanted to step out of his comfort zone and preach Christianity to the church he spent so much time in during college. Glasser and Wentz then connected with Josh Skjodal in Bismarck about the possibility of Wentz preaching in his hometown. During the first weekend of July, Wentz preached during the Saturday night service at Evangel and stayed to deliver two more sermons the following Sunday morning.
“He was like, ‘Hey, if there’s a way at the end of the service, I can just stand out front and pray for people, I would love to do that. I’ll do it for as long as I can,’” Skjodal said, reliving what Wentz had told him before the Saturday night service. “So Saturday night, he took a long time after he spoke to just stand at the front and just pray with people who had needs. That just says a lot about his heart.”
What did Carson Preach?
1. Carson Wentz spent 30 minutes preaching at a sermon called The Shift at First Assembly in Fargo. Wentz was given a devotional by his grandmother the summer before he went to NDSU. He started regularly attending church that summer. He started the sermon with a story about him and Dante Perez, talking about the Bible during one of Wentz’s first practices at North Dakota State. The first semester at NDSU, Wentz and Perez read the entire New Testament.
2. Wentz spoke about the struggles of balancing his relationship with Christ while playing football and maintaining a 4.0 grade-point average. “If I would drift (away), I had these guys that would pull me back. I had these guys that would help keep me on the straight and narrow. Because this life is hard–temptations are real, this life is hard. It’s easy to get lost, to wander. I’ve been there. I’m not standing up here perfect by any means. But having that community is so incredible.”
3. He shared the video of him and his teammate Jordan Matthew’s trip to Haiti after the season on a mission trip. “It changed my perspective on things big time. … I came back with a new sense of mission and a new sense of urgency because of all the need I saw over there. We were sharing the gospel through a translator in another language, traveled across the ocean to do this, and I’m sitting over there after we’d done that, and I’m like, ‘I just did all this to share the gospel but I can barely turn to the guy sitting next to me in the locker room and tell him about the gospel.’ … It challenged me to be on mission daily, be intentional with your conversations. Now I have this new perspective and by no means am I perfect at all but, at the end of the day, I want to think about what have I done for the Kingdom.”
4. Josh Skjodal told us the first message Wentz wanted to spread was about faith versus work, then he was “calling people to live a life that has purpose and calling people to be surrounded by a community of people that will build them up in that purpose.
5. Josh Skjodal on Wentz’ service: “To me, the platform he has, and for a guy to step in, and not only talk about his story but to actually preach a message and to be able to put the content together that Carson put together and to get better in his presentation, to me, that’s a natural gift. That’s not something somebody just develops on their own.”
6. Stephen Glasser on how Wentz has changed: “People always ask me: Since Carson became the No. 2 overall pick and has become as famous and popular as he is, has he changed? And I always say yes, but in the best way possible because he’s continued to grow in his faith and he’s totally all in for all that God has for him, and it’s just really cool to see. So he’s changed but in a good way. He’s still the exact same guy that I’ve always known so that’s pretty awesome.”
Bible Verses Carson Used During His Sermons
- Ephesians 2:8-10
- John 5:16-20
- Isaiah 64:6
- Matthew 7:22-23
- Mark 6:7