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Mossman says Christians ‘play for the visiting team’

DAVIS—Kenny Mossman has worked in the athletics department at the University of Oklahoma (OU) for 17 years. Currently, he serves as the senior associate athletics director, and he looks at his position as a way to profess his faith in Christ.

He didn’t always feel this way about his occupation. Mossman was able to share about his life when he led a Truth Tracks presentation at the Men’s Rewired Conference, April 28, at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center. The title of his talk was “Playing for the Visiting Team.”

Early in his career, Mossman served as sports information director at Kansas State University. At Rewired, he said, regarding his Christian faith, he used to be a “modern day imposter.” Basically, he used his faith to try to impress others.

In 1990, Mossman’s phone rang, and it was the athletics director at Illinois State University. He said to Mossman, “I was calling to see if you would like to come work here.” Mossman thanked him for the call, and when he hung up, he said to himself, “Who does he think he is? I’m at Kansas State. He’s at Illinois State. That’s a step down.”

A year later, Mossman was let go at Kansas State. He experienced anxiety and disappointment, not knowing what to do next. He said he went home, after losing his job, and found a book offered by a ministry called “Power for Living.” The book featured different Christian testimonies and a copy of the Sinner’s Prayer.

After reading this book, Mossman said he got on his knees and repented to God for how he was living.

“There were no angels in the room,” he said. “There were no lightning bolts, but I can tell you this. I was changed.”

The next day, Mossman picked up a copy of The NCAA News, which had a section for open athletic positions. The only position listed in athletic communications was at Illinois State. It came open again a year after Mossman was asked if he was interested.

Mossman called Illinois State. “They already interviewed the guys they were going to interview,” he recalled. “I pleaded with them for an interview, and they interviewed me.”

A few days later, Mossman was home mowing his lawn when he gets a call from the Illinois State athletics director. Mossman said they offered him the job at a higher salary than what he made at Kansas State.

Mossman said he tells this story to people in order for them to hear what he says is his life verse, Col. 1:13-14, “He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

“You know what happened?” Mossman asked. “I switched teams, and I started playing for the visiting team.”

In his talk, Mossman shared examples of what it can be like for a visiting football team. He shared history lessons of OU football teams in the early years, having to ride trains and eat unhealthy meals, causing them to get sick prior to the games. He told about OU playing at Arkansas in 1919 where fans threw rocks at OU players.

In 1959, OU played Northwestern University in Chicago. The night before the game, the team ate at a restaurant where it was found out the Mafia poisoned the food because they fixed the betting lines on the game.

Mossman told these stories to illustrate how, just as visiting teams can face challenges on the road, Christians are challenged in today’s culture. He read 1 Pet. 2:11, “Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you.”

“We are just passing through. We have to rise above it,” Mossman said. “Good teams win everywhere because, at the core, they are genuinely good teams. They are well-prepared.”

He continued the study sharing principles of personal purity, renewing minds (Rom. 12:2) and dedication to living as playing for the “visiting team.” But he also challenged men saying the goal is “to make our team bigger,” by sharing the Gospel with others.

“When God has driven you to your knees the way he has driven me to mine, then I will stand up for Him, and I will tell people why I am different,” Mossman said.

Mossman is a faithful member of Oklahoma City, Emmaus where he is a Sunday School teacher and a Men’s Ministry leader.

Chris Doyle

Author: Chris Doyle

View more articles by Chris Doyle.

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