Joe Gibbs is perhaps best known for leading the Washington Redskins to three Super Bowl wins and the racing team with his namesake to three NASCAR championships, but now, at age 71, he is in the spotlight for an entirely different reason -- to turn the spotlight on God.
In 2009, the former Redskins coach and current NASCAR owner came out with a book called Game Plan for Life. For the book, Gibbs conducted a survey to determine the 11 most important topics and issues for men, which ranged from finances and relationships, to living a life of purpose and overcoming sin. In addressing those issues, Gibbs drew from his own personal story, telling of his successes and failures and how faith got him through it all.
Coach Gibbs expanded on the book in 2009 by creating an entire program in which he uses his life as an example to help others improve their own lives. His ministry, Game Plan for Life, helps people find purpose for their lives through God. Instead of the Super Bowl champ being the coach, God is the coach in Game Plan for Life, and accoridng to the ministry, He has written a game plan for everyone's life.
"However, it is less about Joe, than it is about who men are, why they were created and what they can really do with their lives," the ministry website explains.
In his outreach, Gibbs travels about once a month to different cities and hosts events in which the former NFL coach discusses the plan God had for his life, including his ups and downs in football and NASCAR as well as in his personal life.
The unique part of the outreach isn't so much what Joe Gibbs is saying, but rather who he's saying it to, accordingnto Derrick Crawford, Director of GPFL.
Crawford shared with The Christian Post that both he and the group's chaplain travel to cities hosting the outreach events ahead of time. There, the two meet with community leaders and identify citizens of the host city to be "table hosts" for the upcoming event. Table hosts are responsible for bringing eight nonbelievers with them to sit at their table, enjoy a free breakfast, receive a free copy of Gibbs' book and the opportunity to hear Gibbs speak about football, faith, and everything in between.
"The program is designed as an outreach to those that have not yet given their lives to Christ," Crawford said, explaining the importance of table hosts, "We hope it's an easy invitation for them to reach out to their friends for a free breakfast, a free book, and an opportunity to hear [Coach Gibbs] speak. The table hosts are the key because ultimately we want this to really be their ministry to those that they invited that morning."
While the ministry and program appears geared mostly toward men, Crawford is adamant that all are welcome and no one is left out.
Other than the outreach events, Game Plan for Life strives to connect with believers and nonbelievers alike through its website. The website provides a home base for all things GPFL, and contains additional readings and advice to help the average visitor get through the trials and tribulations of life. The website offers insight on everything from finances and career advice, to overcoming addiction.
Some leaders and experts who have assisted in Gibbs' ministry include Dr. John Lennox, a science and religion professor at the University of Oxford, Dr. Tony Evans, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church co-founder and senior pastor, and Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias.
Gibbs, passionate about serving others through Christian ministry, has also helped found Youth for Tomorrow, a residential youth home, private school, and counseling center for at-risk teenage girls and boys in the Washington metropolitan area.