COLUMBUS, OH—For the past five autumns, Jim Weber, 44, has sacrificed his Sundays, Mondays, and even some Thursday nights in order to minister to men in his Fantasy Football league. With the new NFL season approaching, the self-proclaimed “fantasy missionary” is once again ready to pick up his cross and become one of them—participating in their annual draft, making trades with them, and organizing his fantasy team as if he, like them, is highly emotionally invested in winning the league.
“It’s important to meet people where they are,” Weber told reporters in an interview Monday. “The Apostle Paul became all things to all people for the sake of the gospel. As I come alongside these men, spending hour upon hour reviewing statistics and setting my lineups, I think they take notice and ask themselves, ‘What makes this guy so different?’”
Weber proceeded to point out the many gospel parallels found in fantasy sports. “When I make a substitution, it reminds me of Christ’s substitutionary work on our behalf. When I study each player’s yards per carry after contact, I ponder how Jesus picks us up and carries us, even when we are down.”
Asked if his sacrificial ministry has borne much fruit thus far, Jim replied, “None yet—but I’m still gaining their trust. These things happen slowly. If I can earn their respect by winning the league this year, I will feel much more comfortable talking to them directly about Jesus.”