Hunter Smith: Pro Football Star Rocks for Christ
By Jewel Graham and Will Dawson
The 700 Club
Hunter Smith made his mark on the gridiron as a collegiate punter, where he played in all 45 career games.
“In college I began to realize that I might be good enough to go on to the next level,” Hunter said. “I started hearing people mention my name and talk about my position and the guys coming out when I was a senior.”
The Indianapolis Colts drafted Smith in 1999 as a punter and backup quarterback. Since then he’s appeared in 144 consecutive games and taken home a Super Bowl ring!
“The faith transition from college to the NFL was a big leap,” Smith said. “It was very similar to the leap from college to the NFL football-wise but much more important. There was a point where I met a man who really challenged me on my life. He finally stepped in and said, ‘Do you really fear the Lord, and do you really want to give Him everything? Is He everything, or are you more in love with being a Christian, and being a Christian influence, than you are with God?’ That was the most important transition that I have had in my faith.”
“I get the question a lot, ‘Is it hard to be a Christian in the NFL?’ Hunter said. “My answer really is that no matter what you decide to be, if you decide to follow Christ, and decide to make a difference in your world for His kingdom, there is always going to be resistance. There is always going to be a battle. So yes, it is hard to be a Christian in the NFL, but it is also hard to do anything else for God.”
Hunter grew up as a Texas kid who loved Jesus, music, and football but always wondered…how the two “careers” of football and music could coincide, then he met Chris Wilson, leading worship one night, and Connersvine (a Christian rock/worship band) was born!
“Our album came out this past year and it was just a conglomeration of our efforts together as God has spoken to us, loved us, and changed us,” Hunter said. “Our life experiences are right there in melody and lyrics.”
Between his NFL career and his up and coming musical career, Hunter says his primary ministry is still in his home.
“My ministry to my family is the most important ministry that I have,” Hunter said. “That is loving my wife first and foremost. I want to see my sons be oaks of righteousness and I want to see them grow up and be strong men of God.”
In spite of all the worldly success, Hunter said he and his family strive to stay grounded in what truly fulfills.
“The world creates its own institutions that are not of God,” Hunter said. “They are the institutions of man designed with one thing in mind, which is to create hunger in people and for people to want more and more. But Jesus says that He has food to eat and water to drink. If we drink it we will never thirst again.”
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