The Next Billy Graham: Is Full-Time Ministry Tim Tebow's Future?

Tim Tebow shouldn't stop following his life path, even if that means he must settle for being more like Billy Graham than Otto Graham.

Tebow has been a free-agent NFL quarterback for a little more than a month, but given how little he played for the New York Jets before they released him after one season, the time seems a lot longer.

And much has happened since he was last a Jet on April 29. There were rumors about his next NFL destination, followed by those rumors being shot down. Next came various offers from alternative leagues, such as the Arena, Canadian and Indoor. He even could have become a coach in the Legends Football League, better known as the lingerie league.

As he's yet to find another football venture, whether because teams don't want him or he doesn't want them, the speculation whether at age 25, one of sports' most popular and polarizing athletes has given up his athletic career. Not surprisingly, as with everything Tebow, there have been claims supporting and denying that speculation.

The question "What would Tebow do?" can only be answered by Tebow. The competitor in him would say, "I just want to play football." The realist in him should say, "I can do a lot more than just play football."

If there's one passion that equals Tebow's love for the game, it would be his desire to do good works through his Christian faith. To that end, one of Tebow's most interesting recent job offers came from Kevin Hester, a pastor at Sanctuary Baptist Church in the small town of Waterlivet, Mich. Hester took to Twitter on May 6 to recruit Tebow.

@sportscenter I am offering Tim Tebow a position in Michigan as a youth pastor,gossipfree spokeman or professional cherry pit Spitter
-- Kevin Hester (@Kevin_Hester) May 6, 2013

Although Hester did learn that the Tim Tebow Foundation did appreciate the notion, he hasn't heard back from Tebow himself. Hester has been a fan of Tebow the football player dating to the latter's days as a two-time national champion and Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Florida. Hester has been drawn, like many Christians, to Tebow the person for his willingness to be open about his faith.

"He hasn't been discouraged by his critics," Hester said. "I believe he's done a lot of good with his platform, with a mass following that's given him a rock-star status. He's had a huge influence on a lot of people."

Tebow has a championship background, but it's clear he's far away from becoming the running-passing threat that Hall of Famer Otto Graham was decades ago. But while Otto Graham was starring for the Cleveland Browns in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Billy Graham was growing into prominence.

"I don't know if he can be the next Billy Graham, but he already has the great awareness," Hester said of Tebow. "Even if he has a small part of Billy's following, he can make a big difference."

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SOURCE: Sporting News
Vinnie Iyer
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