Spiritual Growth Agendas, Topical Curriculum

Tebow Takes on the Critics

Main Point: Like Tim Tebow, we have all been given a platform by God to be a light for Jesus Christ. We cannot hide our light because we face potential criticism.

Tim Tebow Responds to Criticism:
“The discussion we are having tonight is based on an interview with Tim Tebow after another NFL quarterback named Jake Plummer expressed criticism towards Tebow’s bold witness and testimony for Jesus Christ. If you weren’t aware, after each game Tebow bows down on one knee and gives praise and thanks to God. This is also known as ‘Tebowing’- although he didn’t start the trend. He also mentions God and Jesus as often as he can, which has apparently made other players like Jake Plummer uncomfortable. As we listen to the interview, jot down things from Tebow’s response that jump out at you.

The interview is available at this web address:

The Video:

Transitional Statement:
As you plainly heard, Tebow is not shy about his relationship with Jesus Christ, nor is he vague in his defense of why he lives his faith out loud. The passion in his pursuit of life, sports, family and his relationship with Christ comes out loud and clear – which is why I believe this interview is well worth discussing.

Divide into Small Groups: Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we dive in, everybody share your name and then talk about some of your childhood heroes and why they earned that ‘status’ in your life.

  2. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Do you think Tim Tebow qualifies as a hero to children and young people today? Why or why not?

  3. ASK A FEW: What were some of the things that grabbed your attention from the interview?

  4. ASK A FEW: Do you think he adequately defended his beliefs about why he is so bold for Christ? Why or why not?

  5. ASK A FEW: If he is so likable as a person and a winner on the field, then why is he being criticized so much?

  6. ASK A FEW: Describe your reactions to this quote from Tebow:

      “And that’s how I feel about my relationship with Jesus Christ. It is the most important thing in my life so anytime I get an opportunity to tell him that I love him or give him an opportunity to shout him out on national TV, I’m gonna take that opportunity. So I look at that as a relationship that I have with him that I want to give him honor and glory anytime I have the opportunity”

  7. ASK A FEW: Why do you think Tebow considers glorifying God from his ‘platform’ more important than what anyone thinks?

  8. ASK A FEW: Tebow mentioned that Danny Wuerffel (former Heisman Trophy winner for the Florida Gators who was also a bold witness for Christ) as a role model for him growing up. Do you think we all have the responsibility to be a ‘light’ to others in our sphere of influence? Why or why not?

  9. Read the following passage from the Bible:

      Matthew 5:14-16
      “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

  10. ASK A FEW: Do you think God placed Tim Tebow on an extremely high ‘hilltop’ because He knew Tebow would be faithful in being a bold witness? Why or why not?

  11. ASK A FEW: Is being the ‘light of the world’ and a ‘city on a hilltop’ dependent on public popularity or fame? Why or why not?

  12. ASK A FEW: In what ways does God put more ordinary people like us up on a ‘stand’?

  13. ASK A FEW: What kinds of things do we use as ‘baskets’ to hide our light?

  14. ASK A FEW: What are some ‘good deeds’ that could shine out for God’s praise?

  15. ASK A FEW: Looking back at the past few months of being the ‘light of the world,’ what kind of overall wattage have you produced? 50 Watts? 500 Watts?

  16. ASK A FEW: Does criticism and negative comments about being bold for Christ dim your ‘bulb’? Why or why not?

  17. ASK A FEW: What are some practical ways, beginning this week, we can be a bright light for Christ with the platform we’ve been given?

Wrap Up:
Like Tim Tebow, we have all been given a platform by God to be a light for Jesus Christ. We cannot hide our light because we face potential criticism, rather we should use the negativity to fuel our brightness! Jesus has promised us that we will have trouble in this world, but he also promised that He has overcome the world. This is something that Tebow understands, so in closing let’s encourage him in his witness for the Lord.

OPTIONAL: If you can, ask the students to pull out their laptops/tablets/smartphones and pull up this web site: http://www.tebowzone.com/contact/ Tell them to take a few minutes to write an encouraging note to Tebow for being a ‘city on a hill’ in a tough professional field. Be sure and read them before they click ‘submit’.

No matter whether you have the platform that Tim Tebow has or not, God expects you to be a bright light for his Kingdom. Let’s spend some time in prayer asking God to help us do that for Him.

Close in Prayer:
Take some time for students to share what they wrote, then close in prayer asking Jesus to help us be the brightest light for Him on the platform we’ve been given.

Written by Lane Palmer


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.


  1. Mark
    December 5, 2011 at 12:00 am

    I love the optional wrapup where students can use their smartphones to write Tebow an encouraging note. Very cool!

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