The Gospel Is Not Trivial—Even in Sports Journalism

Nick Birdsong is a digital content producer for Sporting News, where he manages the company’s branded social media accounts and writes about college and professional sports. He’s a member of Christ Central Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he co-leads a men’s Bible study and serves in the nursery and prayer ministry. He’s also looking forward to being a part of the congregation’s first church plant—West Charlotte Church—set to launch in fall 2017. 

What do you do every day?

Officially, I’m the digital content producer for Sporting News, but I wear a few different hats. I manage our branded social media accounts, promote content of staff writers and freelancers, and write my own columns. Since everyone has an opinion and worldview, I try to make sports journalism what it was created to be: an open forum for the opinions and worldviews of sports fans, including my own.

As an image-bearer of God, how does your work reflect some aspect of God’s work?

I create and write to please God—whether people know I’m a believer or not. Yet I do not create or write out of nothing. God is the creator. He has given me gifts and talents, and I want to do my best to steward them with excellence.

How does your work give you a unique vantage point into the brokenness of the world?

The arena of sports showcases realities of fanaticism and idol worship. Many fans are insanely devoted, even putting their hopes in particular players or teams. Searching for a source of permanent joy, they are setting their hearts on things that can only give temporary joy. Since all of us are deeply broken—including professional athletes—fans will inevitably be disappointed, as “messiah” perceptions of favorite athletes or teams crumble.

Jesus commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves. How does your work function as an opportunity to love and serve others?

I often struggle with this command and how it relates to my work. In some ways, my work is part of the entertainment industry, where trivial things tend to rule the day. But the gospel is not trivial. I can love and serve my readers by presenting a compelling alternative to their current worldviews. Therefore, when I have opportunities to write deeper pieces, to go beyond the surface and engage the mind, I try to take them.

Editors’ note: TGCvocations is a weekly column that asks practitioners how they integrate their faith and their work. Interviews are condensed and edited.

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