In his first month of major league baseball, Michael Chavis hit nine home runs.
Since he was recruited by the Boston Red Sox, he’s been cementing his status as MLB’s hottest rookie, racking up impressive stats with each game.
But his home run streak isn’t what’s raising the most eyebrows.
His Twitter conversations about Jesus are doing that instead.
Not only is Chavis a gifted athlete, he’s also a dedicated Christian who is committed to sharing his faith on and off the baseball field.
Michael Chavis entered the major leagues this spring, playing his first game with the Red Sox against the Tampa Bay Rays in April.
The 23-year-old rookie has helped lead Boston to an impressive string of victories. The Sox had previously been in last place in the American League but are quickly moving up the ranks again.
But it’s not Michael’s RBIs or homers that have generated the most controversy right now.
It’s his Christian faith.
Chavis shares his beliefs boldly, no matter the context. This can be a rare sight in today’s sports world.
He regularly takes to Twitter to discuss the condition of religious dialogue in America.
“Why is it required to respect other religions but not Christianity?” Chavis asked in one tweet, which sparked a spirited argument among his followers.
“Not Christian!” one follower accused him, arguing that Chavis should tone down his remarks about faith.
Despite the accusation, Chavis responded with grace. “I love God, my family, and baseball. If my number one interrupts number three for you then that’s not something I can help you with unfortunately.”
What a bold comment!
It’s obvious that Chavis is a gifted athlete and will be a rising star in the future of baseball.
But he’s not in the majors to become rich or famous.
Instead, Chavis says of his position, “I think it would be a waste if I didn’t use it to try and spread the word.”
He’s determined to act as a good witness for Christ throughout his career.
“If I can bring one or two people to Christ and show there is a different light in me, I think that would be a big difference.”
Amen to that!
Major league baseball can be a dark place with the ever-present temptations of drugs, fame, and wealth waiting for successful players.
Christians can find it difficult to share their faith in such a place, facing derision and scorn for trying to maintain their purity.
It’s easy for fans to think that Christian players are trying to force their beliefs on others when they praise God.
“I’m not going to be some kind of missionary where I’m pushing it on everybody and shoving it in their face,” Chavis admits.
Instead, he hopes to carry himself and conduct his career in a way that clearly reflects his Savior.
Chavis has already had a rocky road to the major leagues, including a temporary suspension for suspected steroid use.
Through the process, Chavis maintained his innocence, but gracefully accepted the public discipline and moved forward.
Now, it’s evident that his hard work and perseverance is paying off.
Chavis currently sits at a solid .263 batting average and he’s hit 15 home runs since the beginning of his major league career in April. This number puts him in the company of some elite baseball players.
Red Sox fans love Chavis for both his skills and personality, clamoring for more of his signature home runs as well as his sweet interactions with young fans.
Chavis is developing a solid platform for spreading the Gospel, but it could be a tough road ahead. He’ll need encouragement to keep sharing his faith in the face of public opposition.
So, as you watch baseball this summer, don’t forget to pray for Michael Chavis and other Christian athletes. They’re ministering to a population that needs Christ.
And, as you pray, be inspired to share your faith as well.
Not many of us have a nationwide opportunity to share the Gospel like Chavis does, but every opportunity matters.
Stand up boldly for the Kingdom of God and know that you’re in good company.