NFL Superstar Benjamin Watson Helps Churches During Crisis – Churches are suffering. Tune in to hear Benjamin Watson discuss this topic and to offer relief and encouragement to small churches during this pandemic.
Air Date: 04/20/2020
Guest: Benjamin Watson
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Find your way to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live and we are always talking about today’s hottest topics on policy and faith and the culture. We’re looking at those things from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. And here we are on day 33 of the COVID crackdown, the unconstitutional COVID crackdown taking place across the country. Dated back to march 19, when the first state, California did a statewide order, completely unprecedented, never happened in history, literally telling people to stay in their homes unless the government deemed them essential. And it has had a domino effect across the country. 43 states have done it now. Some states are beginning to lift these draconian requirements and allowing people to go back to work and actually live out their constitutional free, Imagine that. And, and we’re certainly dealing with this at the church level. It’s having a huge, huge impact especially on our smaller churches. And so, today’s program, we’re going to talk specifically about how to help save the small churches that have been devastated economically and have at a time when they need to be able to help people in their community. So, we’ll be hitting that from a constitutional, biblical and historical perspective today.
David Barton is America’s premier historian and our founder here at WallBuilders, Tim Barton is a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. My name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach.
Alright, David, Tim, I know I often say baseball is the only real sport, but I’m nervous about doing that today because we have someone much larger than me that’s going to be on the program and he’s a star football player. And so, I can give you basketball guys a hard time and sometimes feel like I’m not in danger of my life, but these football guys may be a little different. Anyway, Benjamin Watson, huge NFL star going to be with us a little later in the program and someone that’s actually been fantastic on social media just pumping out common sense to the culture.
Yeah, actually, we’ve had several Good News Friday articles that have been covering Benjamin Watson over the last couple of years what he has done, promoting marriage and family and the prolife movement. He has been a very outspoken Christian, very outspoken in traditional values for a lot of years. And it’s always fun looking at professional athletes who maintain a semblance of a biblical morality, because it seems so often, what you see in these athletes is when they get that much money and they’re young, and there’s so much of the world pulling on them, they just go different directions. And he’s someone that has been a pretty consistent voice for the last many years in promoting those kind of values.
And I remember at one point having a Good News Friday conversation about how many good guys there were in the NFL who promoted biblical values, who were Christians, who are outspoken? And Benjamin Watson, again, he’s just been consistently one of those guys for the last many years. So, first of all, super excited to have him on the program, a Super Bowl champion which so technically he was, I guess on injured reserve or something like that when the Patriots won. He hurt his knee as a rookie, so he, I guess didn’t officially get to play and contribute to that. Nonetheless, he has a ring, he was in the NFL for a lot of years. I know him, I remember him the best from being with the saints, with Drew Brees, although he was with several different teams…
He was not only with Drew Brees, but it’s also with the Ravens and it was with also the Browns, maybe that’s a good time to forget being with the Browns. But also, Super Bowl, the Patriots.
Yeah. So, he’s definitely been around the league and very cool to be able to talk to someone who has been a professional athlete at that level. And Rick, to your points, right, football players generally hit a little harder than Baseball players in that regard. So yeah, this is a guy you probably don’t want to make that reference to. But super fun to have him on the program.
Well, he’s not only, Tim, you mentioned he’s outspoken of faith. I mean, I don’t know many, many NFL guys who actually spoke at the National March for Life, but he did. I mean, and that sets you up for really taking shots from the left, but that’s his strong conviction. And you know, a lot of the athletes are really concerned about income from sales off their jerseys, you don’t want to offend anybody, so you just remain neutral. Now, he’s been outspoken about that and he’s a really a class act as well. Great family guy. He’s got seven kids, wonderful family. Actually, he’s one of the finalists for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award and that’s just kind of like a class-out guy, just a really classy guy. But I’m amazed even at NFL. Do you guys have any clue what the average length of a career in the NFL is?
It’s only a couple years. I do recall, it’s like 3 or 4 years.
It’s 3.3 years. He was in 16 years, he just recently retired, I guess year before last year
So that’s a long career?
That’s a long career, so he’s really skilled at what he does. But now he’s really speaking out with what’s happened to COVID-19 about churches that are in danger, because there’s a lot of rural churches across America, the average church size in America for all and you think of all the mega churches that are out there and all you see on TV, the average church size is only 70 members and that’s average, which means there’s a whole lot that are below 70 members and there’s a lot of rural communities. So, Tim, where we have the ranch, there’s a little Baptist church there that I don’t think ever see more than 5 or 6 cars ever at that Baptist Church, but they serve that rural community and it’s out really kind of in the middle of the sticks and there’s a lot of churches like that. And so, Benjamin and some other NFL players have been really concerned that those churches survive and they’ve come up with kind of a gift grant program to try to help raise some income for those churches that are really on the cusps of not being able to survive the economic downturn that’s going on right now.
I saw polling today that said that 7% of churches in America right now do not think they can survive with what’s already going on and that’s not counting whether it continues another month or two. So, he’s wanting to help those churches, help them stay around, help them be there to minister to communities. And so, we thought this would be a really good guy to talked to in a really good time with what’s happening with COVID and I don’t think most people think about the unintended consequences of what happens to churches as a result of this. This is something Benjamin and other NFL players have thought about.
Benjamin Watson, our special guest. Stay with us, we’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.
Many of you out there are under stay at home orders by your governor or your local health officials and maybe you’re looking for something to do during this time. One of the most important things you can do as a citizen is to make sure that you know your rights, you know when they’ve been violated and you’re the better prepared to defend and assert them. To do that, you’ve got to study the Constitution and the history behind it.
Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green does exactly that. We take you into the WallBuilders library, we bring all those resources to life and then we go out to Philadelphia to Independence Hall and right there in the room where the Constitution and the Declaration were put together, we bring it to life, we relive it and we make sure that we as citizens know what our part is in preserving these freedoms for future generations.
At this time in our nation, it is so important to know the proper role of government and what we as citizens should be doing at this time. If you haven’t done Constitution Alive, check it out at wallbuilders.com, you can get the DVD set there, we’ll get it out in the mail to you as soon as we can and you can study it at home. Or you can go to constitutioncoach.com and become a Constitution coach today. We’ve got a free license for you right now, where you can sign up as a Constitution host and be the catalyst in your community to bring back these biblical and historical and constitutional values. And what you do is you sign up as a host and then you get your friends and family together on Zoom, we coach you on how to do it and you’re able to create community and also study the Constitution at the same time. Do this and we will be able to pick up the pieces on the other side of this crisis and rebuild our nation even stronger than it was before. Check it out today at constitutioncoach.com.
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. American patriot Paul Revere wrote to alert Americans of the impending arrival of the British, but he also sought patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock to warn them that the British were seeking their execution.
Adams and Hancock were staying with the Reverend Jonas Clark in Lexington. When they ask pastor Clark if his church was ready for the approaching British? He replied, “I’ve trained them for this very hour, they will fight and if need be, die under the shadow of the house of God.” Later that morning, 70 men from his church, several hundred British in the first battle of the war for independence. As Pastor Clark affirmed, “The militia that morning were the same who filled the pews of the church meetinghouse on the Sunday morning before.” The American church was regularly at the forefront of the fight for liberty.
For more information on this pastor and other colonial patriots, go to wallbuilders.com
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live, thanks for staying with us today. He is a superstar NFL tied in, but also a super voice of common sense and just returning to good values and a great influence on our culture. Benjamin Watson, great to have you on, man. Thanks for coming on the show.
Thanks for having me.
Hey, I’ve enjoyed your commentaries over the years, truly just being some common sense in the culture and speaking up for good values and being a great influence. And right now, you’re speaking out for the need to come to the aid of our churches across the country who are really suffering during this time with this virus.
Yes, sir. We found that everyone is suffering honestly. And the first thing I love to say is just that just to encourage those who are going through this time, they’re not forgotten. This is a tough time for everyone. Businesses, nonprofits, everybody is suffering to some extent. But we’ve gathered together, myself and a group of other people to and campaign two, three projects. A few other organizations have come together to help churches during this time of crisis.
About 70% of churches’ pastors believe that, you know, they are going to suffer, mainly because of tithes and offerings and because of church closures through this time. So, while the stimulus package is going to reach out to a lot of people and to help a lot of organizations, we believe that as the body of Christ, it’s our job during this time to help our brothers and sisters in crisis. So, the church is helping churches initiative is twofold. Number one is to encourage larger churches, maybe more stable churches, to reach out to those churches in their communities, inner city churches that may be struggling and also through that, we want to provide $3,000 grants to those churches to help them do It’s critical time.
We want to get this website out several times today, but churchrelief.org. It’s very easy. Churchrelief.org, very easy to donate there. And Benjamin, this is so important because, you know, obviously, the church is should be the epicenter of the community, it’s the place we should be going to when we’re in need. And the church can’t serve the community, frankly without finances, I mean, it takes that to operate. And maybe people don’t realize sometimes how close a small church may be in their budget and if all of a sudden everybody is scared and they’re afraid to donate because they don’t know if they can pay the bills next month, then, in literally a matter of just a few weeks, we could see these churches completely go under. That’s why it’s so important for us to step up right now.
Exactly. And a lot of people think about churches as places of worship and they are that, you know, they are places where we gather together to worship corporately. But churches are usually the frontlines when it comes to many types of individual familiar crises. So, when someone loses their job in the congregation, where do they go? A lot of times, they come to the church to help provide funds to bridge the gap, when someone is dealing with some sort of death in the family, when someone is, you name, whatever talents people are dealing with, a lot of times our pastors and local churches as well as the congregations on the frontlines. And so, there’s that aspect of it.
But then there’s also, you know, even the practical aspect of, hey, if the church isn’t open right now, those who are employed by these organizations aren’t employed either, so they’re losing income as well as the church. And we want to, again, you know, the Bible, Jesus talks about in the book of Matthew, he says, whatever you’re done for the least of these my brethren, you’ve done for me. And what he’s talking about there is, yes, we should be people of philanthropy, we should have generosity. We should do that for everybody that we come in contact with, but specifically there, he’s talking about the body of believers. We should be first in line to help our brothers and sisters, not only globally, but domestically and we don’t want these small churches that are very, very important to the fabric of our communities to feel neglected and not be able to make it simply because they don’t have the excess funds to pay an extra month of light bills or pay an extra month of electricity or whatever their individual costs may be.
This is real time, it’s happening right now, churchrelief.org, very easy to go and donate. And you know, a $3,000 grant to a small church with a small budget can be the difference. It can make all the difference in the world. And there’s some people listening right now that you could actually do a full grant. You could go on right now and donate 3000 and sponsor a church in that way. Some of you, $5, $10, whatever it might be, but in some way, make that contribution that will make a huge difference in that community. And Benjamin, I think we got to think a year out from now, what happens if we lose a ton of these small churches that are so important to these communities? Because it’s hard to come back if you totally shut down?
Yeah. Well, you know, this isn’t the first pandemic that will affect the Community of Christ; this isn’t the first pandemic that believers will face. You look throughout history of the world, there’s been wars, there’s been rumors of wars, there have been economic crisis that happened. So, this isn’t the first time, won’t be the last. But I believe this is a unique opportunity for us to help the body of Christ. God is going to accomplish his purposes with or without us. He invites us as believers to be involved in what he’s doing.
And especially when we talk about bridging the gap between economic levels, we’ve talked about bridging the gap between ethnicities, this is a way to do that in a very practical sense of meeting people’s immediate needs. So, we have a goal of raising $500,000 this month to help these churches. Right now, because of the generosity of people, of individuals as well as corporations, other organizations, larger churches, we’re halfway there, right, $250,000. And we already have over 300 churches that are applying for these grains. So, the need is great, as weeks and months go by, is going to become greater.
And to your question, to answer your question. If we don’t act right now, we are in danger of losing some of these churches, but not just the building, which is important. It’s not just the building, but it’s the people that come in through those doors on a daily basis, on a weekly basis, that are fed the gospel, that are fed the truth of God’s word to the people in that church. And so, this is about the kingdom. This is about Kingdom building. You just don’t know who or when these churches are going to reach someone that, you know may in turn impact the rest of the world.
Churchrelief.org and not only for those that are going to donate today, Benjamin, but if a pastor in a church that’s in need is listening today, is that website they can go to ask for help as well?
Yes, yes, sir. Thank you for asking that. You go to churchrelief.org. There are places, on the website, there are links; to donate, there are also links. If you need aid, one thing I should mention is that all the money raised goes directly to these churches, there’s no overhead for us. We are not collecting any of these funds. We’re actually not even touching the funds, but the funds are going to go directly to National Christian Foundation, which is a very large Donor Advised Fund, which will vet thoroughly each of these churches, making sure that they’re 501(c)(3), making sure that they’re highly recommended, seeing what type of financial standing that they’re in. So, you can be sure that your money is going to go directly to those in need and it’s not going to be wasted on a bunch of other people that don’t need it. So that’s always important to me, whenever I give, I always want to know that I can trust where I’m getting my money and that is actually I’m going to go to the right place. That’s called being good stewards. So, this one I assure people of that,
Man, I know it’s a really important point. Especially right now, you know, because a lot of people are asking and you know, as you said at the beginning, I mean, most people are hurting right now and in need, so you want to know that where you do send those funds that you can’t afford to send, that it’s going to make a difference. So, this is a really good cause, really important. Churchrelief.org, very easy to do. Two minutes, man, anybody watching right now, listening, two minutes, you can make that donation, it’s going to make a big difference. Benjamin Watson, man, really appreciate your time. Thanks for what you guys are doing, praying for great harvest here and for these churches to thrive and to be able to meet the needs in the communities and that it’ll be a great opportunity for a great awakening in America. I think that’s one of the good things that can come out of this.
I think people are watching. There’s a hunger right now for hope and for truth. And as believers we know, we’re hoping truth comes from. So, not only is this important, specifically for these [inaudible 17:38] churches, it’s important for the rest of the world that they watch how we engage with each other and how we embody, you know the love of Christ and meeting our needs.
You got to love this. A Super Bowl champ championing the cause of Christ and the cause of our local churches. Benjamin, thanks, man. Appreciate you coming on today.
Thank you, have a good one.
Stay with us, folks. We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.
Hey friends, this Rick Green from WallBuilders Live and I have had so many requests about, what in the world could we be studying at home right now you know I got the kids at home, they’re normally in school? Or if you homeschool, you’re looking for additional material. One-Room Schoolhouse. It is a great new series WallBuilders is putting out where you literally get a tour of the WallBuilders library as Tim Barton and Jonathan Ritchie bring history to life. There’s a couple of resources on this.
You go to YouTube and search for WallBuilders and look for a One-Room Schoolhouse. You can go to our Facebook page and get it right there on Facebook as we do it live each Monday and sometimes additional days from there. And then you can also just go to wallbuilders.com, scroll down to the bottom and we’ll be posting the videos as they come out. This is such a great way to learn and a great way for you to share with others. Gather the family around, watch the One-Room Schoolhouse and learn some great history. It’ll be vitally important to restoring our nation and bringing back these principles that made America great in the first place. Check it out email@example.com.
We’re back here on WallBuilders live, thanks for staying with us. A special thanks to Benjamin Watson for being with us as well. We’ll have links today at wallbuilderslive.com so you can jump over right now and make that contribution, it’s really going to go a long way to investing and helping the church to continue to be the epicenter of so many of these communities where they’re especially needed right now.
Back with David and Tim Barton, guys, that was fun, just to have him on first of all, but what an important cause to be a part of.
You know, as he was talking, I just looked up some stuff on him. And when he was a young child, his dream was always to be a football player and a missionary. I think he’s done both of them. He’s a football player and a missionary and I love diversity used out of Matthew 25. If you’ve done it to the least of these, you’ve done it to me, Jesus said, Well, these rural churches, these small churches, they are the least among us.
And I thought it was interesting too how he pointed out that that was a call to the least of these, was to the brethren, it was to the body of Christ, not just to people around the world you don’t know. No, it should be to those that you know, is who you’re reaching first. I thought there’s a really interesting thought unfold, because certainly, the gospel goes to everybody, but you start with those that are around you first and these local churches certainly are around us and the fact that they’re wanting to do something to help keep the doors open in these local churches, really is a powerful statement.
And thinking, right, you have a couple thousand dollars going to these churches, well, how far is that going to get them? Well, for some of these churches, that was their budget for a couple months anyway. So, really does go a lot further than what I think most people recognize, not understanding that in a lot of these small churches, it’s a lot of volunteers that are doing the ministry, that these pastors aren’t making a lot of money, that the money is really going to keeping the lights on, the electric bills, oftentimes, taking the money and giving it to other people in need. And so really, it’s allowing the church to operate as a church. And what Benjamin said that I thought was very interesting was, in helping these churches, you are helping the pastors, but you’re also helping the church meet the needs of those around them. And so, it’s not just that they’re helping the church stay open, it’s helping the people that are ministering in the church be able to continue to minister to those in their community and that’s how you really reach and impact the community.
There are so many good churches out there with so many great people. Tim, you and I both have been to a number of rural churches, sometimes just with a handful of members and they’re just salt of the earth people. But when something happens in that community, they do go to that church. If there’s a death, if there’s a tragedy, that’s where they go for support. That’s, what they’ve got for support. And to imagine communities without that kind of support network, you really do want to keep those churches open.
Yeah, it’s something that looking back at Easter, my wife and I watch several different Easter services, because right you’re at home and you have time and plus our child was up very early that morning, so we had extra time to watch lots of services. One of them, things that I’ve heard from a couple of big church pastors that I thought was so strong and powerful, is they said, look, just because you’re watching us online, don’t think that now you should start paying tithe to us. If you watch us, great, if your small church doesn’t have a way to do an online something, right for your church body and that’s why you’re watching us, they don’t have an online presence, we love that you’re watching us, but make sure you continue to tithe through your local church. We would love to be able to help encourage you in this time, but your church needs your tithe, money.
And I thought, you know, it’s so interesting in a culture which definitely seems to be a little bit of a tiger in a shark kind of culture, how can I get ahead, right, what can I do, how does it benefit me? And kind of the strong survive and the weak don’t, that you have these mega church pastors that are reminding people, hey, don’t start bringing your money to us, your local church where you go, right and just because maybe they don’t have an online presence right now, with all that’s going on and they’re unable to do stuff, don’t stop giving your tithe there. And I think that is similar to what Benjamin Watson was pointing out. That these local churches are contributing a lot and we want to make sure that we continue to faithfully tithe to where our church is, to help the church continue to be able to operate and do what it needs to do.
And that’s also why Benjamin wanted help churches like that, because where our ranches out in the country, a local church there, the two main professions out near our ranch are oilfield and Cowboys, agriculture. Agriculture is going to keep going on, because you got a tractor, you’ll keep planning, you’ll be able to make that for longer than others, but oilfield, that has gone down. And look at the price of gas, in Texas, we actually had it dip down to $0.99 at one point. You can’t keep guys in the oilfield with that.
And so, we’ve seen that church already losing people. Two major sources of income and they’re losing one of the streams of income. And that’s where with the country church and you’re dependent on certain aspects, it makes a difference. So, Benjamin and Rick, you’ve already mentioned the website people can go to, where they can contribute to help keep some of these churches going, this is a really good deal. And I also look back to what happened in First Corinthians 16, where Paul says, hey, I’m going among all the churches and I’ve taken up collection for those that are impoverished. We have impoverished churches and communities back in Jerusalem, and you that can, give what you can to help those that can’t. And so, even Paul set the example of what Benjamin is doing right now. And so, a good example we can all participate in. If you still got income coming in and want to share part of it with some of these impoverished churches, this is a good place to go to be able to do that.
Well, we are out of time for today’s, folks. We are always going to hit these hot topics from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective and often give you opportunities to help and this is one of those really neat opportunities to make a big difference, not just right now in the crisis. When you save one of these small churches, that’s going to impact that community for years to come potentially, even generations to come. So, thanks for considering doing that today.
Also consider visiting wallbuilderslive.com today and making a donation so we can continue to bring truth to you over the airwaves. It’s a great way for people to learn about the Constitution, about our founding, about all of these principles that are so important and that frankly, are so under attack right now, this is a critical, critical time in our history. More than ever, we need to know that history, we need to know what the Constitution says about these things. And part of the reason we’re in the fiasco we’re in right now is our lack of knowledge about history. We didn’t know what actually happened in 1918 when we bought the lies that supposedly we saved the world from Spanish Flu in 1918 by having the draconian lockdowns. That never happened. We had very, very limited government interaction in 1918 in the big cities and where it did happen, it helped, but it was limited. We never shut down entire economies. And because we didn’t know that history, we bought the lie and we let it happen this time.
In the same way, we got to know our constitutional freedoms, we got to know what is the proper way for government to intervene in these situations. Obviously, we want government action to stop the spread of a pandemic, but we need a balanced approach and it’s got to be constitutional. So, we are on a mission to educate people about the history and about the constitution and about the biblical worldview of all of these issues.
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