Renaldo Wynn has spent much of his life in the spotlight. He was a standout athlete, and was a defensive end at Notre Dame, where he played for legendary Irish head coach Lou Holtz.
As a first-round NFL pick in 1997, Wynn, who ended up playing in the NFL for 11 years, was an impact player for the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants. His final stint in Washington united him with the legendary three-time Super Bowl champion head coach Joe Gibbs. Now Wynn works with Joe Gibbs Racing as director of Inner City and Prison Ministries of Game Plan for Life, the ministry arm of Joe Gibbs Racing. Wynn talks about his passion for ministry to youth and family through his work with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Q: What are some ways you are able to influence young people?
A: I didn’t realize the impact that I could have on young people’s lives as a professional athlete until I gave my life to Jesus Christ.
The most important thing that God has given me through my professional football career has been the opportunity to share my testimony and influence other people’s lives. … I have been able to speak to kids [who] listen to my advice because of my sports background. It’s an awesome thing to … have that kind of platform … and more importantly to use that platform to the glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Renaldo Wynn works with youth and families through Game Plan for Life, the ministry arm of Joe Gibbs Racing. Wynn played for Coach Gibbs as a Washington Redskin and now directs Game Plan for Life’s inner city and prison ministries.
Q: What is it like working with Super Bowl champion and Sprint Cup owner Joe Gibbs, and Joe Gibbs Racing in Charlotte, N.C.?
A: I had the opportunity to be blessed and to play for coach. Playing for coach Gibbs with the Redskins will be something that I cherish for the rest of my life.
Now I have an opportunity to work for him outside football, and [see] him on a personal level day to day. I will say this, we all know he was a great coach. [But] he’s even a better person, and he’s so humble. And it doesn’t matter who [he’s] talking to.
We have over 450 employees at Joe Gibbs Racing. Whether it’s the man at the bottom of the totem pole or at the top, he treats everybody the same. You know, we’re actually a ministry that just happens to race cars. Coach is all about God first. He’s all about having that influence.
Q: Tell us a little bit more about Game Plan for Life, the ministry side of Joe Gibbs Racing.
A: We have two full-time chaplains, and Bob Dyer is our head chaplain. We have 16 different Bible study groups that are available here at Joe Gibbs Racing. We have a dig-a-little-deeper Bible study that’s made available on Wednesdays. [Gibbs] came out with the book Game Plan for Life about three years ago, and it was a New York Times Bestseller. Coach [Gibbs] had the opportunity to make that book come to life. I’ve had the opportunity to work here with my former Redskins teammate Derrick Crawford. We go out with the Game Plan for Life program on the road at least twice a month. We either call on churches or parachurch ministries, or [churches] call us to come out to their area to put on a “Game Plan for Life” event.
Q: What can men expect to get out of one of these Game Plan for Life events?
A: Getting men off the sidelines and into the game, and start discipling other men. When I talk about men, I’m talking about non-believers, men [who] would never come into church but will to hear about football and NASCAR from a Christian’s perspective. We talk to men about: God, purpose, health, money and career, struggles, and relationships and family. In this atmosphere men’s lives can be impacted, creating an atmosphere for men to be successful and relevant, where men want to disciple other men.
Q: Tell our readers how they can get involved with Game Plan for Life.
A: Please go to our website at www.gameplanforlife.com. Just contact us by phone or email on the website, and Derek and I can talk to you about how we can bring a Game Plan for Life event to your city, church, parachurch ministry, or church men’s group. We want to partner with your leaders about bringing this special event to you. On Dec. 14 Coach started a weekly online chalk talk on our Game Plan for Life website. Coach Gibbs is very transparent. [He shares] about his life and his faith and principles of life that have allowed for his success on and off the field. So make sure you tune in on the site. Also [go] on our website – no strings attached – [ask] for a free Bible and we’ll get that to you.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Roman Gabriel III is president of Sold Out Ministries. He hosts Sold Out Sports on Saturday nights 8 p.m. EST on American Family Radio, and is an evangelist and motivational speaker. Contact him at (910) 431-6483 or [email protected]. His website is www.soldouttv.com.)