Tim Tebow draws 26,000 people on Father's Day


SAN DIEGO — Tim Tebow drew a crowd of more than 26,000 people to hear him speak about his faith and father-son relationships at a Father's Day event on Sunday.

Tebow was speaking at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium where he led the Denver Broncos, his former team, to an overtime win against the San Diego Chargers in November. As he spoke, a plane flew above the stadium pulling a banner that read, "Happy Father's Day - John 3:16."

Tebow encouraged fathers to set an example in their homes and inspire their families. He stressed the need for role models and spoke how his dad was his example.

"For me it was about watching my dad. He could say whatever he wanted, but I watched him," Tebow, the youngest of five children, said. "How he acted, how he was, how he treated my mom, how he treated my four siblings."

"And that's how I learned the most from my dad," Tebow continued. "Because it wasn't about what he said, it was about what he did in front of me and my siblings my whole life."

Tebow referenced how his father used the life of Jesus as an example to teach him about love, passion and sacrifice.

Dr, David Jeremiah, pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif., asked Tebow what he thought of the notion that, "If you are a Christian and you are a man, you can't really be a man." Tebow replied, saying he started believing in Jesus while he was a young boy and was competitive from an early age. He recalled how he was disappointed when, at just four years of age, a coach told him winning wasn't everything. He told his dad, "But I want to win."

Tebow said that winning isn't always about having the most talent. "Hard work will beat talent, when talent doesn't work hard," the former Heisman Trophy winner said.

Tebow told the crowd to "get in the game" by being active Christians. "I encourage you men to get in the game and finish strong, finish strong for your family, your wife and your sons and daughters."

He said that while the world looks at him as a football player who's a Christian, "I look at the world and say, 'I'm a Christian who happens to play football.'"

Shadow Mountain Community Church hosted the free Sunday morning event called "Father's Day 2012: Encouraging Men to Live, Love and Lead."

Besides pastoring a church, Jeremiah hosts a Bible teaching program on Turning Point, heard on more than 2000 radio stations around the world.