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'God, I'm Surrendering all of This to You': How Eagles QB Carson Wentz Plays for an Audience of One

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The Philadelphia Eagles moved into a tie for first place in the NFC East Sunday with a decisive 31 to 6 win over the New York Jets. Philly quarterback Carson Wentz completed 17 of 29 passes and threw for one touchdown.

And while millions of fans cheer for Wentz, he's only playing for an "audience of one".

Carson Wentz plays quarterback, much like he lives life – impromptu – eagerly creating plays that both score points and impact lives.

The North Dakota native led the NDSU Bison to two national championships before finding the fast track to Philadelphia, becoming the face of the Eagles franchise in a journey where home still stays within reach. Carson says, "It always just hits me a little different when I come back home and I see kids wearing my jersey and knowing that - I was that kid! I was the kid who grew up and walked these streets. I was the kid who was at these football camps that I might be putting on."

Question: "What did the North Dakota upbringing deposit in your life?"

Carson: "Yeah, growing up in North Dakota I think the make-up of North Dakotans in general and the make-up of the Midwest and just kind of those family values and Christian values that are just kind of instilled in you when you're younger so those things have stuck with me to this day."

Question: "Describe your quarterback style?"

Carson: "I think my quarterback style is unique and I want to be a pocket passer first but, you know, when I need to extend plays and do things with my legs I'll definitely take advantage of that. But I feel like I'm a gunslinger, I'm willing to take chances, I'm willing to force passes here and there and playing with that mentality and just kind of playing freely out there."

Question: "Is that a part of your personality?"

Carson: "It is, it is! I think that kind of abstract mind and kind of playing off schedule sometimes and improvising I think it is definitely how my mind is and it's always running, it's always going, it's always thinking of the next thing and that's definitely how I play the game too."

Question: "What's most appealing about Philly for a North Dakota guy?"

Carson: "I just absolutely love the fans here. I love the passion that they bring. It's just such a unique culture in this city of blue-collar work ethic and just a deep-rooted sense of belonging and purpose within these games. So it's so much bigger than just a Sunday afternoon football game and they always show up, they bring their best, they bring their A-game – good, bad, ugly, it doesn't matter the fans are always there, and I love that about this place!"

Question: "You're a part of a Super Bowl team, you positioned them to get there, but because of injury you weren't able to see that through. What did you take away from that win by simply supporting and watching?"

Carson: "I learned a lot – a lot about myself! I would preach, you know, to play for an audience of one – and just have that mindset, I'm always talking about it. But then when it came down to it and I wasn't able to be out there I have to really put that faith in action. And really just ultimately say 'alright God, I'm surrendering all of this to you'. And it was tough! And so it was definitely a journey that I had to take but I thank God for it in the end."

Question: "Are you aware in the moment – 'I need to put this into practice?'"

Carson: "You see some little things, maybe it's just some little hardening of the heart for maybe some certain things and maybe kind of crept into the idol side and maybe I was putting football maybe a little too much on that platform, and you know I think God was just molding me to be more like Him and really truly value Him first he ultimately say, 'it's His, this is just a gift, this is a platform, this is an ability that I've been given – but it's His!'"

Question: "You've chosen, as you've said, to narrow your audience to one – let me hear that from you – for whom and why?"

Carson:  "I can't escape it that's just my life motto and Audience of One, I actually have it tattooed on my wrist. AO1 came to me when I was a freshman in college, that's when my faith really became real to me and really became a personal relationship with Christ. And I heard someone say that phrase, a great reminder for me when I'm out there playing! But it's everything I do! Serving my wife, being a son or a friend, whatever it is. The Lord is my audience. In playing Monday Night Football, you're being watched by millions or the media is writing things about you, good or bad, what matters is what God says about you and what he says that you are!"

Question: "You have the foundation under the same name - Audience of One - messaging Christianity - you guys are doing that!"

Carson: "I think it's two-fold. I think when you're sharing the gospel, you're verbally sharing, expressing who Christ is but also, so many people's lives are changed because of how you live! Because of how you walk it out! That's something that we strive to do with the AO1 Foundation, with Thy Kingdom Crumb, partnering to build the Haiti Sports Complex, with the Outdoor Ministry that we have going in the Midwest. We always want to tangibly bless somebody with an opportunity, with food, with something unique that will fix a physical need but a spiritual need at the same time. That what it's all about."

Carson's Audience of One Foundation, includes a food-truck that parks and serves food to anyone who's hungry – from late-night college students studying for finals to families in store parking lots caught in between running errands.

Question: "What makes Thy Kingdom Crumb unique?"

Zach Wentz, AO1 Executive Director: "I think the biggest thing is - it's free! It's an opportunity for people to open up, engage, have a community block party and then hopefully dig a little deeper, spiritually."

Question: "Camp Conqueror! What message is it that you want them to remember?"

Carson Wentz: "I mean it is that message of overcoming and ultimately that message of overcoming is through Jesus!  Obviously they're going through some amazingly difficult things! And the biggest thing we want them to hold on to and cling to is that Jesus is greater than all of those things. We set them up for some amazing experiences here to leave with some amazing memories, friendships, and relationships. We want to foster that environment, we want to nurture that, we want to disciple them as we leave here as well."

Wyatt Rollman, a 12-year-old from Granville, North Dakota, is learning about becoming a conqueror through Carson's ministry. "It means like overcome your fears! And just like be brave! And do what you love to do!"

Carson: "Everyone's different, everyone's at a different place, everyone's had a different experience with maybe the church, maybe with someone with their family. So just first and foremost, meeting people where they are. Loving on people, helping them feel seen, so it's not always just about what you say to them, it's how you care for them how you show love and respect for them."

Question: "How does it evolve from cliché to conviction about a God that wants to engage with you?"  

Carson: "Yeah! God wants me to surrender to Him, have that relationship with Him. And that's truly all that matters. So, for me, to have my Lord Jesus Christ as my audience, it just changes my perspective on everything."

Question: "With the NFL guaranteed contract, what is personally lost when putting confidence in perceived certainty?"

Carson: "That's a good question. You know when you have a contract of that value it's just so easy to just rest on that. And financially that's an amazing blessing and to not lose sight of that. But it's something you always got to guard against - being too invested into financial success, personal success - because at the end of the day if your with Christ is out of order everything else is gonna be a mess and missing the most important thing in life."


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About The Author

Tom Buehring

Tom currently travels as a National Sports Correspondent for The 700 Club and CBN News. He engages household sports names to consider the faith they’ve discovered within their own unique journey. He has over 30 years of experience as a TV sports anchor, show host, reporter and producer, working commercially at stations in Seattle, Tampa, Nashville and Fayetteville where he developed, launched and hosted numerous nightly and weekly shows and prime-time specials. Prior to his TV market hopping, Tom proposed and built an academic/intern television broadcast program at the University of North