Ex-CU coach: ‘The lord can use anybody’

Former University of Colorado football coach Bill McCartney is back leading men.
This time, the Promise Keepers founder is leading them with a message of God.

McCartney, who founded Promise Keepers shortly after leading the Buffaloes to a share of their only national football title in school history in 1990, is in Grand Junction today to speak to area pastors and wives about his “Time to Honor” and “Healing the Divide” message.

The pastors and wives will be treated for lunch free of charge.

He’ll deliver that message at the Promise Keepers Conference later this summer, July 31 and Aug. 1, at Folsom Field on CU’s campus. McCartney has scheduled several meetings with pastors across the state to inform them about this summer’s national conference.

McCartney is meeting with regional pastors from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at River of Life Alliance Church, 701 Road 24 1/2. The meeting is sponsored by the Grand Junction Ministerial Alliance. Pastors and wives wishing to attend may RSVP by calling the River of Life Alliance Church.

The Promise Keepers Conference will be a first for the men’s ministry in that 25,000 women are expected to attend.

“What the Lord put on my heart is explosive,” McCartney said. “I want to share that vision with pastors and encourage them.

“Proverbs 31:31 says (to) take a virtual woman to the gates and celebrate her. Young girls today are leaving the church in record numbers. We want to be used by God to ignite this generation.”

Women will be honored Friday night at the national conference, the poor will be honored
Saturday morning, and those of the Jewish faith will be honored Saturday afternoon.

“In Jeremiah 22:16, God is speaking to the king and says because you have a heart for the poor, things will go well for you,” McCartney said. “In effect, what he is saying is: ‘You don’t really know Him, unless you have a heart for those who don’t have what you have.’

“In 1 Corinthians 12, its says honor heals division. In Galatians 3:28, it says we’re all the same in Christ Jesus.

“The reality is three types of people are oppressed: women, the poor and the Jews.”

McCartney said leading Colorado to the national title gave him a platform to start the men’s ministry.

“It came on heels of that (winning the national title),” he said. “The Lord has given me a measure of visibility and credibility to do the things he wanted me to do. The Lord can use anybody. He used me.”

McCartney plans to share some football stories with pastors today and explain how sports played a role in leading him to Jesus Christ.

“The best verse to describe that is Proverbs 4:18,” he said. “The path of the righteous is like the shining sun, it gets brighter and brighter. Everything that happens is in preparation of what’s next. You find there is a divine order to it. To me, there is no question the Lord gave me success in football to advance his kingdom.

“The Lord brought me to Boulder. I wouldn’t be in Boulder if he didn’t bring me there. I don’t believe anything is happenstance.”

The first Promise Keepers event took place in the Coors Event Center in 1991 with 4,200 men in attendance. The next year, 22,000 attended. More than one million men attended the conference in 1997 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.


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