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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: July 23, 2015.

If you spend any time reading the sports page or watching cable sports broadcasts, you probably have heard about LINSANITY, “Tebowmania” or “Tebowing.” Tim Tebow’s bold claims as a Christian motivated the first big Christian “Mega Trend” craze. Then Jeremy Lin stepped into the picture as another committed disciple found dribbling a basketball in front of adoring New York Knicks fans and NBA crowds nationwide.

SCH reached out to interview the author of two books referencing these high profile Christian athletes tied to these manic media blitzes. I recently had the opportunity to share a pleasant phone conversation with bestselling Christian author Mike Yorkey. I posed some questions about his early beginnings as a writer and his literary accomplishments which now include the LINSANITY and Tebowmania worldwide explosion.

Let’s see what this crafter and creative collaborator of more than 75 books has to say . . .

SCH: Something that stirs in us ultimately pulls the trigger of inspiration and motivation to pursue our desired vocational endeavors. So what was it that pulled your trigger of inspiration and motivated you to become a writer?

Mike: It was a childhood aspiration. I always wanted to be a sportswriter when I was a kid growing up in San Diego. It was something that just hit me early on in life and it captivated me. It ultimately became my passionate pursuit that led to where I am today. Sports genre books are a big part of my writing; although I have pretty much crossed the spectrum of most writing genres during my lengthy writing career. It’s great to be able and sit at my keyboard and create every day!


SCH: What were the foundational underpinnings that launched your writing career?

Mike: From those early aspirations, I began my journalism career in newspaper after graduating from the University of Oregon. My first real big break arrived when I joined Focus on the Family in 1986 as their magazine editor. From that first great opportunity, I started writing books on the side. In 1991, I was approached by Greg Johnson the Breakaway magazine editor at that time about writing a book together. We did, and this created my path as a freelance author, editor and collaborator. Now I have ghost written, co-authored, personally written or edited over 75 books with 2 million copies in print. During my writing career I have been editor-in-chief of nine national magazines. From this initial writing journey, a wonderful working relationship was spawned with Greg. Greg is now my literary agent and sits as the president of Word Serve Literary in Denver, Colorado. It’s a blessing having a friend, co-author, and former workmate bring you new work and look after your committed literary pursuits.

SCH:  With all the LINSANITY and Tebowing hoopla that media has set ablaze with their “Mega Trends” surrounding Lin and Tebow, what has been your role in telling their stories?

Mike: My book: Playing With Purpose — Inside the Lives and Faith of the NFL’s Top New Quarterbacks — Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow was released at the start of the 2010 NFL season. At the time, sportswriters called them the “Holy Trinity” while they were having record-setting careers at the collegiate level, and while each has experienced varying degrees of success in the pros, I believe their best is yet to come. Playing With Purpose shared the story of how these three exemplary young men got to where they are today — and what makes them tick. Complementing my book about this trio of young Christian quarterbacks is: Growing Up Colt—A Father, a Son, a Life in Football that I co-authored with Colt and his father Brad. My most recent book, which centers on the LINSANITY mega trend shipped on April 20th… At least from what I was told. It is due out in stores this week or next and was published through Zondervan. I was also told that it should be out on Amazon by May 8th. My newest book is titled: LINSPIRED –The Remarkable Rise of Jeremy Lin. Because of the LINSANITY craze, I was only given an eight day window to write the book.


SCH: Can you share an excerpt from your LINSPIRED book with our readers to get a feel for the book and your writing style?

Mike: You bet . . . I’d love to!

“Have you noticed that the two most talked-about athletes today are two young professing believers named Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow?

What’s amazing to me about Linsanity and Tebowmania is that Jeremy and Tim have not hidden the fact that they are followers of Christ, but the media—which are largely secular—are drawn to them. It’s as though they sense the fragrance of Christ permeating from their pores.

Columnists, reporters, and pundits have taken measure of the two and come to the conclusion that Jeremy and Tim genuinely believe in the faith that defines them and approach life in a spirit of humbleness. They’ve noticed how the two refuse to “impose” their faith with preachiness or employ silly clichés (“The Man Upstairs was looking out for us today”). Instead, both athletes speak thoughtfully and reflectively, whether Christ is overtly part of the conversation or not.”

SCH: Aside from being professional Christian athletes, are there other similarities they share?

Mike: There are more similarities than you think between the two young athletes, even though they play different sports and come from different ethnic backgrounds. They are both under the age of twenty-five and close in age—Tim is older by one year, having been born on August 14, 1987. Each has played two seasons in the pros, and each came off the bench when their teams’ seasons were going down in flames and fans’ patience was stretched to the breaking point. Each made their career relevant by immediately winning—Tim took the Broncos on a six-game winning streak, and Linsanity ignited seven straight wins.

On the spiritual side of the ledger, Jeremy and Tim were raised by parents who were Christians before they were born, and that is notable. This means they were raised in the “admonition of the Lord” from birth and were raised under the guidance of Proverbs 22:6, which reminds parents to “start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

SCH: Speaking to your focus on the family and faith, would you tell us about your family and share a favorite verse from scripture regarding your faith?

Mike: I’ve been married to Nicole for 31 years and we have two children—Patrick and Andrea. Nicole and I recently became proud grandparents to our first grandchild with grandson Joshua. What an amazing blessing and gift we have received! As for my walk of committed, personal faith, I was raised in a Christian home but was introduced to having a personal relationship with Christ while in high school. My favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 22:17-19 take from the New Living:

“Listen to wise advice; follow it closely, for it will do you good, and you can pass it on to others: Trust in the Lord.”


To gain greater insight into the writing career and books written by Mike Yorkey, you can visit his author’s website:

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