Mark Johnson: ‘Value Doesn’t Come from Winning Championships, but from Relationship With Christ’ (Gospel Light Minute #234)


He is a former National Hockey League player who appeared in nearly 700 regular season games from 1980 to 1990. In 1980, he won gold at the Olympic Games. He is currently the head coach of the women’s ice hockey team at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (where he also attended college). Under his guidance, the team has won the NCAA national championship for 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2011. In 2001, he was inducted into the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame and, in 2004, he was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.

He said of his faith, “Many may think winning the gold medal as a member of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” Olympic hockey team would be the greatest moment of my life. While it was an amazing experience, my most significant moment came in 1986 while playing for the New Jersey Devils. That was when I came to understand what it means to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Yes, I was a devil when I became a Christian!

He added, “I had known Christians in the past but really saw something different in teammate Chico Resch. Chico lived out his faith in a way that made me respect and trust him. The next day I asked him if he had any books on cults. He invited me and [my wife] Leslie to the team’s couples Bible study. Over the next year, Leslie and I attended the Bible study and she asked many questions. I also began meeting with Athletes in Action staff and team chaplain, Dave Bratton, for lunch each week. This was where I got my questions answered. One day, while driving home from practice, I realized I needed to make a decision. I pulled over to the side of the road and asked Jesus into my life.

“Though I’ve had many great moments as a hockey player and coach, the truth is the happiness of victories fade, but my relationship with God gets stronger. In the world’s eyes you are only as good as your last victory. I know that my value doesn’t lie in winning championships, but in who I am in Christ. God’s love for me and Jesus’ Death and Resurrection are the real miracles.”

His name is Mark Johnson. Continue reading “Mark Johnson: ‘Value Doesn’t Come from Winning Championships, but from Relationship With Christ’ (Gospel Light Minute #234)”