Switching Fields: From Professional Soccer to Pastoral Ministry

Gavin Peacock | April 8, 2016


Twenty-two years after scoring in a game against Manchester United, now and then I’ll watch the highlight and hear the commentator on the video.

“Clarke with the shot . . . It’s off the keeper’s hands . . . Peacock driving in . . . GOAL! Chelsea take the lead!”

I can still feel the electricity and euphoria of the moment. It’s the kind every boy in England dreams of experiencing. The goal gave us the lead over Manchester United, a lead we never relinquished. We beat them 1–0 both at home and away that season (1993–94)—a rare feat against the best team in the country—and I scored the winning goal each time. God made me a Christian, but he also made me a footballer. And when I played, “I felt his pleasure,” as the great Eric Liddell once said.

God was good that day on the field in 1994. And God is good now, far away from it.

Canadian Call

Football (what North Americans call soccer) is a microcosm of culture. Professional footballers reflect trends and often set them: haircuts, tattoos, cars, and clothes (think David Beckham). Moreover, you have massive highs and lows squeezed into a week. You’re healthy one minute and injured the next. You have abundant money in your pocket…


To read the rest of this article, visit https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/switching-fields-from-professional-soccer-to-pastoral-ministry.