Despite it being a challenging year, 2020 brought about countless blessings and lessons to Noah and Bjorn on “The Sweat Room”.
Noah and Bjorn have spoken with everyone from current high school athletes and coaches, to former athletes and coaches now doing amazing work for God’s kingdom, to current professional athletes at the top of their respective sport.
After releasing the first episode “Welcome to The Sweat Room” on May 4, Noah and Bjorn finish 2020 with their 37th episode; a reflection on how the vision and mission of the podcast has changed, what they have learned from the conversations they’ve had, and what some of their favorite moments have been, as well as what the podcast is looking forward to in the new year.
The first episode of 2021 will feature a well-known name, especially in the podcasting world, as the first guest. On the “2020 in Review” episode, Noah and Bjorn give the name of the guest as well as a short snippet of his interview, so be sure to check out the episode to see what’s in store.
How Has the Vision For “The Sweat Room” Shifted?
“We still have the three G’s … but it has kind of shifted”--Noah Corsten
In the very first episode Noah and Bjorn talked about the vision and motto for “The Sweat Room”, which is Get It, Got It, Give It, and what that meant.
Get It, Got It, Give It are three steps and phases of our lives that can be applied to both sports and our faith.
The Get It phase consists of acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge. For our sport, maybe we’re learning the basic skills required to play or the rules of the game. For faith, this could be us learning about God, the love He has for us, beginning to dive into Scripture, or any number of things.
In the Got It phase, we have a firm grasp on the basics and take the information that we learned during the Get It phase and begin to further practice and apply it. This could be us doing drills to improve our base level skills, team practices, or games. With our faith, we continue to spend more time in Scripture and praying to further our relationship with God.
When we Give It is when we go out and help train others. Instead of just focusing on ourselves, we now help teammates improve their skills by sharing the knowledge we have gained and improved upon during the Get It and Got It phases. As it applies to faith, we help others learn about God’s love and can become disciples to them.
The important thing about Get It, Got It, Give It is that you never graduate from any of these steps. Even as you are using your knowledge and skills to teach and coach others, you are still learning and practicing new skills yourself.
“If God is the protagonist of a story it can’t be boring”--Bjorn Webb
When Noah and Bjorn began “The Sweat Room” Get It, Got It, Give It and the application of this was their main priority. However, over the course of the year their main focus and vision for the podcast has shifted.
The three G’s are still an important part of the podcast, but they have taken a backseat to what Noah and Bjorn love most: hearing people’s unique stories.
Part of what sets “The Sweat Room” apart is that they don’t just focus on professional athletes, but also people at the local and amateur level. After having conversations with people in different places in life, Noah and Bjorn have realized what makes this so import to them is hearing how God orchestrates each person’s story differently.
In the reflection episode, Noah and Bjorn talk about the conversations and experiences they’ve had that have helped them further understand how God works uniquely in peoples’ lives. Bjorn also talks about how this lesson has mirrored something he has learned about himself and his own story about his relationship with God
What Noah and Bjorn find themselves now focusing on and most enjoying is sharing these unique stories. By doing so, they can highlight all the different ways that God can work in someone’s life and encourage listeners about their own testimonies and their place in the world for God.
What Are Some of Noah and Bjorn’s Favorite Moments from the Podcast in 2020?
“When I was the phone with Dalton Risner, as a huge fan of the Broncos, I was like ‘This is surreal’”--Noah Corsten
Noah says that two of his favorite moments from the podcast this past year have been talking to Denver Broncos’ offensive lineman Dalton Risner and USA wrestling legendary Jordan Burroughs and his wife Lauren.
While talking to professional athletes is always a cool experience, Noah says that what really made these moments stand out and be special for him is seeing how they chase after God.
Dalton on episode 12 and Jordan on episode 35 talked about how they have accomplished so much in their lives, yet these goals that they have been working their whole lives towards and finally accomplished aren’t truly fulfilling. They both talk about their relationship with God and how this is what brought them actual fulfillment in their lives.
Noah says that it has been eye opening and inspiring to see God pouring into people like Dalton and Jordan, while also seeing them pour their lives right back into God.
Two of the most impactful episodes for Noah were episode 24 with Rich Griffith and episode 28 with Mike Weston. Snippets of each interview are played on “2020 in Review”.
Rich Griffith is a former NFL player for the New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars but is currently a missionary for Greater Europe Mission. In his episode Rich talked about obstacles and excuses that a person may come up with to avoid taking a leap of faith for God, how the benefits of taking a leap for God outweigh the risks and the importance of being engaged in the battle.
Noah described Rich’s interview as motivating, lifegiving and bold, and describes in “2020 in Review” why he left the interview feeling this way.
Mike Weston is the chaplain for Rochester Red Wings and Rochester Amerks. In his episode Mike talks about how he feels sports and faith are inseparable, how he ministers to athletes, and the dangers of the allure of speed, size and power.
Mike discusses how while speed, size and power are appealing in sports and even our everyday life, they are actually enemies of our soul and can distract us from the details that matter and the connections that are necessary.
Mike related the dangers of these three attributes to his own life and how he has been affected by them, which Noah found both powerful and relatable.
“Getting to interview Lorenzo Alexander and Reid Ferguson … and getting to talk with them as people showed me that their platform is different, but they’re still just human beings”--Bjorn Webb
As a Buffalo Bills’ fan, two of Bjorn’s favorite moments from the past year were talking to former Bills’ linebacker Lorenzo Alexander and current Bills’ long snapper Reid Ferguson.
Bjorn sees them on TV all the time, which he says makes it easy for them to seem larger than life. However, after talking to them Bjorn explains how he now feels differently.
While they may have a different platform than the average person, they are just normal people using the platform they were blessed with to glorify God.
Two of the episodes that impacted Bjorn the most were episode 12 with Dalton Risner and episode 22 with Dr. Jeff Krohn. Snippets from both of these interviews are also played on “2020 in Review”
What stood out to Bjorn from Dalton Risner’s episode was his boldness in his faith. Bjorn talks about how much Dalton’s boldness and leadership means to him, and how he is able to relate certain aspirations that Dalton has to his own faith.
Dr. Jeff Krohn is a full-time vocational missionary in Africa. In his episode, Jeff talks about the work he is doing in Africa, the impact of short-term mission trips, what his greatest joy in ministry is, and gives his opinion on the question “Does God allow us to play sports?”.
Bjorn says that his favorite part of interviewing Dr. Krohn was the amount of knowledge he had and shared about the global sector, especially as it is related to sports.
In episode 22 Dr. Krohn shared a story about a soccer team from the United States, which Bjorn was involved with, coming and playing a friendly game of soccer with villagers where he was staying. Dr. Krohn talks about the lasting impact this game had on the villagers and how it even led to an advancement of faith and Dr. Krohn’s abilities to reach people.
What Do Noah and Bjorn Hope to Accomplish with “The Sweat Room” in 2021?
“Part of our mission is to give people a voice to share their stories … sometimes people get burned out because they don’t see validation in what they’re doing”--Bjorn Webb
Noah and Bjorn both have a lot that they are hoping to accomplish with “The Sweat Room” in 2021 and they discuss this in the episode.
However, one specific thing that they hope to continue doing is giving people a voice to share their stories. As Christians, we are all in this together.
While our struggles may be different, we all need God for them. Someone sharing their struggles and how God helped them through it may impact someone who is going through something similar.
A part of giving people a voice to share their stories is allowing them to tell people about all of the great work God is doing through them. Sometimes people can get burned out if they don’t see validation for what they’re doing, but “The Sweat Room” is a way to see that validation.
This is an important part of the mission of “The Sweat Room” that Noah and Bjorn say they will make sure to always focus on.
What is God Teaching You?
Even though 2020 has been a difficult year, it is important for us to still recognize the blessings that we received this year and areas where we experienced growth. While it might feel especially difficult to be thankful or recognize these blessings this year, they no doubt are there.
As Noah and Bjorn have demonstrated this year, it is important for us to think of ways to use our platform and our gifts for God’s Kingdom. “The Sweat Room” started as an idea that Noah floated to Bjorn and initially wasn’t a serious consideration. Now they have spoken to people throughout the world and given a voice to many people doing great work for God.
If we care about our sport, then we put in the work to be the best athlete we can be. We are constantly looking to improve, and we don’t become stagnant.
This should be our goal for our faith this upcoming year.
We should put time and effort into our relationship with God and always find ways to improve. We should never grow comfortable in our relationship with God because there is always more available for us.
Noah and Bjorn have shown the importance of being active listeners to those around us, as they have taken away so many valuable lessons and pieces of information from their guests on the podcast. This is something we should try to model in our lives; surrounding ourselves with people who will pour into us and truly listening to them.
We have seen other recurring messages no matter who the guest was: display Christ to others through your actions and love, make sure that you have your priorities correct, be bold in your faith, take advantage of the platform you were provided, along with many other things.
One of the more important lessons that we can take away from the podcast as a whole this year is that God has given each of us our own talents, blessings and platforms. We all have our own unique story that God created for us and that makes us special. It is up to us to use all of this to glorify Him.
Did you work to improve your relationship with God in 2020? Will you in 2021?
Are you surrounding yourself with people who will pour into you?
What lessons have you learned from “The Sweat Room” this year?
1 Peter 2:2-3
To hear the discussion that Noah and Bjorn had about the evolution of “The Sweat Room”, what some of their favorite moments were, what they learned about the podcast and about themselves, what’s in store for 2021, and much more, check out “The Sweat Room: Sports and Faith” episode 37.