Ignite is a student-run Christian ministry that hosts worship services every Monday at 9 p.m., but this Monday the service will begin 30 minutes early to accommodate Kershaw.
Parker Abercrombie, director of Ignite, said Kershaw is coming to TCU after one of the board directors of Ignite jokingly asked him if he would. Abercrombie added that the board director is a friend of Kershaw’s.
“We asked him what Monday would work for you,” Abercrombie said, “and he said, ‘This would be an awesome Monday for me to come speak.’”
Kershaw is returning to his roots by coming back to the DFW area. He attended Highland Park High School in Dallas before being drafted by the Dodgers.
At each service, Ignite opens with prayer and three or four worship songs from the band. It continues with a 15-20 minute sermon by a guest speaker and closes with two or three more worship songs. The format will remain the same with Kershaw fulfilling the guest speaker role, Abercrombie said.
Abercrombie said Ignite usually hosts 400 students but it could double that amount Monday because of the popularity of the lefty pitcher.
Kershaw, 27, is a five-time National League All-Star and three-time winner of the NL Cy Young Award, which is given to the best pitcher in the National League. He also won the NL MVP Award in 2014.
Abercrombie said students have responded with a lot of enthusiasm to the news that Kershaw will be speaking Monday, especially students from California, where Kershaw plays for the LA Dodgers.
“I think it’s just so cool how Clayton can use his stage to bring God glory,” Abercrombie said, “and I think it’s just so cool how he would come to an event like Ignite to show that he cares for the body of Christ.”
Abercrombie said he is appreciative that Kershaw agreed to come to TCU to speak, especially since it means Kershaw will be spending time away from his family.
Kershaw’s wife Ellen gave birth to their first child, daughter Cali Ann, on January 23.
Abercrombie said he did not know what Kershaw would speak about Monday but he is excited to hear it.
“I know it’s going to be truthful and honest and be glorifying to Christ,” Abercrombie said.