Question #10, August 2022: What Are Some Of The Ways You Have Used Pool To Witness To People?

Steve Lillis:

This wonderful question brings up the sole purpose for me in continuing to play pool in 2022.  In 1985, I quit playing pool because my main purpose was primarily to win and make money by any means necessary to survive as a pool player which I did for 15 years.  I recently heard in an interview on POV pool by Daniel Busch with Jimmy “Pretty Boy Floyd” Mataya an excellent explanation of my generation of pool players.  Jimmy said so that back in the 1960’s and 1970’s there was very few tournaments and very little money to be made as a professional pool player so you had to gamble and do other things with pool to make money.  Jimmy went on to say that the movie “The Hustler” with Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason in 1961 set that precedent in motion for that entire generation of pool players.  Well said Jimmy because I was one of them!

When I came back to pool in 1997 my sole purpose was to use pool as a witness for Jesus Christ and not necessarily in the billiard industry.  I started by doing Gospel Trick Shot shows in churches, colleges, schools, Salvation Army Rescue Centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, homeless shelters, community centers, senior centers, summer camps, campgrounds, and anywhere else I could find a pool table to shoot trick shots and talk about Jesus.  Then in Year 2000 Tom Rossman invited me to the first ever WPA World Artistic Pool Championship in Las Vegas and there I was reunited with my former road partner Mike Massey and the rest is history.  Tom, Mike, and I became what we call the RACK (Recreational Ambassadors of Christ’s Kingdom) Team and along with other pool players continue to this day to do Gospel Trick Shot shows all over the world sharing the love of Jesus through the ministry of Gospel Trick Shot Ministries, Inc.

Doing Gospel Trick Shots is not the only way I use pool to be a witness for Christ.  I still from time to time compete in pro tournaments and understand that how I conduct myself win or lose is a witness for Christ.  Another way to be a witness and serve the billiard industry is by encouraging other players, billiard associations, sponsors, manufactures, promoters, tournament directors, referees, billiard instructors, cue repair people, and all the other fine people that serve in the billiard industry to be the best they can be for the sport.  I also have served and continue to serve on committees and boards within the billiard industry to help make the game better for all!  My prayer is that hopefully what I said in this article might help and inspire all our precious people in the billiard industry and beyond to be the best they can be using their God given gifts and talents for the glory of God and to better themselves and the industry.  God bless you!    

Tom Rossman:

After Marty (Ms. Cue) and I got married in 1986 we started a career of doing entertainment shows, instructional workshops (private and public), product development (books, videos, and Artistic Pool training items), plus competitive play in the tournament arena, as well as individual challenge matches at the events we attended. We committed our marriage and business journey to God and prayed the Holy Spirit would direct our steps as a witness / testament to people both “in and out” of the billiard industry.

In those early days I used what we called “subtle witness” techniques to “share the light” of Jesus, keeping in mind that almost all of the work contracted was done under secular guidelines. God equipped “Dr. Cue” with comedic one-liners within the framework of ‘humorous” presentations…soothing the hearts and minds of players around the world that were often struggling in their personal games and lives. “Joy” filled the events via these God-given “Dr. Cueisms”…confirming the magnetic theme of the verse below:

Proverbs 17:22 — “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones”

The theme of “Playing Skillfully with A Shout of Joy” (Psalms 33:3) continues in shows, clinics, tournaments, and challenge matches to present day and reflects a methodology of preaching / teaching in action, word, and deed to pool players and many others…to “soften the soil” of hearts often hardened by game / life roadblocks and disappointments. Individual (private) discussions after an event became commonplace without causing unrest or division to any contracted party since these opportunities for sharing were outside the public arena.

All of the products Marty and I self-produced contained “subtle witness” statements and teaching quips relating to the Game “of” the Heart and Game “in” the Mind. God truly blessed all of these creative efforts to “share the light” to a soil that may be unresponsive or indifferent to anything other than the “idol” connection of a pool table and the game in general. Slowly, but steadily we could see the walls and barriers coming down with a peace in the hearts and a renewing of the minds…more focused on a Game “on and off” the Table, as a “sport gift”…to enjoy…and to pass forward the same “share the light” process God had given us.

As we continued our worldwide journey for Christ, an opportunity for outreach under the GTS umbrella came up in 2010. I was on my way to Egypt by myself, but directed by the Holy Spirit to “share the light” of Jesus to over 20,000 people (mostly non-Christian) on a pool table in a desert compound in Beit El Wadi (about 2 hours north of Cairo). There were over a dozen special “sport gift” stations for martial arts specialists, unicyclists, skateboarding experts, and many others, plus a huge worship center for over 6000 people (+2000 outside).

Each niche of presentation used specific sport skills / talents to share the gospel, pray, and fellowship with the event attendees. Each morning we attended a worship service for all staff, ministry performers, and church / event directors. As we went into the “harvest field” at our respective “sport gift” stations I vividly remember the final words given to us: “Go out and be an evangelist today”! I could hardly spell “evangelist”, but I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit directing my steps and giving me the right words to speak…using a translator in the process. Thousands gave their hearts to the Lord and God had redirected my steps to being bolder in my faith witness.

Since that Egypt experience, God opened doors for me in Honduras, Albania, Kosovo, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, the Philippines, France, Spain, and other places internationally and nationally to “share the light” of Jesus…using billiards and the “joy” of the Spirit to soften the soil / hearts of those in attendance. Juniors, amateurs, and professionals, plus a large fan / friend base at various cue-sport events continue to have witness / testimony connections via GTS ministry and “Dr. Cue” presentations using RACK Vision points of how to RACK Up A Victory in One’s Game and Life. Every integer of the billiard industry is being nourished by all of these witness vehicles, plus an extended and newly debuted GTS RACK Rooms website found at:

On a final note, one of the most amazing points of witness God allowed me to use for “sharing the light” was when I was inducted into the BCA hall of Fame in December of 2017. I truly believe the Holy Spirit gave me a special “spiritual” speech for that all-inclusive and magnetic industry event. EVERYONE in the industry “heard” about the faith walk of Marty and me, and how the Holy Spirit directed our steps to that platform of testimony. You may listen to the words spoken on that occasion in the video below. Enjoy!!



Blessings to all…

Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman

Tommy Kennedy:

Pool is actually a great way to witness. A Good thing is that I have won so many tournaments that people look up to me and respect what I have to say. Plus being a good example when I lose is a very big part of my witness. I also meet people that I would never have met if I wasn’t in a pool room or at a pool tournament. I can pass out John MacArthur cd’s and also some study booklets. God has always opened doors for me to do whatever little I can. The biggest factor I feel is the fact that I don’t gamble. Most people are stunned when they find out I don’t gamble. The fact that I play top level pool is amazing to them and that I don’t gamble at my level is just mysterious to them. This of course gives me the best opportunity to be a witness for Christ. If I gambled, I would have no platform to share Christ and His saving Gospel. Pool is always associated with gambling, so the fact that I don’t is a very big apologetic for a defense that Christ can change your life from gambler to Saint. TK