What Church Leaders Are Saying about Kobe’s Death


Like the rest of the world, I was shocked to hear of Kobe Bryant’s death. Just the day before, he was receiving accolades as LeBron James passed Kobe on the all-time scoring list. Then a helicopter crash, and Kobe is gone. So tragic.

Equally as tragic is the death of Kobe’s daughter Gianna and seven others aboard the helicopter. May God comfort all who grieve these heartbreaking losses.

As a basketball fan, the news brought back so many Kobe memories. The early duels between young Kobe and Michael Jordan, 81 points in a game, 60 points in his finale. Then there are the championships, game-winning shots, feuding with Shaq and Phil Jackson, and all of the other complex dynamics.

In retirement, Kobe even won an Academy Award and had a best-selling children’s book.

Now this amazingly gifted man is gone at age 41.

In my Twitter feed, I searched for commentary from churches or church leaders. Here are some that stood out:

Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) Tweeted:
Reports say that NBA great Kobe Bryant was among 5 killed in a helicopter crash in California today. Our deepest condolences & prayers for the families of all the victims.

Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) Tweeted:
Anytime there is tragedy, it is a reminder of the brevity of life and that none of us know when we are going to have to stand before God and give an account for our lives. Are you ready?

MarinersChurch (@marinerschurch) Tweeted:
We are saddened to hear the news of the tragic death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. We are so thankful for how Kobe loved and invested in Orange County. Please join us in praying for the Bryant family and those impacted by this loss.

Jack Graham (@jackngraham) Tweeted:
Tragedy and sudden death reminds us of the reality of the brevity of life. Especially when someone as young as Kobe Bryant & his daughter leave us way too soon. Tears accompany the pain of loss. Grief is heartbreaking. But there is hope in Christ and peace to those who believe.

Caleb Kaltenbach (@calebwilds) Tweeted:
Hug a family member. Say “Love ya” to a friend. Forgive someone. Text people you appreciate. Share about Jesus’ grace. Spend more time with loved ones. Cry. Think & process. Pray for the Bryant family & the other families. #KobeBryant #GiannaBryant #RIPKobe #RIPGiannaBryant

Caleb Kaltenbach (@calebwilds) Tweeted:
Today is not the day for a theological lesson on death. Allow people to process, cry & pray. Give hope by showing them empathy.
#RIPKobe #KobeBryant #RIPGiannaBryant #GiannaBryant

Greg Laurie (@greglaurie) Tweeted:
We need to remember to pray for Kobe Bryant’s wife, Vanessa and his children, Natalia, Bianka and Capri. Kobe is also survived by his father, Joe and his mother, Pam. Jesus promised, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted”.

Greg Laurie (@greglaurie) Tweeted:
Let’s also remember to pray that “The God of all comfort” is with the families that lost loved ones that were traveling with Kobe Bryant and his daughter today.

In summary, today is a day to think about life and death; a day to cherish loved ones; a day to share about Jesus’ gift of eternal life for all who believe in Him.