This post is longer than normal, but since I have been building this in my mind and missing a few weeks, I hope you will read the post below and meditate on some thoughts.
Another sport season is upon on us...basketball. And that means more opportunities for kids to participate in sport and learn Christ like values. It also means we need a network of coaches to invest in their lives.
Over the last few months we have seen the word "coach" described in unfavorable ways. From the pressures of money and obtaining high profile athletes to the darker issues of abuse. No matter what the issue is, I think it's true to say we need coaches, people who are investors, that understand their role and the trust placed upon them.
This message is not new. In fact, if you have been around our recreation ministry, you know Rolando Lamb has been involved with our basketball development with the purpose of teaching character and character coaches. And recently I have been reading Joe Ehrmann's book regarding "inside out coaching." Both of these men are calling for men and women, boys and girls, to participate with the intentions of doing so from a transformed way of life. Which leads me to this thought; we have been called by God for a greater purpose.
The sad stories we continue to be exposed to regarding coaches is not new. It 's been around since the fall of man in the garden. It's the struggle of letting go of self and trusting God for our direction and life's purpose. Much like parenting, I have learned that in order to be a good coach, I have to be willing to address the issues / sin struggles in my own life in order to invest in others. And this is not always easy.
We, Cool Spring recreation, have been looking at the concept of Character / Transformational Coaching in comparison to Transactional Coaching. Defined by Erhmann, transactional coaches are those who seek self first (winning, records, contracts), team second, and player third. A transformational coach always seeks the player's interest first, team second, and then his own identity last.
Sports is in need of redemption and sports can provide redemption in peoples lives. The answer begins with each of us recognizing our selfish nature and dying to it. We do that by accepting God's gift of salvation through Jesus Christ (John 3:16). We then begin to live from God's perspective and purpose for our own lives. The Bible says we are new creations, the old has gone and new has come to us. Therefore, we are able to void the selfish ambitions and live to serve others and Christ. It really is reflective of the Christmas story! (I bet some of you never thought about sports and Christmas and the impact this season can have on our sports culture).
In a culture that serves sports as much as it does a local church, look for ways in your life to be transformational. Invest not for your benefit, but for the benefit of others and the growth of men and women to understand their true character that can be found in and through the love of Christ.