by Doyle Denney, FCA Coaches Ministry Director
In sports, we know what “Goals” mean. They are the “end zone”, the “kill”, nailing the “basket”, running across “home plate”, etc. But in the game of life, we can lose sight of our goals. The buzzer sounds and it is over. Did we reach our goals?
In the Coach’s Mandate many goals are stated. One of them is, “Live out Christ’s word in a Christ-like manner on and off the field of competition.” I think we can all agree if we love the Lord that is a good goal, but is it attainable?
One of the things we’ve always done during the break before the New Year has been to take some time to reflect on the past and evaluate the future. During my years as a basketball coach it was imperative to our family to keep our eyes on the goal of coaching as a Christ follower. The time between January and March is filled with practices and competition and it can be hard to keep our eyes on the never changing goals of living for Jesus. It was important to share those goals with my family because I needed their support and agreement in the sacrifices a coaching family makes. But the daily activity of studying God’s Word was my own personal challenge. It was easy to think a day was too full or I was too tired. It had to be a daily task I chose and implemented no matter what was going on around me.
Philippians 3:13-14 NASB states, “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet, but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Our Lord graciously gives us the opportunity to put the past behind with all its problems and failures and gives the opportunity to reach forward to new beginnings and new goals. A new year is the perfect time to set realistic goals about having personal devotions, being a more faithful student of the Word and sharing what we learn with others. We can’t rely on our feelings, “free time”, or the world around us to remind us to keep our “walk” focused on the goal.
I want to take this opportunity to challenge you first of all to consider why you coach or teach, hopefully it is to use your God provided “podium” in the gym or field to impact lives for eternity. I urge you to take advantage of either a Bible study already occurring in your school or church or to begin one in your school. As I hear from more and more coaches who are attending Bible studies, I see how the Holy Spirit is guiding and speaking to them and using their lives in a more productive and focused way.
*A copy of the “Coaches Mandate” can be obtained by going to www.nebraskafca.org and clicking on the Coaches tab.