January 29, 2018

By Paul J Banta

Romans 8:29–32 says, “For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And having chosen them, He called them to come to Him. And having called them, He gave them right standing with Himself. And having given them right standing, He gave them His glory. What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?  Since He did not spare even His Own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else?” – NLT

Wow! What a purpose, an empowering, and a promise. Christ died for you, was raised to life for you, and is with the Father right now and is interceding for you. This is true love, and it shows the success of God’s special plan for you and me. How significant is this? Keep in mind that you can be Christian coach and have great success in this world. You can achieve something from nothing and receive great respect and honor from those around you. I’ve been there and done that several times. The problem is that success in the world we live and in the eyes of men and women mean achieving only by the world’s standards. Such success is seasonal as is the game you coach. So, you live from one season to the next and that’s how you get measured up for your next opportunity to succeed. Sounds kind of normal and we have all been in this cycle of success before.

The cycle becomes, as compared to eternity, a moment in time which doesn’t last. When we chase this kind of success on our own and for ourselves, our players, teammates, schools, our family and community, but we are really serving our egos. We pray for wins, championships, and bigger budgets (or to keep the ones they have). It’s all about success, control, pleasures and what we want. As Christian we sometime bring to the table what we want and not what God’s plan is for us.  For the Christian coach, soccer must be about how God can help you reach success, achieve goals, and fulfill purposes for His significance, not your own. In God’s eyes, success happens when you make a commitment to serve Him wholeheartedly (100%). When you do that, He can work through you with the gifts He’s given you, so the outcome of your efforts ultimately will impact others significantly in the game for great spiritual purposes. Worldly coaches know they are on a mission to serve themselves or someone else, and their success is short term. World-class coaches know they are made for a mission and see that the outcomes of their successes will be used to serve God significantly long-term.

World-class coaches become servants to those around them. Their significant work for Christ through their personal qualities and passions truly becomes their influence to serve and to teach not only the game of soccer but Christ through Biblical principles. These men and women are ready to be used by God and will go boldly before their players and the world to be significant. They glow with confidence and peace, having a joy about them that’s contagious. Those who have the opportunity to be around them, learn from them, and be mentored and prayed for by them will be impacted. They think, speak, act and teach about His Kingdom through soccer for significance, not for the personal success of their leadership. God has given you a mission, and it’s not an impossible job for you. He tells us that He’ll never leave us or forsakes, and His promises are real, true, and justified. He wants you to impact others significantly. Most of our successes have been by the world’s standards and have been based on our personal hard work. Work is a natural part of success. But God wants us to look past the immediate impact of success to a higher level of thinking, acting, and repeating—impacting those around us for His significance.

We’re on a planned journey that God has for us, and it’s a day-to-day process of growing that takes place during our lifetimes. He wants to fulfill Himself in us as we journey with the Great Counselor, the Holy Spirit. We are His partners (teammates), designed specifically for His team. Being significant for Christ in this world means that we need to be a world class imitator of Christ and remaining in Him is part of that growing process and the fullness of life He has planned for us.

What’s your next move?