November 5, 2018

By Paul J. Banta

Luke 18:24-30 says “Jesus said, do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who have it all to enter God’s kingdom? I’d say it’s easier to thread a camel through a needle’s eye than get a rich person into God’s kingdom. Then who has any chance at all? the others asked. No chance at all, Jesus said, if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it. Peter tried to regain some initiative: We left everything we owned and followed you, didn’t we? Yes, said Jesus, and you won’t regret it. No one who has sacrificed home, spouse, brothers and sisters, parents, children—whatever—will lose out. It will all come back multiplied many times over in your lifetime. And then the bonus of eternal life!” – The Message

What do you think goes through the minds of your players in training sessions and then for the effort they have to put out for a match?  It’s not unusual for them to mentally think before the match about the training results that will be forthcoming when the whistle is blown. Many of us dwelled too much on what we can think we have to go through or how painful the process will be, or how difficult the match will be, and we start to process potential failure that could take place rather than how can be successful and not fail. If we allow ourselves to think about the barriers we face and the obstacles in our path, we are less likely to succeed and be significant.

God has a bigger vision for your life than you do. We often limited ourselves when it comes to doing the game spiritually. Some coaches feel that what the Bible shares with them is a pretty big assignment for them and it’s hard to combine both the bible and soccer. I was one of them, and maybe you have struggled as well. For me, I didn’t know how and where to start, so I let my insecurities deter what God wanted me to do. I was comfortable winning matches and not winning souls. But Jesus’ mandate must translate into our obedience, which means we must overcome any hindrances, and the sooner we go, the better we’ll be. Practicing makes you a better coach just like good training sessions improve your players match performance.

To begin, I think it’s important to identify the limitations that exist in your thinking. The devil’s out there trying to convince you of your significant weaknesses, and that you don’t need to serve biblically. Somebody else will do it for you, so just coach the game. Who are you listening too? Coaches should be motivated by how God transformed them from where we were in the world to where He wants us to be. Start relying on Jesus’ promises and His presence in your life. The availability of the Holy Spirit to empower you is a real promise. Once we give in and give up to our successes, but rather the Lord successes we become significant for Jesus obeying His power to guide and direct us. Start re-thinking what your real purpose as a Christian coach is biblically then start asking the Lord that you are available to share and to serve Him more through this great game. Be prepared now for action out of your comfort zone and blessings to come on this earth and heaven one day.

What’s your next move?