March 11, 2019

By Paul Banta

Ephesians 4:2–4: Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.  Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.  For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all.” NLT

As a coach, your role is to protect the unity of your team so that all are on the same page and in sync as they play together. Just as God wants you to be in harmony with Him, He expects you to create an atmosphere on your team that will help them think and respond almost as one on and off the field. Unity is the essence of the team. It provides the environment for growth, not only in the game of soccer but in the game of life. If unity is destroyed by poor leadership or by players who are not brought along properly by leadership, your team will have a lack of cooperation. Ask yourself,” Am I providing a godly environment for my players and team mates? Do I provide an atmosphere where the development of healthy thinking and actions is perpetuated? Can I be the encouraging leader for my players to live more godly lives, both on and off the field, through my example and commitment?”

God wants your team to get along with one another. God’s purpose for your team is no different than His purpose for the Christian body of believers (the church). He wants your players to be in one accord. However, your team is like many churches in the world today. Some players may know Christ; others may just know about Him. In fact, you may be the only Christian on the team. If this is the case, you’ve got your work cut out for you. But you have the power of faith on your side, and with your passion God will empower you to do His purpose in your life. Because Christ died to pay the price for you and your players, He’s about helping you bring your players to Him. He will not fail your heart’s desires. If you can get your players unified, He will use this as a basis to grow each person on your team. One by one, a work will be done until He has those whom He has called. The toughest part of reaching them and bringing them along in the faith is for you, the coach, to understand that you have to grow your team and not concentrate only on winning matches. The Father will give you an inner strength and peace because you know this is what He wants you to do, and you are going to do it with all you heart, mind, strength, and soul.

The scriptures above say that we are to be completely humble, gentle, and patient, holding all their players and team mates up (not crushing them) with the love of Christ Jesus. These are hard rules to follow and we may have to do take a look at who we rally are and how we are perceived by others and change a few things about our very our nature. We are to make every effort to keep unity and peace by the power of the Holy Spirit. Your team is part of His plan. He means business, so He will help you be successful and get the intended results.

What’s your next move?