April 9, 2018

By Paul Banta

Ephesians 2:7-10 says, “Now God has us where He wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all His idea, and all His work. All we do is trust Him enough to let Him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join Him in the work He does, the good work He has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” – The Message

Coach, what you bring to your players in training sessions is about the game and not what you want to achieve for your benefit. The players are about the game and you have to deliver the game to them You don’t deliver training session or matches to yourself!  If you can’t bring something to benefit them you might want to either re-think your role in coaching or leave our profession. The worst thing you can do is to live each day for your ego and to live for yourself. God did not put you on earth to live for yourself. He created you to be like His Son, living for others, to be holy and live out your life serving Him. Now, since we have this great game given to us lets do it all for Him and not for ourselves. I can say this because I lived the game for years doing it wrong on many occasions. God has His timing for all of us, but it’s much better to get on with the game for Him as fast as you can and not waste the gifts He has given you to help Him with your players. The game is never for the coach and always for players. Romans 11:36 says, For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.” – NLT

As you seek to grow and become more like Christ, you need to learn how to live a life of service as well as learn to be the best coach you can be. I’ve done all the USSF courses, and I did it to learn more about the game and to win matches. I didn’t do it with the intention of using it to serve my players biblically. Nothing in these courses give this. Coaching with proper modern soccer methods and using Biblical principles takes an effort. You must give up something to make those spiritual gains for your players. To give life to your players you need life-changing experiences beyond the game. Today we call it, “Coaching soccer holistically.” This will help you create a lasting spiritual legacy for many players.  Be part of the reason why Jesus lived, died, came back to life and now with His Dad preparing a place for you. Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – NIV Are you serving your players?

If we know Christ as our personal Spiritual Friend and Savior, we’ll never enjoy and do our lives in the game the way God design for us.  We must use the Designer and His plans. Continue to learn it’s not about you, but Him. Get on with living out and serving the game for the LORD, not yourself. The apostle Paul and Mark another apostle of Jesus shares with us in the following verses. They are great words that can turn us in a different direction and move us forward further and faster as we live them out. Romans 6:13 says, “Give yourselves completely to God – every part of you … you want to be tools in the hands of God, to be used for his good purposes.” – NIV Mark 8:35 says, “Only those who give away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the good news will ever know what it means to really live.” – NIV

What’s your next move?