through His Word
by Katy Kauffman
I believe coaches and leaders can be divided into two categories. There’s the coach who shouts at the team from the side line, and then there’s the coach who runs the ladders with you. Which coach would you want?
I’ve had two basketball coaches who were the running type—Melissa Mathis and my dad, Rick Kauffman. Melissa became my church team’s coach the third year I played, and the next year Dad became her assistant. He took over coaching my last two years. Both of them loved to play scrimmage games with the girls, and my dad even ran ladders with us. Melissa was on the short side for a basketball player (like me since most of the girls passed me up in height), but she was fast.
I learned from Melissa and my dad that a leader is a part of the team, not just someone who barks orders from the bench. A true coach does the hard work that she expects from her team, and makes the work worthwhile, even fun. What an effective leader shouts to his team is encouragement, not demeaning remarks or hostility. A leader whose heart is like Christ’s, seeks to unify the team in love, not motivate them by a fostering a spirit of competition among its members.
Jesus is the perfect coach—He’s in the game of life with us. He doesn’t have to shout from the side lines. His Spirit within us whispers what’s on the Father’s heart—where to go, how to act, who to talk to about God, and even what to say. Jesus has played “the game” and won, so He knows how to direct us to make the most of our lives and score one goal after another before the buzzer sounds. He runs the ladders with us, strengthening us for the adventures He has in store.
After Jesus died, rose from the dead, and ascended to heaven, He wasn’t absent from the lives of His disciples. He was still in “the game.” Jesus’ disciples “went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs” (Mark 16:20 NKJV). Jesus worked with His disciples in sharing the gospel and affirming the truth through signs. Teamwork.
Has God been a coach you can count on to give you encouragement and direction? Have you seen Him work with His team—the church—in ministering to a hurting world? Maybe you’ve had a coach or leader who showed you God’s heart of gentleness and strength. Tell us if you have in the comments below, and celebrate with us that God is a Coach who works with His people—loving them, equipping them, and ministering through them.
© Copyright 2017 by Katy Kauffman
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coach, teamwork, God’s family, the church, Jesus, A Coach Who Plays the Game with You, Delighting in God’s Goodness series, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies