Coach Like Jesus

By March 26, 2014 Coaches Resources, Coaching, News

Coach Like Jesus


Here is a great article by John Maxwell on “Winning at Everything…Except Relationships.” He shows how Muffet McGraw, head coach of Notre Dame’s women’s basketball team, learned this valuable lesson when her team failed to believe that she cared for them. “Eventually, she took steps to build stronger relationships with her players. For example, every week she schedules a short appointment with each member of the team. The one-on-one meetings have no agenda other than to allow McGraw to hear what’s happening in her players’ lives and to get to know them better. While remaining focused on winning championships, McGraw has begun to win with people—and it’s made her a more effective leader as a result.”

Every Christian coach should share this same desire to win with people. Jesus spent a lot of time with his team of disciples in John 13-17. By this time, he had completed his public ministry and knew he would soon be put to death on a cross. With this in mind, he invests a large amount of time in his disciples. How many “good” things could he have been doing with time remaining in his life? I’m sure he could have healed more of the sick or speak to large groups about faith and repentance. Instead, Jesus invests his final moments in his relationships with the disciples. He models humility by washing their feet and teaches them how to abide in him.

If you want to coach like Jesus, you need to be willing to invest in the lives of your team even when it might be inconvenient or you think you’re too busy because of game preparation or some other pressing task that faces you.

As coaches, we need to give away our time and experiences to our players so that they will see Jesus modeled in our lives. We should invest in them because He invested everything in us! Just as Paul says, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8 ESV)

By Gordon Thiessen

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