Jesus said, “For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted. Luke 18: 14
This scripture I relate to when I was coaching soccer teams centred on having a game plan that utilised every players skills and talents so my team could achieve at the optimal level. Furthermore, like Jesus with his discipleship of missionaries, the team I assembled was comprised of varying abilities and backgrounds which meant for both Jesus and me crafting a role for everyone that will produce the best outcome to achieve our goals. Additionally, the disciples were vehement about Jesus’ mission as my team were passionate about the game. The question is how did the disciples and my team maintain their commitment to the game plan?
Firstly, I believe a great game plan allows everyone to play a role in carrying out Jesus’ ministry? Jesus aimed to instil a belief in the disciples that they could contribute to Jesus’ mission. Sure, it was hard to continually uphold what Jesus was asking them to do through his teachings has it may have challenged their own set of values and beliefs however, they could see that what Jesus was imploring all people to do would create a more compassionate and just society. This was evident through his own personal witness, his empathy for the marginalised and his healing of the afflicted. Therefore, the teachings and miracles inspired the disciples to say I want to make a difference in the world. While for me, has coach it is finding the best fit for each player in my team. Furthermore, imparting them with the skills and opportunities to showcase their ability and how they will provide value to the team. If I can achieve that I am setting up my players to be team orientated which will give my team the utmost opportunity to achieve success. Thus, Jesus and myself through our different styles of learning want people to have a mindset that seizes the prospect to change the status quo with a focus on team rather than self.
Secondly, the game plan needs everyone engaged in the process. Jesus through his teachings and miracles provided the template for the mission the disciples had to continue after Jesus’ death. However, there were times when his apostles were challenged by the responsibility of discipleship. For example, Peter’s denial of Jesus three times. Matthew 26:69-75 In this case Peter’s faith was tested under the fear of suffering the same fate of Jesus so self-preservation prevailed. Nevertheless, later Peter was able to pledge his love for Jesus three times as he was commissioned to take leadership of his mission. I believe this demonstrated Jesus’s willingness to forgive and allowed Peter to understand and take ownership of his failings which empowered him to be a great leader of the Christian faith. Similarly, as a Coach it is trusting that each player, I send to deliver my game plan will sacrifice their own game for team success. Sometimes, players can put their own selfish interests above the team’s goals. For example, it might be that they are not happy with the position they have been selected in or when they could pass the ball they choose to shoot instead. It is important to realise that every player reflects both on their achievements as well as their mistakes and for those players they become better players in the future. Additionally, for Jesus and myself it is about not only having disciples and players but producing leaders who don’t seek personal glory.
Finally, when devising a game plan there needs to be expectations. For example, when Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs to every town, he requested them to go without purse, bag or sandals. Luke: 10-1-12 Hence, he was trusting them to fulfil the game plan and overcome the obstacles placed in their way. The fact that they returned home with joy, Luke 10-17, acknowledges they relished their assignment and demonstrated their agency in continuing Jesus’ mission.Conversely, as a coach I have thought as long as they play their role, showcase their skills and take a few risks without fear of making a mistake they will be able to have fun. Consequently, I believe with the proper sustainable structure in place it creates an atmosphere where both the disciples in pairs and players in the team will feel they were supported in their endeavours no matter the end result. At the end of the day a humble person and humble teams accomplishments are a powerful witness of Jesus’s life and my coaching prowess, acknowledging the many gifts the disciples and my team’s players had been given by God in their lives.