Nelson Cook who established Coaches of Influence (COIN) 28 years ago in Los Angeles USA writes a monthly letter to the many coaches at professional, college and high school levels and the current correspondence touches the spot.
It has been my privilege since 1984 to have been hosted innumerable times by Nelson Cook in my years in sport ministry, the most recent was in 2009 where I addressed coaches over breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
This is another of those Christian ministry movements where one person has a vision for a ministry area that had been untapped and gathered support to engender the dream and saw how God unleashed his 'touch' upon the evangelism.
There is a growing number of these 'niche' ministries that highly specialise into a people group and coaches are a vital people group in the American culture who both influence the life of high schools, colleges and professional teams, but have a huge input into the lives of their charges.
To this extent Nelson Cook's vision grew its feet and with the Lord's blessing that this ministry is now a light on the landscape and this is Nelson Cook's latest letter to his coaching personnel:
Part of COIN's purpose is ... to reach, encourage, and strengthen coaches ... We've heard the phrase, "It's not about the X's and O's, it's all about the Jimmy's and Joe's". We have been CALLED to focus our INFLUENCE on the kids God has GIVEN to us to work with.
Grant Teaff, former head coach and athletic director at Baylor University said, "If all you're doing is coaching football, you're not doing enough." Grant now is Executive Director of the American Football coaches Assn., and he with his wife Donnell have been impacting lives for many, many years.
May I share with you the BEST way to start to have the IMPACT you want to have that goes way beyond football. It's simple to say ... but you will be challenged to do it.
Richard Foster said, "NONE of us will keep up a life of prayer unless we are prepared to change." John Sung (1901–1944) ministered throughout South East China, converting thousands and developing a generation of church leaders. He emphasized the NECESSITY of prayer in evangelism. I Timothy 2 verses 1 -4: FIRST of all prayer ... offered for all.
Coaches, spouse, and friends, we are all in God's field. Here's what God says to us:
–The fields are white, ready for harvest
– Fear not – for I am with you
–Sow the seed – you will reap what you sow
–You are HIS ambassador – Represent
–You didn't choose Him – HE CHOSE YOU!
Make it a great day in the power of His Spirit.
Back to school
Back to school is a common theme ... let's consider the scriptural exhortation from I Peter 3 verse 15 "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts (key) and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the HOPE that is in you with meekness and fear."
If you and I are really going to be effective in our place of work, we must set out to be the best at our job.
I knew a man who ... arrived on the job and contrary to expectations, he did not talk, he did not agitate. He just got on with the work. And for a period of some months, that is all he did ... His workmates began to see him in a new light.
Only when he had already, to the surprise of everyone, established himself as a craftsman amongst craftsman did he go into action. By this time he had the respect of every worker in the factory and in the trade union branch. Within two years, he had obtained one of the most influential positions in his union, where he could profoundly influence policies which concerned the working lives and conditions of hundreds of thousands of Britain's key war workers. – Douglas Hyde, Dedication and Leadership.
As we get back to the place God has us, be the best representative of Jesus Christ you can be. Be quick to hear, slow to speak, on task giving your whole-hearted devotion to making your boss, head coach, principal, and school administration as successful as you can. God, in due season; will honor you as you honor Him. We have the joy before us.
Light em' up ! - Matthew 5 verse 16
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html