Nelson Cook who established Coaches of Influence (COIN) 30 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.
In a recent Nelson Cook newsletter to his coaches he wrote:
Reaching with the Gospel
It is my opinion that the best evangelistic center in the greater metropolitan Boston area is NOT a church. It is a filling station in Arlington. It was owned and operated by a man named Bob who caught the vision early in his life that his vocation and his calling were to be welded together. As time passed, his station became known as the place to go for gas, new tires, or other car service.
I have seen a half-dozen cars lined up bumper to bumper near two pumps in front of that little station just waiting to be served by that man. He has no banners out, no "Jesus Saves" flags, no signs, no "ichthuses," nothing plastered all over the station or in the windows, no sign, "Bring your car to Bob and take your soul to Jesus."
He simply did his job! He did it well and people knew he was in partnership with the Lord. He led dozens of people to faith in Jesus Christ. I've got to ask myself and challenge you are you just waving flags and handing out stickers? Or are you winning the right to be heard and gaining respect of those you work under/with and the ones who look up to you?
Holiness is the everday business of every Christian. It evidences itself in the decisions we make and things we do, hour by hour, day by day. – Chuck Swindoll
That's why we need each other (Romans chapter 1 verse 12) to encourage our faith and walk. Consider how to weld together our vocation of coaching and our call to be followers of Christ. Why we pray for each other, because we need to remember we only can do what we do for Him by His Grace.
Hide and ABIDE in Christ and bear much fruit (John 15:4-5). Do that and people may live up at your pump to be served by someone that exudes love, grace, mercy, hope, and assurance in Christ.
Keeping the BIGPicture in Mind
Another World. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for ANOTHER world. – CS Lewis. Watch your AIM - Aim at heaven and you'll get earth thrown in. Aim at earth, you will get neither. – CS Lewis
Epitaph - An old cemetery had a tombstone which bore the following epitaph:
Pause stranger, when you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so you will be,
So prepare for death and follow me.
An unknown passerby read those words and underneath scratched this reply:
To follow you I'm not content,
Until I know which way you went.
As Christians we know which way we're going, not because of what we've done, but because of what CHRIST has done for us. And we've been trusting that. I John chapter 5 verse 13: These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God (JESUS CHRIST), so that you may know that you have eternal life.
Do we take God at HIS word? Yes or No. Do we give ourselves PERMISSION to do and say as we please? In Texas we used to challenge one another to raising the bar in our personal lives by reminding one another to a high standard by simply saying THAT'S A 429.
As in Ephesians 4:29. Let NO unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but ONLY such a word as is good for EDIFICATION, according to the NEED of the moment, so that it will GIVE GRACE to those who hear. Coaches, God has called us to a HIGHER vocabulary in dealing with people (players, etc.). So look at this list and see what you think.
The POWER of PROFANITY
It diminishes the creative power of mind and tongue.
It substitutes brassy speech for genuine boldness.
It sacrifices character on the altar of acceptance.
It produces abnormal responses and stifles healthy interaction.
It begets an atmosphere of hostility or adversity.
It depends on shock or crudity to establish authority or create humor.
It cheapens or desecrates life's most precious relationships.
It acclimates the mind to the world-spirit.
It instills a reticence to speak righteously.
It erodes sensitivity toward ultimate eternal issues.
Pastor Jack W. Hayford
Proverbs 15:1: A gentle answer turns away wrath, BUT a harsh word stirs up anger.
Keep your speech toward the ONWARD and UPWARD path.
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