Daily Devotional: Thursday, August 17 - If Jesus Was Head Coach

“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” — John 13:15

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As a former head basketball coach, I love the imagery of picturing Jesus in that role. I find myself asking this question numerous times: “How would Jesus coach?” What type of coaching style and personality would He have? What type of motivation, encouragement and discipline would He use? What characteristics and skills would He look for in signing a recruit? What would His core values be? What type of culture would He create? How would He treat His assistants, staff and players? What type of pregame speech would He deliver? Halftime speech? Postgame speech? What would His press conference look like after an emotional win or agonizing loss?

There’s no doubt we could find the answers to these questions in the Bible. Everything from recruiting His 12 players, giving an inspiring and motivational message (remember that Sermon on the Mount address?), meeting one on one, to asking His Father to please forgive them for they don’t know what they do. I’d like to share just three simple attributes of what I think it would look like if Jesus was a head coach.

No doubt Jesus would serve His players and staff, and their families. It would never be about Him, but rather all about the program, the players, the staff and their families. He would place their needs above His own, taking time to individually meet with each one and get to know them more intimately. He would crave connection and relationship, learning their likes and dislikes, their hopes, dreams and fears. He would pray for them, specifically and continually. His players and staff would become His family and He would serve them (probably even wash their feet!).

He would sacrifice time, effort and energy to encourage and motivate His players. Sacrificing is giving of yourself and that’s exactly what Christ would do as a head coach. He would give up Himself to completely focus on each player’s needs. His focus would be on the team and the program with no selfish ambition or manipulation. He would arrive early and stay late for the player who wanted to work more on his or her game. He’d do the little things for the player who comes from a broken home and has very little parental support, inviting them over to His house for a meal, a snack, a place to hang out. It would never be about Him, but always about others.

Christ would share Himself. He would share the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ and the personal relationship you can have with Him. He would share that with His players, staff, their families, the other team, officials, other coaches and even the crowd. Jesus would take advantage of every opportunity to share who He is and what He can provide. Sharing is telling. Sharing is giving. Sharing is intentional.

That’s Jesus as our Head Coach: serving, sacrificing, sharing! Now it’s our turn to follow His lead.

— Jim Good

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