The following is a reflection written by Seth Ralston following an Uncommon Sports Group (USG) Impact Weekend event in Tampa, Florida, where USG members had the opportunity to hear from Doug Gilcrease, a former chaplain of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.” — Psalm 78:72 (emphasis added)
In Psalm 78:72, we see an incredible example of what I like to call “Kingdom Credibility,” a leadership style that draws people to trust and follow leaders who, in turn, trust and follow God. This brings glory to the Lord’s Kingdom through the platform the leader has been given.
This is the example David set in his early days as Israel’s king. But what gave him the credibility to impact the Kingdom the way he did? During our time in Tampa, Doug pointed out two key factors in David’s “Kingdom Credibility.”
First, David was a man of great character. We see that he was able to shepherd his people with an “integrity of heart,” a Godly sincerity that aimed at nothing but the glory of God and the good of the people following him. Similarly for us, as Christians in a secular career like the sport industry, we must be found with great character if we want people to experience Christ in and through us.
Second, David was a man of great competency. We see that he led his people with “skillful hands,” an incredible level of wisdom and excellence in what he did and how he did it. How will we, as Christian leaders in the sport industry, ever make an impact for the Kingdom if we’re not good at what we do? Will athletes, support staff or others in our departments or organizations follow our leadership if we are incompetent or unskilled in our position? No, of course not. Put simply, we won’t have a job!
Let us strive to live with “Kingdom Credibility.” If we want to set an example and share Christ with others throughout the sport industry, we must live with great character and competency.
Without character, no one will trust us. Without competency, no one will hire us. Together, though, we can live with steadfast credibility and influence for the Kingdom, bringing the utmost glory to God as He works through us.
If you are pursuing a career in the college or pro sports industry, contact Uncommon Sports Group to learn more about how the USG Academy can help you navigate the unique challenges, pressures and temptations of a career in the sport industry.