Summer 2024

THE INCREASE: Culture Trumps Vision - Ted Winsley

There’s something unique happening on the Philadelphia Eagles team. It’s been a long time coming. In fact, it started years ago when Nick Foles joined the team. He was a catalyst to usher in a lifestyle and mindset that has been influencing men on the team ever since.

Culture trumps vision. Nick had begun to create a culture on the team that was lasting. It affected some of the other instrumental players on the team who continued to impact their teammates. This same culture was the environment Carson Wentz came in to when he was drafted. He came with a vision for the team, and that vision along with the existing culture has brought amazing outcomes. But without the culture that was cultivated, nothing would have happened.

The evidence of any calling is found in the willingness one has to prepare for the results.

As a chaplain and pastor, I learned early on that if you’re going to put in the hard work needed to create and influence a culture, you’re not going to get the credit for it. A ministry based on the pastor’s personality, instead of Christ and His vision for the Kingdom, will fail once the leader has moved on.

On the Eagles, we’re seeing the result of a healthy culture and vision. We’re seeing what happens when men have an authentic desire to see a Kingdom culture created to spread the Gospel of Christ. When we get the win, God gets the glory. As a servant, your mission isn’t to get the recognition, but to win in order to raise up the name of Someone greater. That’s our victory! This is not a natural mindset for any human, but we are to deflect the glory by creating a culture that points to something much greater.

If I were to describe the team in one word this year it would be “family.” It’s one thing to feel like your team is a family when you’re in pee-wee football, high school or even college, but when you get to the pro level, it’s about money. It’s about money even more than it’s about winning. Creating a family among your teammates isn’t the norm.

But wherever a group of men are able to create a culture of Christ, a family is formed. If we focus on God as our Father, it makes us brothers. The guys on the team who are believers then become brothers even to the men who are not yet saved. This creates a culture of acceptance and love — or in one word, “family.”

Pastor Ted Winsley, Philadelphia Eagles chaplain

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