BY MARK BATTERSON, BEST-SELLING AUTHOR AND PASTOR
This article appears in the Fall 2021 edition of the FCA Donor Publication. The FCA publication is a gift from our FCA staff to all donors giving $50 or more annually. For more information about giving, visit here.
During the 2019 NCAA tournament, I was invited by Coach Buzz Williams to speak to his Virginia Tech Hokies before their Sweet 16 matchup with the Duke Blue Devils. During that pregame chapel, Buzz mentioned that it was his 1,811th day as head coach for Virginia Tech. Does that strike you like it strikes me? Who counts the number of days they’ve held their current job? I’ll tell you who: Someone who is making every day count.
In Paul’s letter to a young leader named Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:11, he says: “Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.” Paul would have made a good coach! He was always pushing the people he loved toward stretch goals. Why? He saw their God-given potential. And he knew that potential is God’s gift to us. What we do with it is our gift back to God.
Paul points Timothy toward four goals: faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Those character traits have one thing in common: There is no finish line. You keep pushing yourself past previous benchmarks.
Over the past 25 years, I have led every kind of person under the sun. I’ve led every number on the Enneagram, every letter on the Myers-Briggs and every combination on the Strengths- Finder. I’ve led people who I would have cloned if that were possible. I’ve also led people who are EGR— extra grace required. Can I tell you the hardest person I’ve ever had to lead? It’s the person who stares back at me in the mirror every morning: Me!
You can’t lead people where you have not gone or are not willing to go. Leadership starts with self- leadership, and it happens one day at a time. The good news? Almost anyone can accomplish almost anything if they work at it long enough, hard enough and smart enough.
If you’re 5’6” and you want to play in the NBA, the odds are against you. But don’t tell me it can’t be done. Spud Webb didn’t only play 12 seasons in the NBA, he won the 1986 dunk contest. The key? If you want every day to count, count the days!
Whatever goal you’re pursuing, reverse engineer it into daily habits. It’s true physically, and it’s true spiritually. The only ceiling on your intimacy with God and impact on the world is daily spiritual disciplines. You’ve got to get into God’s Word, and more importantly, get God’s Word into you. How? A daily Bible reading plan. You’ve got to press in and pray through whatever’s happening in your life. Why? Prayer is the difference between the best you can do and the best God can do.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Leadership is long obedience in the same direction. It’s doing the right things day in and day out. You’ve got to win the day. Then, you’ve got to get up and do it all over again.
Prayer: Lord, You are the One who gave me life today. Help me leave yesterday in the past and not worry about tomorrow. I want to win today. Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mark Batterson is the lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C. One church with multiple locations, NCC owns and operates Ebenezers Coffeehouse, The Miracle Theatre and the DC Dream Center. NCC is currently developing a city block into The Capital Turnaround, a 100,000-square-foot space to include an event venue, child development center, mixed-use marketplace and co-working space. Batterson holds a Doctor of Ministry from Regent University and is the New York Times best-selling author of 20 books including The Circle Maker, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Wild Goose Chase, Play the Man, Whisper and recently released Win the Day. Batterson and his wife, Lora, have three children and live on Capitol Hill.
Photo courtesy of Mark Batterson