I have been a coach for 30 years. I’ve coached men, women, a dozen sports, college, high school, leagues and clubs. I love to coach, and God designed me to coach. Recently I experienced something new: the power of coaching athletes with the E3 mindset of engaging, equipping and empowering them in Christ.
I currently coach my daughter’s 16-and-under volleyball team. This has been the most unique experience, and I’ve been doing this a long time. What’s different isn’t the team itself, it’s the approach. We started with the end in mind.
When I began coaching the team, I told them it was my job to teach them something the Lord has taught me: I can only fail them in one way. I said we are going to win and lose games (hopefully win more than lose), we will face successes and failures, we will practice hard and compete with excellence. But, the only way I can fail them is if I don’t help them become competent and confident ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If they don’t become disciple-making disciples who leave our club team and go into their campuses and wherever else the Lord takes them as Jesus-loving people, I’ve failed them. This mindset has transformed me and my entire team.
We’re not just on an athletic journey to succeed in volleyball, we’re on a spiritual journey—a discipleship journey—that’s designed to empower. Together we’ve studied prominent women of the Bible, gone through The FOUR, we’re currently doing The CORE, and they’re learning how to use YouVersion Bible app reading plans. I’m encouraging them to go through the E3 training so they can fully take in what it means to be a disciple-making disciple. To empower them, I knew we had to engage and equip them.
Recently, one of the 18 year olds on my team, Aliza, was surrounded by 87 other players between ages 13-17, and she was teaching them how to wait on God, pulling from her own experience of waiting on God for a college recruitment offer. She was taking the young girls on a journey, a journey she can recognize because we started with the end in mind. All of the 87 girls were captivated, soaking in everything she said. Aliza is engaging and equipping others who will one day be empowered like her.
It brings me to tears, thinking about how what’s happening with my volleyball team is occurring all around the world through the ministry of FCA. We are engaging, equipping and empowering coaches and athletes with strategies and resources to reach everyone through Christ. What an exciting journey. Thank you for being a part of it with us.
Peace and Blessings,