One of the many things I love about the Apostle Paul was his willingness to share the weight of the ministry load with other trusted servants. We see in Philippians 2:19-20 that Paul was excited to send Timothy to the the church at Philippi. But notice what Paul does before sending Timothy: he advocates for him!
Coach, what can we learn from these two verses? Hopefully this: Your athlete’s development as a human being is not primarily dependent on you. Did that take weight off your shoulders for a minute? It should.
This leads to the next habit of a servant coach: Advocate on behalf of campus ministries and the local church.
While you do have an opportunity to have a significant impact on them, your primary role is to serve them through coaching. For a lot of you, there are limitations within your profession that make it extremely difficult for you to be their primary agent of growth. You do, however, have a unique position of authority to point them towards the local church and relevant campus ministries.
You serve them by speaking highly of —and pointing them towards—organizations whose sole purpose is to serve the spiritual side of their life.
Habit Forming Challenge: Find a local athletic ministry or someone from the local church who is passionate about connecting sports minded people with Jesus. This needs to be someone you trust if you are going to advocate for them in front of your team. Ideally, before the start of a new season, bring this trusted individual to practice and say something along these lines: “Hey team, a couple friends of mine from ______________ are here to share with you all about what they do. This group is a tremendous resource for you. I would not have them here if I didn’t believe that. Hopefully, you know that I care about each of you as an individual. This group is dedicated to helping you grow beyond the arena of sports. Please give them your attention, respect, and give serious thought to getting involved with them.”