Monday, July 27, 2015

July 27, 2015 - Coaching To Bring Out Potential

Last week I was reading a book by Chip Ingram called Good to Great. In the book there is a chapter about empowering other people. I also got to walk the sidelines as a coach last week in the Dominican Republic and was reminded of one of the reasons I loved being a coach… empowering players and putting them in position to succeed. (And by the way… I have a winning record as a coach overseas… the guys on the trip made me look good.)

I love giving players more responsibilities than their previous coaches have given them. I love to see them get excited about their expanded role as a scorer or ball handler. But one of the keys to that working is the player himself being willing to step into that role; but usually when he know the coach believes in him then he will start believing in himself…

Spiritually speaking I think of Barnabas investing in John Mark. Paul had given up on John Mark but Barnabas saw potential and equipped John Mark to be a great man of God… one that Paul eventually said was of great use to him. Great leaders grow great leaders!

 2 Timothy 4:11b …Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.

Chip Ingram put it this way: “Good Christians ‘live the life’; great Christians ‘leave a legacy.’”

If you are a young Christian reading this I encourage you to find a great man or woman of God to “train” or mentor you… (if you are an athlete you have probably considered a trainer so why not think of that spiritually?)

If you are a mature believer, and especially if you are in leadership, then I encourage you to target those you can invest in… train… mentor… leave a legacy. (Ingram even gives some great hints on how to target these people… he says to look for F.A.T. people… those that are Faithful, Available, and Teachable.)

If you are a parent start at home empowering your kids…

I love coaching basketball and empowering players; but it fails in comparison to seeing my “team” rise up in ministry!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

July 20, 2015 (posted a day late) - God's Got This!

"Failure to plan is planning to fail!"

That is a quote I have read often and I'm not sure of the original source (but I do know Coach Wooden was one of the people that said it.) as a result I took the cue when I started coaching and always tried to go into practice with a detailed plan... literally down to the minute.

Since that time I have maintained that  approach in ministry and typically embark on trips or outreach with great attention to detail.

I'm sitting on a plane flying back to the States right now finishing up an incredible trip of ministry... But I want to back up to how I felt a week ago upon arrival...

During the first nights orientation I admitted too he guys that to did not feel as prepared as I usually do; in fact I felt a bit discombobulated (had to use that word.) Yes, as usual, I had spent a tremendous amount of time planning the trip but due to a very hectic schedule leading up to the trip I didn't complete my usual detailed itineraries; didn't have charts with our costs; etc.

But we did have a goal or a detailed mission we felt the Lord had laid on our hearts... And I don't think I've ever seen a trip unfold better or a mask be more complete.

I praise God for the victory on this trip! And I am reminded of a great verse that I often go to:

The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But deliverance is of the LORD. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭21‬:‭31‬ NKJV)

Do your best, prepare for the worst— then trust GOD to bring victory. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭21‬:‭31‬ MSG)

I will continue to give my best and that includes detailed planning; but I will continually be reminded from this trip that even when I fall a little short... God's got this!

Monday, July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015 - Work Smart

I am sitting at a desk going over the game plan for the rest of the day, tomorrow, and the next week… At 4 in the morning I, and 10 other guys, will set out for Ft Pierce FL to check in at Missionary Flights International and then to fly to Barahona Dominican Republic. It is an exciting trip but also one that takes an immense amount of planning… Trips like this one involve the usual budgeting for fights, ground transportation, lodging, food, etc. They also involve the added dimension of planning for the cost of the actual outreach we will do (i.e. how many kids we can afford to feed.)  On top of that there are the travel logistics stateside, determining where to exchange money and how much to exchange, contacting banks, and the list goes on.

So for today I find myself as the builder that is counting the cost (See Luke 14:28) and making sure we can do what we set out to do…

As a coach I constantly found myself in that position as I came up with a game plan. There was always a process of determining what we wanted to shut down on defense and what that would open up for them. If we decided to double down on a “big” then it would automatically leave potential shooters open; therefore we had to determine where we had the best chance of success based upon how good and how many shooters the other team had.

This week will be going through John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success with the guys. Right out of the gate we will discuss the importance of hard work in order to get success. One of the points that Coach Wooden gave is that it must be “intentional hard work.” In other words working with a plan…counting the cost.

Yes I have a huge trip on the horizon but what about our normal daily living? Do you (or I) spend some time planning toward our day’s work?

Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.

Do you see that? It is not just about hard work… it is about planned and then implemented hard work.

The Message says it this way: Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.

Get yourself a Game Plan today and then get after it! We often hear that we should work hard... true but also we are instructed to work smart!

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015 - Home Games vs Road Games

Why is it considered an advantage to play home games? That is simple... the support of the crowd and familiarity of the court/field.

It would seem in reality that players could play the same no matter what is going on in the stands; after all the game is played between the lines.

It would seem unreality that the courts/fields are the same; after all they have basically the same dimensions... Goals are the same height... Etc.

Yet don't underestimate the boost it gives players to hear fans cheering or them. Cheers are much more of a rush than jeers...

Don't underestimate the value of being rested and in comfortable, familiar surroundings.

I think that is why the church spends so much time at "home games" (inside its walls) instead in "road games." This in spite of the fact that we were commissioned to "go" on the road with the Gospel.

I get the blessing and responsibility of leading a team next week to another set of "road games" overseas. Literally we will be lacing up the kicks for games and sharing the Playbook. It should be a great time but also has potential of jeers instead of cheers being thrown our way...

Can I ask you to be our cheering section (and the cheering section for all that are truly in the game)? We need your prayers and your encouragement (verbally and still financially.) the fact is that it is much easier to play when we are being cheered on!

The Playbook is full of commands to encourage one another. It is full of prayer requests from God's "players" to have boldness and clarity as they share. We ask the same...

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. (‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5‬:‭11‬ NASB)

But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭3‬:‭13‬ NASB)

and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭6‬:‭19-20‬ NASB)