Yesterday, College Football Coach Brian Kelly just got announced as the new boss of Touchdown Jesus, Inc. He's also the NCAA FBS Coach of the year. At his Notre Dame introduction, he said this:
"It’s not just about getting bigger, stronger, faster," he said. "It’s getting your players to trust, to be accountable on a daily basis, it’s about developing them as young men. … To get people to do things that they would not normally do on their own."Amen. Good Coach. I'd say he provides a strong contrast to most preachers. Here's what I mean.
How many church leaders develop the talent, and how many just focus on doing their job but complain because others don't do much themselves? Right. Biblically speaking, the worker's main duty is to get the whole church to do their 'jobs' as well. So I say, if some pew sitters like to think that their monthly tithing checks give them the right to be served all year long - then, christian workers, just stop cashing those particular checks! Keep taking money from everyone else, if they keep giving it. But don't accept money from those who expect their gifts to prevent you from doing your job. Please, remember. You don't work for them. And they don't give to you. Right? (Right?)
You've got the idea. Now let's make this practical. HOW does one Coach? The same way one parents. Exhaustively. Tirelessly. Constantly. Incrementally.
A Kindergarten teacher once told me the average child requires 1,000 hours of exposure to print materials before they can read their first word. Father Flanagan learned at Boys Town that teens raised in poverty had never been taught how to make eye contact, introduce themselves, or follow simple instructions. It doesn't get much more basic than that. Good parents, well-off ones at least, consistently demand and tirelessly reinforce the behaviors they know are in their children's best interests. Poor parents, without resources or know-how, muddle through and the kids simply learn what they learn, which ain't much.
We all need to be taught, if we're going to learn. We all need to be trained, to develop and master new skills. In a church, that's as true as in any place else. The little things need to be coached. So church leaders, if your people have done little more than attend and listen for most of their lives, you might need to get started with multiple repetitions of very simple tasks. Then expand as you can. If you're gentle, positive, slow and deliberate, they might not resist overly much. If they do, they're certainly free not to come. They might not like what you're doing, but you'll try to explain that it's for their own good. It is certainly NOT to their benefit to be served and to avoid exercise! So don't let that continue!
If they act like children about it, punish them. How? Refuse to keep taking their money. (That'll show 'em!) But whatever happens, keep straight. Do your job. Coach. Develop the talent.
The Hope of all the Earth is Christ working through His Whole Body. Not just one mouth and a whole bunch of ears. So keep preaching. But Coach. And Pray. Above all else, pray. But start doing what few ever try. For the sake of God's Hope, for the sake of Christ's Glory, for the sake of Him gaining a functional corporate expression of Himself on Earth... Preachers... (or anyone else)... PLEASE...
Coach the Body of Christ!