Great Coaches (of Men) Lead the Way to Jesus

High school football coach

I love sports films. The films I love the most are the ones where you get to see the relationship between a coach and a player.

There is something amazing about a coach calling a young man to a level of greatness he did not know existed. A recent favorite is a behind-the-scenes documentary by ESPN chronicling the Ohio State Buckeyes. Getting to see Ohio State’s new head coach, Urban Meyer, lead his team is extremely inspiring.

Meyer excels at getting young men to believe there is more in them than they ever knew. He constantly reminds the young men he leads, “It’s so easy to be average; it takes a little something to be special.”

You can see him pry into these young men’s souls when he leans forward and says, “What is in you? We are gonna find out.”

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We, as men, need that man in our lives who will look in our eyes and call us to greatness. Why? Because we are prone to passivity. We are prone to mediocrity. This is nothing new.

We see the first man God created resort to passivity while his wife, Eve, was tempted and led astray in the Garden of Eden. I am personally very aware of this. I feel the temptation to be passive or mediocre when I get home from a long day of work and my family needs me. Or when I have the option to take a shortcut at work. Passivity dominates manhood today.

We need coaches to call us to the manhood God has intended for us. Men who do not have coaches tend to be unable to receive instruction and fall into foolish patterns of life.

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice” (Prov. 12:15).

The coaches in my life are not "yes men." These are men I trust and have seen walk with Jesus in humility and honor. Just like Urban Meyer, my coaches sometimes get in my face, and other times they instruct gently. But there is one great difference between my coaches and Urban Meyer. My coaches are not pointing me toward a greatness that I am creating. They are pointing me toward the greatness that is Jesus.

You see, Jesus has died and risen so that I can bring Him glory. I bring Jesus glory by being the man He is calling me to be. My coaches are constantly point me the ultimate Man, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. They preach the gospel to me.

I can never obtain real greatness by pulling myself up by my bootstraps. I can never reject passivity by my own power. I cannot even find my manhood identity in my coaches.

A great coach points you to Jesus. Men, you need a great coach. You need a coach who will point you to the greatness that is Jesus.

Matt Patrick is the lead pastor of The Well Church in Boulder, Colo.

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