A mandate is an order or commission to do something, often given by one in authority. The Apostle Paul, nearing the end of his life, gives this mandate to his young protégé Timothy: “I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching” (2 Timothy 4:1-2). In so doing, Paul wants to make sure Timothy doesn’t lose sight of what’s most important as he engages in the busyness of daily life and ministry.
As a coach who desires to honor Christ and be part of his transformational work in the lives of those within your sphere of influence, you want to ultimately be about the same types of things that Paul urges Timothy to do. How then should you specifically understand this mandate? FCA put together a Coach’s Mandate to help coaches stay focused on what’s most important in the midst of the busyness of daily life and coaching:
The Coach’s Mandate
Pray as though nothing of eternal value is going to happen in my athletes’ lives unless God does it.
Prepare each practice and game, giving my utmost for His highest.
Seek not to be served by my athletes for personal gain, but serve them as Christ served the church.
Be satisfied not with producing a winning record, but with producing winning athletes.
Attend carefully to my private and public walk with God, knowing that the athlete will never rise to a standard higher than that being lived by the coach.
Glorify Christ in my coaching, trusting the Lord will then draw athletes to Himself.
Desire to have a growing hunger for God’s Word, a transformed heart and daily obedience.
Depend solely upon God for transformation, one athlete at a time.
Live out Christ’s word in a Christ-like manner, on and off the field of competition.
Recognize that it is impossible to bring glory to both myself and Christ at the same time.
Allow my coaching to produce the fruit of the Spirit, thus producing athletes who are authentic followers of Christ.
Trust God to reveal to my athletes His chosen purposes, regardless of whether the wins are clearly visible.
Coach with humble gratitude, as one privileged to be God’s coach.
What a privilege it is to have this God-given opportunity to coach! By the Lord’s power and grace, stay focused on what’s of ultimate importance day by day as you coach. May this Coach’s Mandate be a helpful tool as you seek to honor Christ and be part of his transformational work in the lives of those within your sphere of influence
For reflection: Read through 2 Timothy 4:1-2 and The Coach’s Mandate again, listening for specific things God is saying to you. What feels most encouraging and most challenging? Talk with the Lord about this.