By Shannon Caughey
“I am a coach today because of the impact my coach had on me.” I’ve heard coach after coach share this when asked why they decided to become a coach. They personally experienced what we discussed in the last devotion: the power of a coach’s influence. My guess is that you have as well. Now you’re a coach with this same opportunity for influence. Here’s the key question: how can you maximize your influence for what matters most?
As we saw in the last devotion, the goal is to use the power of your influence to point people to Jesus. In this and the next few devotions, we’ll dig further into how you can maximize the influence opportunity you have as a coach. We’ll do so by looking at the Apostle Paul’s directive to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:1-6. For years Paul has coached Timothy in life and ministry. With Paul’s earthly life now nearing the end, he lays out a game plan that gives Timothy – and gives each of us, if we’ll follow it – the chance to maximize our influence for what matters most.
2 Timothy 2 begins like this: “1 Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. 2You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” Paul reminds Timothy that he possesses the strength to fulfill God’s game plan because God graciously gives it to him. The same is true for each of us who have put our faith in Jesus and follow him. Then Paul points to the central component of this game plan (v. 2): have a multiplication mindset.
2 Tim. 2:2 articulates the heart of Jesus’ plan for the spread of his kingdom: every disciple of Christ helping others grow as disciples of Christ who will help still others grow as disciples of Christ…and on and on it continues. Paul invested in Timothy, and Timothy is to invest in other trustworthy people, enabling these people to pass on this same disciple-making ministry to others. Rather than only focusing on the here-and-now, as Christ-followers we think in terms of how Jesus wants to multiply his work through us. Through God’s grace and strength, what we do now to point people to Jesus can be multiplied for generations to come. It’s all about maximizing our influence for Christ.
Here’s the challenge for you, Coach: beyond thinking about the next game or meet – or even the next season – think about the next generation and generations beyond that. Consider this possibility: because of how your commitment to Christ shapes your coaching, your athletes’ lives are impacted by Jesus. Some of these athletes go into coaching themselves because they want to impact others for Jesus just like you as their coach impacted them. And this continues generation after generation.
When we adopt this 2 Tim. 2:2 mindset, we realize that how we live and coach today can be used by Jesus for generations to come. Coach, as you leverage the power of your influence to point people to Christ and to encourage them to point others to Christ, Jesus multiplies his work through you. Imagine a coach 50+ years from now saying, “I coach for Jesus today because of the impact that my coach had on me, which goes back to the impact their coach had on them, which goes back to the impact their coach had on them…” – eventually coming back to you. By God’s grace, this becomes reality as you maximize your influence for what matters most!
For reflection: Ask the Lord to help you embrace a multiplication mindset – trusting him for the impact you can have as you coach for Christ. By his grace, he gives you the strength to live this out!