Coach Dave Daubenmire
October 25, 2012
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. -2 Timothy 4
I have had people ask me if I was ever going to start a “church.” It always makes me chuckle. I am not a nose-wiper or a wet-nurse and I have no desire to coddle weak Christians.
Don’t take that the wrong way. I am always ready to help someone improve their spiritual walk, but I refuse to lie down on a soft pew, stroke someone’s back, and tell them what a brave little Christian he or she is.
For the most part, that is what pastoring has become now days. That is, if you can get to the church CEO…oops…I mean “lead pastor.” Most of them only care about “souls”, not people. If they did care, they would teach them to stand on their own two feet and stop being dependant on the “pastor” for every “felt-need” that happens to prick them on any given day.
We need pastors to tell the folks to man up. The pastors would do well to follow that same advice. We are in the midst of a great football season at Fairfield Christian Academy where I serve as the Head Football Coach. It is a part-time ministry, but one of the most important aspects of the many outreaches we do at Pass The Salt Ministries. Training the next generation of Christian leaders is a challenge I take very seriously.
Boys don’t know how to be men. In fact, they have a hard time recognizing manhood. Through our football program we train them according to Ecclesiastes 9:10. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”
We train them to “knock the snot” out of the other guy. I know…it doesn’t sound very Christian to most folk…but it sure does sound manly. Christianity could use an injection of testosterone.
curious…where does the Bible teach that manly-Christians aren’t
supposed to fight?
Instead, we want to train our boys to be wimpy. Have you taken a look at the average boy in your neighborhood Christian school? Most Christian schools don’t even have football…or wrestling. No, they play soccer, or archery, or golf.
Nothing against those sports. I am glad the kids are doing something. But nothing teaches one about life as much as a football field. You learn that when you get knocked down, you have to get up; that when you get up, you have to go again. And when you go again, you have to do it as a team. Play to the end, no matter the score. Overcome the refs. Overcome the opponent. And most importantly, overcome yourself.
That is the purpose of the huddle. People don’t go to football games to watch the huddle. They go to see what difference the huddle makes. Now, that sounds like “church” to me.
Sadly, today’s church services are only huddles. No one ever calls a play, reviews previous game films, and points out how the team can get better. Today’s churches are hospital for saints, not mighty fortresses where God’s soldiers are trained. Men are bored. They sit passively and watch as the “professional Christians” play a game. Few find a place in the huddle for themselves.
It funny, you know. I have lasted 35 years as a coach. I wouldn’t make it 35 minutes as a pastor. I try to build men. Football is merely the scaffolding that I use to shape them.
I was thinking about the similarities between the church and a football team this past weekend. Yet the goal, techniques, and game plan are so different.
Building a better man will build a better church. Bigger is not always better. I want better believers, not a bigger locker-room full of goats.
That’s why I am a coach and not a pastor. A good coach places demands upon his players. Most pastors place band aids. I am in the man-making business. Most pastors are in the victim making business. Good leaders teach their team to stand on their own two feet.
We teach our players to oppose evil…to run to the roar. Most churches are training people to hide from evil…and run to the safety of the sanctuary. We teach our guys to stand up and be counted. Most men are taught to sit down and let the church leadership do the counting. The coach’s success is measured in wins and losses. The pastor’s success is measured in bucks and butts.
Coaches are looking for difference-makers while pastors are looking for the compliant. Pastors love prayers, coaches love works. Coaches teach players to engage in the battle, while pastors teach people to watch the battle. Coaches train players to lay down their life; pastors train people to seek a better life.
Football players work to please the coach, while pastors work to please the people.
Are you catching my drift? Do you see why men would rather go to the football game than attend church services?
Football players seek victory. Christians seek peace. Jesus is a Conquering King while being called The Prince of Peace. Authority brings peace. Contending begets courage. Courage leads to overcoming.
“Blessed are the Peacemakers.” Not the peace-keepers. Jesus understood that the conflict has winners and losers. Why do we call “Peace, peace, when there is no peace?” There will be no peace until “all his enemies are under His feet.” Most Christians are merely spectators to a spiritual battle.
Folks say to me, “Don’t worry about it, Coach. I read the last chapter and we win!”
“Read it again,” I tell them. “HE wins, not us. We just get to be on the team”
But we wanna win by forfeit. We wanna win without fighting. We wanna win without getting our fingernails broken. Life is not a video game with restart buttons. We get one shot.
What Father wants his son to be a wimp? I love watching my children compete. Don’t you think Our Father in Heaven feels the same way?
“My Daddy can beat up your Daddy!” How pathetic.
Give me a break!! He taught us to overcome…not outlast.
Now you see why I could never be a pastor. Too harsh. Too judgmental. Too direct. Too much testosterone. “Give me three points and a poem and send me home.”
Pastors are coaches and coaches are pastors. One flock fights while the other flock hides. Good coaches apply the same techniques that Paul expounds to Timothy.
Reprove. To reprove means to disapprove and strongly correct one’s actions.
Rebuke. To scold or reprimand for unacceptable behavior.
Exhort. To encourage greatly, enthusiastically, and openly.
Come to one of our practices and you will see how it works.
“Hey Miller! Who taught you how to block like that? If you don’t take the proper angle you are going to get the running back killed!!” (Reproof)
“We have been playing for 8 weeks and there is no reason why you should be making that mistake this late in the season. You know what you are supposed to do. I can’t follow you onto the field and hold your hand. You have got to discipline yourself. You’re supposed to be a leader!! Man-up and go stick you face in that linebacker’s chest or we will find someone who will. You are letting your teammates and coaches down. Run it again! (Rebuke) The team runs the play again.
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“That’s it Miller!! I knew you had it in you!! You play like that on Friday night and we’ll all be celebrating after the game!! It is so much easier when we do things the right way!! Proud of you, Miller. Your hard work will pay off!! Go knock him on his butt!! (Exhortation)
Our guys come to practice every day. We don’t put up with excuses. They work hard. They become better men. We don’t let them blame the Devil for their poor performance. They know we love them because we tell them the truth. They would run through a wall for us.
I want to train them to run through a wall for the Lord!! Too bad the church’s Holy Huddle doesn’t do the same!!
Can anybody say Amen?
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