The Player or the Coach?

Good morning friends!

First of all, how good did Dan Byslma look for the winter classic last week? That hat was the bomb!

I have seen churches (and I think I've even been a part of churches) where the youth pastor is looked at as the next Sidney Crosby. A young, talented, and dare I say even good looking youth pastor walks in, and without warning there's talk of championships. "We're going to have a bigger youth group!" "He can start preaching more!" or my favorite "Things will be just like they used to be!" The church has their superstar, and they're feeling pretty good about it.

But the harsh reality of it is, one person cannot do everything. If Hines Ward was the only player on the Steelers, they'd be terrible, because there would be no one to throw him the ball. No one would be around to play defense. And most of all, it'd be an 11 person to 1 slant. If such a game were ever aloud to happen, I reckon Hines Ward would be dead by somewhere around the 2nd Quarter.

But I've seen youth pastors (and other leaders for that matter) fall into the trap of thinking they actually are the superstar player for the team. They try their hardest to do everything. They're at every meeting. They're at every student's sporting event. They're writing every lesson plan. And at the end of the day, they start to wonder why it is that youth pastors only last on average 18 months in any given job.

Last night as I was watching the Seahawks game (may they make it to the Super Bowl to play us!), I was listening to the commentators talk about Pete Carrol's coaching style. I started wondering what things would look like if the youth pastors job was less to be the player, and more to be the coach. A player is responsible for doing things, while the coach is responsible for resourcing and guiding the player to get things done. A player is motivated, but mostly because the coach behind them is motivating them. A one player team would be horrible, but a single coach can influence and be successful with a team of 30 or so players without issue.

Who are the players in the youth ministry world you ask? Your volunteers. Your student leaders. If you're fortunate enough to be in a big church, your staff. You may have to start a re-building process, but in my experience most of the people who attend a church actually want to be active players in what's going on with the church. And this doesn't just apply to youth ministry either, I think that anyone in a leadership position can be overwhelmed with the idea that they have to do it all.

So this morning, take off the pads, put on the fedora, and do a little bit of coaching. Your team will thank you for it!