A Servant’s Heart
When Jesus had washed their feet and put on His robe, He reclined again and said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you.” — John 13:12–15
Jesus chose to serve His disciples and followers rather than to be served. He displayed an example for them to follow and called them to a purpose beyond themselves. Servant leadership can be defined as guiding and directing through submission and acknowledging the value of others. A coach holds a position to lead and has an opportunity to teach players, through example, what it means to serve like Christ.
As we serve our players, coworkers, and staff, we reflect the love of Christ for them. Christians are called to point people to the merits and worth of Jesus Christ and the fact that he is all we need. In the coaching profession, we have countless opportunities to do so. While many tasks of service go unnoticed or unappreciated, we can delight in knowing that it is not man but God whom we serve.
1. Are there opportunities to serve the athletes you coach, such as doing the tasks that most people don’t like to do—washing uniforms, picking up equipment, maintenance of the field, gym, track, etc.?
2. Are there drills or workouts in which you can get in the trenches with your athletes and show them you don’t demand something you are not willing to do yourself?
3. Are there moments to pull an athlete aside and connect on a personal level? Are there other coaches whom you can serve during stressful times of the year?
Extra Reading: Mark 10:42–45; John 13:3–7; Colossians 3:23–24; 1 Peter 5:2–4
Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus’ great example of taking a servant’s heart of leadership. Help me as a coach to have the eyes, ears, and heart to look for opportunities to serve my athletes. May my athletes see Your compassion shining through me, and may they want nothing more than to serve others in return. Amen.