"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ." -Philippians 1:27 (NIV)
Every team needs leaders on and off the field who set examples at practice, in the classroom and with their friends. Leaders show the way to work in all areas of their lives. However, many players do not want that responsibility.
When I share with athletes and encourage them to be leaders, I usually get the same response: “Who, me?” They feel that nobody is watching them and that no one cares what they do on or off the field. I beg to differ. Athletes are under the microscope. People are watching. Peers are watching. And fellow athletes are watching.
Paul knew this quite well. He understood that as believers in Christ, we are all called to lead. He challenges us in Philippians to live in a way that brings honor to Christ—not just to live our faith, but also to be an example to others. Many believers feel that they are not spiritual leaders, but we all have that calling. No, we might not be called to lead a church or join the international missions, but we all have a mission field that surrounds us daily. We need to demonstrate Christ-like leadership within our sphere of influence.
So, the next time you are tempted to respond, “Who, me?” to the opportunity to lead as an athlete or believer, remember that others are watching closely. Don’t ruin your opportunity to show leadership by living a life that is unpleasing to God.
The best way to blow your witness is to talk one way and act another. Doing this affects every part of your life as an athlete and as a follower of Christ. Don’t be the person that no one wants to follow because of your double standards.
Who, me? Yes, you! People want to follow the leadership of someone who will take them higher than they have ever been before. So let your actions be those that people will want to follow. Be a leader! Live the life of truth!
1. Do you see yourself as a leader, or are you more likely to respond “Who, Me?” when someone asks you to lead?
2. Are you guilty of leading a double life as an athlete? As a believer?
3. How can you start to lead effectively for Christ today?
Matthew 5:13-16; James 2:14-26; 1 John 3:18-19
Lord, I know I am able to lead, but I am scared. Please give me the strength to stand up for You each day. Help me to be not of this world, but of You only, Lord. Thank You for giving me Your grace to show others about You each day! Amen.