Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Why I think we need more Christian coaches

Redeemer will be making its bi-annual trek to the Modgnik (Kingdom spelled backwards) retreat in a week and half. I'm thankful for the few students attending and for our two leaders willing to sacrifice their time and sanity for a weekend of discipleship, fellowship, fun, and shared experiences with some teens.

I'm a little saddened that we we don't have more youth going. The culprit is not apathy. The culprit is athletics, at least in part. Now retreat attendance isn't mandated from Mt Sinai. I get that. Christian parents of athletically involved children may never be able (although that's probably getting loose with the language) to send their youth on retreats simply because of year-round sports. Now they may raise their child to fear the Lord and use their athletics to bring honor to Jesus. I get that (I wonder how many retreats Tim Tebow went on..?) and have seen people do it.
 
But I really don't see this athletic issue going away. If anything it will get worse, as coaches demand more and more. And parents demand more and more, hoping for scholarships to reward their investments.

Yet I do think there is a solution, or maybe just a band-aid. But band-aids still help stop the bleeding. I think we need more Christian coaches.

Several of my youth couldn't go on this fantastic retreat because the coach wouldn't let or want them miss a game or a track meet. At the least, the youth didn't want to disappoint their coach. That was simply not an option.

Yet what if the coach would simply say, "Go on that retreat, as that is actually more important than you running or playing baseball." What if he would be counter-cultural and say such a thing? Wouldn't that be amazing? Since kids and parents either are not willing or don't feel such a conviction, this is probably the only way kids in athletics will be able to participate in such "extra-curricular" activities.

Now compare this with a Christian friend of mine, a track coach. He has prayed for his "trackers" to approach him with gospel-centered questions and the Lord has opened the door for good conversations. What would happen if a kid requested to miss one track meet or one baseball practice in a season?

We really do need more Christian coaches. I'm thankful for those out there and hope to see more.

2 comments:

Melanie Phelps said...

Amen, Geoff! We have been the exception rather the the rule. Not one, but 2 of Alec's coaches have said, "go-that has eternal significance." Of course, they are also both Christians, but this blog is a good reminder for me to thank them again.

Geoffsnook said...

Melanie,

Thanks. Yes tell your coaches how much they mean. Perhaps they can recruit more. And of course if I want to see more of them, then that probably means I might need to jump in as well!