Not too long ago I was talking to a member of our church and, knowing he had changed jobs, I asked what he was doing. He told me he was working with a consulting firm as a “life coach.” Interesting, I thought. “What does a life coach do?”
That was the opening he needed to tell me everything about his new career and all of the good things that would happen in my life if I would choose to work with a life coach.
I would work on my life vision and mission statements. I would be able to say in one clear and concise sentence what my life was about and from there, I would be able to put together daily strategies to help me achieve my life’s ultimate mission. After the mission and vision statements were ironed out and appropriate strategies attached, your life coach would meet with you about once a month for encouragement and accountability.
He then reminded me that anyone who has ever achieved anything great had a coach. Tiger Woods has had several coaches. Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams, two of the greatest tennis players in the world, have coaches. CEOs have coaches. Bill Campbell, one of the best executive coaches in Silicon Valley, had a book written about his life called, “The Trillion Dollar Coach.”
Everybody, it seems, needs a coach.
So, why would I need a life coach? Isn’t life something we all do? After all of these years of human life, don’t you think we’d have this thing figured out by now?
Well, obviously, we don’t.
As I thought about it, some of the most influential men in my life have been my coaches. I was always good enough to make the team, I was just never good enough to play very much. The coaches, however, coached me just the same, and although they would probably be surprised, I did listen to what they were saying. And I remember a lot of it.
What does a good coach do?
First, a good coach will remind you that more is possible. There is a different level to the game, and if you are focused, determined, and disciplined, you can reach this level. A good coach will teach you what you need to do to win and then, give you the necessary drills to make those winning moves a habit. Good coaches will hold you accountable to the process and encourage you along the way.
Most importantly, a good coach will believe in you. Along the way, there will be plenty of days when you don’t believe in yourself and you’ll find yourself thinking, “Coach must think I can do it, or they wouldn’t be out here in the first place.”
I wonder if we would have any better success with our evangelism if we called Jesus, “Coach.” I don’t mean any disrespect. I love the word “Savior” and I’m moved when I call Jesus “Lord.” Those words, however, come from a very different context and culture. For a lot of us, these words no longer make any real sense. Every time we use them, we have to explain to our congregations what these words mean in the New Testament context.
But everyone knows what “coach” means.
Yes, this is a coach who died for us, who suffered for our sins on the cross. This is a coach who was raised from the dead. I know there is no one else like Jesus.
That’s why I want Him as my Coach.
Jesus conquered death. Who else has done that? If death has the last word, then life is robbed of all meaning. Jesus teaches us what we do in this life echoes in the afterlife. What matters in eternity that makes life matter now? Jesus can coach me up on that.
Jesus teaches me that there’s more to life than I know. There’s a depth and a richness to life that I will miss without His guidance. I won’t know how good life can be without His drills, workouts, and teachings. I won’t work as hard unless I know He will be holding me accountable.
Jesus will encourage me by reminding me I was created for more than this world offers.
And most importantly, Jesus will believe in me.
I don’t think we pay enough attention to this reality. We spend so much of our time trying to get people to believe in Jesus we forget to celebrate how much Jesus believes in us. Jesus believes in us so much He gave His life to open the door to our God-intended future.
Jesus knows how to live life better than anyone else. He has lived life better than anyone in history. His life was so powerful death that couldn’t contain His life. A lot of what we talk about in discipleship are the same kinds of things a coach and player would discuss.
This is how you play the game.
These are the skills you’ll have to learn.
This is how much you’ll have to practice.
And this is what winning looks like.
And I, your Coach, believe you can and will win.
Who else would you want to be your coach? Jesus can coach us through life and coach us through eternity as well.
Yes, I call Jesus “Savior.” I never forget what His crucifixion did for me.
I call Him “Lord.” I never forget that everything belongs to Him and everything will return to Him.
But sometimes, I’ll call Him “Coach” because I’m still learning the game and there’s no one better to teach me than Him.