Not feeling “called to be an administrator,” Reich next tried serving as an interim pastor. But within a year he realized that wasn’t the best fit either. “That’s probably the hardest job in the world,” Reich says of pastoral ministry.
So he returned to the sport he loves, this time as a coach. “If pastoring isn’t what I’m called to do, and it’s not an accident that God has given me a career in football, then I guess I should make an impact in that arena in whatever way I can,” Reich reasoned.
Cannada wasn’t disappointed by his friend’s career change. “Calling from the Lord can lead us in all kinds of directions,” he says. “Church ministry is a good one, but it’s not the only one. We’re to serve the Lord wherever we are.”
Kruger agrees, saying, “The Reformers taught that all callings matter, not just callings to vocational ministry.”
Faith Lessons From the World of Sports
When it comes to faith-sharing, Reich says assertiveness and shouting from rooftops have their place, “but there’s also a time where we need to keep our mouth shut and just live it out.” Then, when people inquire about your actions and lifestyle, “you have the opportunity to tell them,” he adds.
That approach is working, according to his team. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck credits Reich with being a thorough teacher, resulting in “buy in” from his players. Former GM Polan calls Reich “eloquent and sincere.”
Amid the roller-coaster nature of professional sports, Reich credits faith with providing perspective and keeping him grounded. “We don’t always understand the ups and downs of life,” he says, “but we try to stay steady, loving and serving people and being committed to the process of doing things the right way and making an impact that way.”
Reich believes God cares about what lessons people learn from sports, not who wins or loses a particular game. The coach points to Genesis 1:28 as a “job description” for God’s people—to “bring out the best in the environment and the people around you.” Reich demonstrates that serving others, whether in a starring or supporting role, is part of the Christian calling to serve God.