Are You a Coach or a Quarterback?

A couple months ago my friend, Greg Stier, joined an online meeting I hosted for a few of my Coaching Network members. We had a great time and sure learned a lot from Greg. I enjoy having notable thought-leaders, like Greg, share with my Coaching Network in online collaborative meetings during our 6 months together. Sometimes they even write articles exclusively for network members.

Recently Greg Stier sent me a piece that he wrote for my group, and today I thought I would allow you to read what he shared:

Are you the Coach or the Quarterback?

Many of us come to youth ministry evangelism from an invitational mindset. We’ve been all about encouraging our students to invite their friends out to youth group so the unreached can hear an adult tell them about Jesus. In this invitational evangelism model, when the unchurched show up at our weekly meetings or organized outreach activities, many of us see ourselves as the team quarterback who’s there to lob the quick touchdown pass and nail the ‘conversion’ point.

Now don’t get me wrong, I believe it’s critically important that we give the gospel each week at our youth group meetings and that we rejoice over every soul who gets introduced to Jesus through our meetings. But I’m convinced that we would see even more fruit from our evangelism efforts if we shifted our perspective away from being the quarterback who’s standing at the ready to deliver the touchdown pass, and instead started to see ourselves as the team coach.

The coach’s job is to train and equip the individual members of the team with the skills they need to get off the bench and into the game themselves. (Check out Ephesians 4:11-13.) The coach’s job is to explain the strategy, refine the skill sets and techniques and motivate the team to bring their best to the game.

Evangelism can’t just be an occasional curriculum topic we brush up against once or twice a year, or even a quarterly outreach meeting we organize with all the bells and whistles. It has to be a mindset we’re cultivating year round in our students as we coach them week in and week out so they can get off the bench and into the game.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if it were our teens who were initiating spiritual conversations and sharing their faith one-on-one with their friends? When another teen comes to them stressed out about grades or hurting because someone backstabbed them, what better way for our teens to step into the distress and talk about the strength and comfort they’ve found from having a personal relationship with God? Or imagine the impact if they’d bring Jesus into the conversation with their friends who are looking for direction or purpose in life.

But this will only happen if your teenagers see themselves as players in the game. So are you coaching and equipping the teens in your spiritual care to do the work of evangelism? Or are you behaving more like the quarterback than the coach?

You don’t have to be gifted or “an expert” in evangelism to coach your team. But you should be leading the way by your own example, seeking to personally share your faith with others and letting your teens in on your efforts, sharing with them about both your successes and failures. The example of your own life, coupled with your intentional efforts to coach your teens regarding the basic gospel-sharing essentials, will get your students owning their faith, sharing it with friends and seeing people reached with the gospel.”

What a great message! Thanks Greg, for investing in youth workers!

Greg is currently on a tour all across the country to help train teens to share their faith with their friends. It’s a tour called “Game Day” and you should check it out…

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Terrace Crawford
Terrace Crawford, a popular speaker and writer, is a channel editor here at ChurchLeaders.com. Terrace has been a mentor to students and youth workers for more than 15 years and connects with people everyday through his blog, www.terracecrawford.com and through twitter (@terracecrawford). He lives outside of Virginia Beach, VA.