My dad was my baseball, basketball, and (begrudgingly) soccer coach for most of my childhood. He was not an expert in any sport (especially soccer, though he may disagree on the others), but he made it look easy! However, as I entered the coaching sphere as an adult, I realized very quickly that coaching is not easy, and it is different than training. It is popular nowadays to do intensive training for hours and hours with an expert, but that only leads to individual success. In sports it is not about individual accomplishments but succeeding as a team. This is where coaching is vital. Coaches do not spend every hour of a day with a player, but a coach equips his team with the skills and knowledge needed to
succeed and encourages them to go out and do! I think we can all agree that in youth sports today we need more great coaches and less individual training. In the Missouri District we have trained 14 great coaches who are ready to encourage and equip our team – the pastors, staff, leaders, and congregants in the Missouri District LCMS.
Our Missouri District Tell the Next Generation coaching initiative is designed to start with a paradigm shift. For a long time, our paradigm for faith formation was to take your kids to church, in some cases drop them off, and then they will grow in their faith. We have seen this approach fail. Our coaches will all start with a paradigm shift in family discipleship: the formation of Christ-centered families starts in the home. This shift does not change the fundamentals of the game! A baseball coach does not re-train the players on how to play baseball, but does help them shift to one common goal: team success. Our goal is for families to have Christ centered homes.
A good coach will look at the strengths and context of his team, and then work with them on how they can be successful together. This is the approach of our Tell the Next Generation coaches. The fundamentals are the same! Coaching is not intended to change everything a player/team does, but
it does encourage tweaks. A coach might notice a player throwing with an arm angle that causes his throws to be inaccurate. The coach doesn’t tell him to throw with his left hand! Rather, the coach will offer to help tweak the approach. Our coaches will help pastors and congregations tweak their ministries to equip parents to share and model being disciples of Jesus in their families.
The Missouri District is our team. Our goal is not to win a World Series, but to see the love of Jesus Christ passed down to the next generation. Starting in this triennium, we will have coaches ready to work with your congregation. Are you ready to play? Contact our office today to get started.