When I was in high school, I went to a small Christian school. In my senior year, we got a new basketball coach. Our coach happened to be the superintendent’s husband, but that did not matter to all of us on the team. To us, he was just the new guy who was our coach. I cannot remember how exactly it started, but all of us began calling him “Coach.” We would do it at practice, throughout the school day, and even in the psychology class that he taught. He was always just “Coach.” However, I have to admit, he was not the best basketball coach. We went on to lose every single basketball game that season, which, sadly, was not out of the ordinary for my school.
Coach always seemed to like me. He appointed me and another senior as the captains of the team. However, it went beyond that. Coach always took opportunities to go out of his way to encourage me, to lovingly call me out when I was falling short, and to praise the abilities and giftings that God had placed in me. He pushed me to do things I never thought I was capable of doing. While those are all good things that I am thankful for, the reason I tell you this is that Coach still does those things to this day. When I preach, he watches the video and is one of the first people to encourage me in the giftings God has given me. A relationship that began as a basketball coach and player has become a discipleship where he continually points me to Christ. I had no idea when I graduated that Coach would still be in my life seven years later. He saw something in me and has stuck by my side this whole time.
In 2 Timothy 2:1-2, the Apostle Paul is writing to his protégé, Timothy. Speaking of enduring hardships, he says, “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” He does not tell Timothy to look to his own strength, but to be strengthened by the grace that is found in Christ Jesus. Paul understood that Timothy could not endure hardship or preach the Gospel on his own. So, Paul told him to entrust the Gospel message to faithful men who would teach it. In the church today, so many Christians are so caught up in themselves that they miss the incredible opportunity to entrust the Gospel message to people younger than themselves. If you are a follower of Christ, have you ever entrusted the Gospel to someone younger than yourself? Have you seen gifting in someone and encouraged them in it, then stuck by them?I am so thankful that Coach saw something in me and has stuck by me as I learn what it means to be a follower of Christ! Thank you, Coach!