Guest post by Jason Miller
Preaseason meetings: A crucial aspect or a waste of time?
My wife and I have been doing Sports Ministry for over 10 years and we have always believed that coaches meetings are crucial to the ministry. One way to do this is to have a preseason coaches meeting. Believe me when I say that we have been educated many times over the years when it comes to having an effective preseason coaches meeting. I say educated because I don’t believe we failed. Failures should be nothing more than little educations. I believe we were learning for the next time. So, if a preseason coaches meeting is so important, then how should it be done?
Usually, there are so many things that ministry leaders want to share with those who will be doing battle and carrying out the vision. So, you start to think “I can do this here, and I can say this at this time, and they need to know this stuff, etc.” Before long this vital time has been filled up with information and logistics, and has squeezed out mission, vision, training, passion, relationship, and equipping. Information is important. Logistics are important. However, they are not what will ultimately accomplish the mission. They are not necessarily what gives coaches what they need in order to be equipped to go to war. I have been guilty of conducting “informational preseason coaches meetings” many times, and so coaches knew where to get balls from or what key goes to what, etc. However, many of them weren’t equipped to do what really matters…to use sports to further the Kingdom of God. What did I do then to change my mindset and the mindset of what these “meetings” were supposed to accomplish?
I purposed in my heart to make these “meetings” more mission and vision driven. I have also purposed to make these “meetings” more about training and equipping coaches to do the work that is before them. Our preseason coaches meetings were titled just that…coaches meetings. I decided to rename our “meetings” to be called our Coaches Summit. We are preparing for more than 10 weeks of “doing life together” and getting ready to do “battle” side by side. To just have a “meeting” doesn’t seem to fill anyone with excitement, purpose, passion, power, etc. To take coaches to the top of the mountain and have them look over all that is before them…to have all of us as one body, one unit, commit to fighting together for an eternal purpose…now that is more like it! That is what I will strive for in my Coaches Summits.
At the beginning of our youth basketball season that year, I decided that we were going to begin to make our Coaches Summit look like what I talked about above. I think we took one step closer to that! I scheduled our Coaches Summit to be three hours long in the morning. I scheduled the majority of the time to be spent on mission, vision, athletic training, and our specific guidelines, while just a small portion was devoted to logistical information. I imagined all the coaches creating “Jason dolls” to stick pins in and hanging up my picture on their dart boards when they found out it was three hours long. My coaches were gracious enough to spare me from how they really felt, at least prior to the Coaches Summit, until I received an email from one of my coaches. He said that when he found out that it was going to be three hours long that he was thinking about not going. He proceeded to tell me how he thought it would be a waste of time and how it was way too long to sit there. At the end of his email, he stated that it was the best preseason coaches “meeting” he has ever been to and that he was so glad he went.
God will do amazing things whether we are a part of it or not. It is rewarding, though, to do things that allow us to be a part of His plan. When we prepare the way for God’s Holy Spirit to move, we get to experience His power!
[Image courtesy of thisisbossi]