LESSON: It’s one of the most common stereotypes in today’s sports culture; professional athletes must be role models for our youth and carry themselves in a particular way. Is this because of the money they make? Is it because of their influence and reach by being on television? Is it their socioeconomic impact through commercials and sponsorships?
We often rely on these high profile athletes to be the models of good character and stewardship to our children. Why should we look to others to be a Christian influence for our youth when we are the ones being called by Christ to put his gospel on display in every situation, to every person we interact with?
Now there’s no denying that in today’s social media driven world that prominent sports figures do carry a great amount of influence within society. But just as impactful within our individual communities, our youth (athletes or not) can be that role model that elicits change with their peers.
Regardless how they feel about their popularity, the fact remains that someone is always watching and they never know how one interaction, or lack there of, can impact another person. Let them know that their purpose in life isn’t to be a successful athlete, but lies in letting others know of Jesus Christ and helping them begin a walk in faith with Him.
In your next “Huddle”, emphasize the importance of not being afraid of other’s perceptions and to stand on faith to carry out God’s calling for them.
TEACHING SITUATIONS: As a coach, it’s never too early to start teaching your team the importance of being strong men/women of character and faith. They look to you as a mentor, so use your influence to teach this lesson throughout the season.
SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: 1 Timothy 4:8-12 (NIV) 8 For physical training is of some value, but Godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.
11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.