Coach, How Do You Plan to Win More…even if team members don’t show up for practice and miss many games?

A preacher had done well. The church was growing. He was happy. He received communication from a men’s meeting asking him to prepare a plan for the church to grow and present it to them. This was the first information he received this was being considered. He hadn’t been invited to the men’s meeting. They have no elders.

Here’s the response I shared with him.

I hope this will be a “teachable moment.” You’ve done well at this congregation.

Possible responses to this communication:


Go to the meeting with no written response. Go with your confusion about a men’s meeting where you weren’t invited. What does this letter mean?

According to what some of my friends say (Jerrie Barber), a letter like this can be the first sign you’re going to be released in the next two years.

Ask for a commitment there’ll be no more meetings where you’re excluded. Jesus’ approach is if a brother is “missing the mark,” talk to him. Share your hurt and confusion to this written approach. Are you not a man? Are you not important enough to be in the group?

If you’ve not already done so, you and your wife place membership with this church. I’ve done this in the last few congregations I’ve served. I like it.

Discuss Ephesians 4:7-16. What you’ll be doing is equipping “saints for the work of ministry.” The group of saints, of which you and every other Christian are a part, will do the work of ministry. The goal is the “whole body,” “every joint,” “every part does its share.”

Suggest a weekend planning retreat where everyone discusses how to continue the good growth you’re already enjoying. Everyone plan and commit to what he or she is going to do to contribute to the growth of this congregation. This would be better than exchanging letters.

If I were the preacher there, I’d question whether I wanted to work out a contract and continue to work with them. If the understanding is the growth of the church is entirely upon me, this isn’t Biblical or workable. I’m glad to work with brethren who want to work with me and let me work with them to see a church grow. I choose not to work for a church who’s growth is understood to depend on the coach, even if the team doesn’t show up for practice and misses many of the games. I can’t successfully coach a team like that. It’ll take the commitment and participation of everyone.

How can we work together and devise a plan TOGETHER to achieve the Biblical plan of church growth? Ephesians 4:7-16

Does the communication you received exhibit the understanding of the Golden Rule by the men who composed and presented the letter? Is this the way these men want to be treated in their place of employment? Would a friendly, encouraging, appreciative, and cooperative discussion be a better way to communicate how I’d like to be treated? Matthew 7:12

There is a strong possibility these brethren meant well. Most people, especially Christians, do the best they know. Proverbs 21:2

For me, what you received wouldn’t be encouraging. It would scare me if I were the preacher. You may need to teach them what is encouraging for you.

What suggestions do you have for this preacher?

(Visited 380 times, 19 visits today)
Jerrie Barber
Servant of Jesus, husband to Gail, grandfather, great-grandfather, Interim Preacher, Shepherd coach, Ventriloquist, barefoot runner, ride a cruiser bicycle

One Response to “Coach, How Do You Plan to Win More…even if team members don’t show up for practice and miss many games?

  • Charlie Harrison
    1 year ago

    Dealing with symptoms does not resolve any root cause, it does not get to the heart of the issue.

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