Across twenty-two years of serving as a sports chaplain, the three primary, universal factors that I have found to build an effective ministry are: Relationships, Attitudes, and Presence. Today, I would like to make some simple and direct comments regarding Attitudes and how they can either enhance or diminish our service.
· Be a servant, not a big shot. Serve purposefully. Do the menial tasks that need to be done in service of others. People will notice and they will respect your attitude.
· Seek permission, not forgiveness. Ask for parameters. Understand your boundaries. To overstep your bounds communicates the wrong attitude.
· Be thankful, out loud. Express thankfulness to those who give you access to their sporting programs in person, via text message, on paper, however you can.
· Talk in terms of “responsibility and privilege” rather than “rights.” An entitled attitude is repulsive to sportspeople, especially coaches. Avoid it at all costs.
· A low public profile it to be preferred over media darling. Be less interested in being a public figure, more in being an essential part of the team’s life.
· Deflect praise quickly. As you do well and others praise you for what you have done, be sure to direct that praise to God and to those with whom you serve.
· Beware of reflected glory. If your team is excelling, beware the allure of fame, accolades, and public adoration. It’s fun, but it can be a snare to your soul.
· Remember that your contributions do not appear on the scoreboard or stat sheets. Don’t be fooled into thinking that your inspirational talk directly contributed to a victory.
· Love extravagantly – it’s really hard to fail if this is your number one goal.
· Serve selflessly – to do this faithfully almost always keeps one’s attitude in order.
Please shape your attitude in ways that are reflective of Christ Jesus’ as described in Philippians chapter 2:3-8. “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”