I formally finish up as National Director of Sports Chaplaincy Australia at the end of the year. A great organisation with an amazing vision.
There are many people to thank, our Board, our team, chaplains, donors and friends and importantly Steve and Sue Stubbings who have been great friends and partners with me for over 10 years.
So after 20 years in SLM/SCA and 12+ as National Director I’m hanging up the boots. Not because i have to, or forced to, rather, because i have a deep sense that I’ve done what God set before me. I’ve served him faithfully in the role he placed before me.
And… Its been a huge thrill!
So, thank you for joining us on it!
I thought I would reflect on some key learning’s along the way that may encourage you, or even challenge you. Either way each of us and SCA have a great future and called to fruitfulness (Matt 25:23).
- KEEP JESUS CENTRE of your life and as a leader. We all still need a saviour every step of the way – he is our ‘WHY’ for life and service.
- VISION – let the vision lead our organisation, dominate our conversations, direct our purpose, impose itself when others seek to distract us. Let the vision engage hearts – always making sure to “keep the main thing, the main thing!” from governance down. SCA’s vision is its greatest asset – let it lead – and God will be glorified.
- PURPOSE – while the vision is the hope in our hearts that draw us ever forward, its essential to clarify and continually reinforce our purpose or mission in life. In SCA it has always been ITAG. ITAG. ITAG. Identify, Train, Appoint, Guide. Otherwise we will continually give in to mission creep = the ‘good’ over the ‘best’. Ask, “What’s ‘best’ for the vision?”
- LISTEN. LISTEN. LISTEN. – great leaders do a lot of listening. Ask lots of questions. Give time (and space) for listening, both formally and informally.
- COMMUNICATE. COMMUNICATE. COMMUNICATE. great leaders also always communicate. In some things I communicated exceptionally well. In other areas not so well. Choosing your moments to communicate is a learned art-form for leaders.
- PERFORMANCE (in the context of shared mission) – its important to let people know you value performance from them regardless of whether they are paid staff or volunteer staff. I’ve come to learn that starting with ‘performance’ which then leads to ‘care’ is better than caring for people then letting them know you need performance. The reason we get involved missionally together is for the greater outcome and purpose which requires performance. People in sport totally get this. Read Matt 25:14-30.
- SPEND TIME WITH GOD IN HIS WORD – what I mean by this is not just ‘read’ his word. Invite him with you as you read through his word. Ask him to speak to your heart and mind about the good stuff and tough stuff. Then act.
- IDENTITY – I’ve observed hundreds of men and women willing to serve as chaplains in SCA with equally as many motivations to serve. Those whose identity is deeply formed as sons or daughters of God and co-workers with Jesus, not having their identity in ‘their’ ministry, enjoy both the fun and fullness of son-ship and model genuine God-honouring lives. Can I encourage you to find your identity in ‘who you belong to’ above what you ‘do/achieve’ (Luke 10:20).
- FRIENDSHIPS – you don’t loose good friends.
- THE PLACE AND IMPORTANCE OF THE LOCAL CHURCH – I’m convinced this is critical for this moment in history and good theology. The marketplace is the domain of God’s people and as leaders in mission we need to strengthen the ties between mission and the local church. No matter how challenging we consider it.
- FAITH – you can’t fake faith. You can try… but God will test your faith to see if it’s fair-dinkum. Why? Because this is actually what pleases him – not how good you are. Am I genuinely expressing my faith? Or, just talking about it?
- THANKFULNESS – learning to enjoy and have fun in life and ministry is often preceded by living ‘thankfulness’ – Learning to give thanks for the tough times and enjoy crazy keeps you stay above the clouds. Never stop finding ways to give thanks.
So, thank you for your wonderful support, friendship and encouragement over the years.
Can I encourage you to remember that God has called you to live ‘fruitful’. My prayer for you is that you will increase what he has given you. So, please don’t settle for halfheartedness – continue to give him your all!
Keep up the great work.
May Gods amazing grace and surpassing mercy guide your hearts as you serve him the rest of your days.
Love ya lots,