One of the great things about team sports like football is how it allows us to train for life. This is especially true of our football teams. Our players do not share a common school culture. They come from public, private and homeschools, reaching over a sixty mile radius, encompassing over 40 different cities, towns and hubbles.
They do not share a common doctrine or faith. Their families worship at different places (if they worship at all) and from different denominations. They are not all athletes as some would never make a team which held "tryouts". For some, their first time to play football is when they join our varsity team!
I have been blessed to have been part of many other teams in life which mirror the disperate crew that comprises Tribe football. I have worked in technology for the past thirty years and most of my co-workers have been male and many of them young. For the past 20 or more years, I have been in a "coaching" position within these organizations where it has been my responsibility to draw the best out of everyone and ensure the boat is being rowed in the right direction.
Be it work or football, I am sometimes asked what it is I look for in a player or employee. Many would think it is a particular skill or in the case of football a particular physical attribute. The reality is I focus on one thing, do they surround themselves with quality people?
That begs two questions, what comprises "people '' and what makes them "quality "? As for people, I am referring to the individuals with whom we choose to associate and include friends, family, co-workers, brethren, teammates, etc. It also includes the books we read, movies we watch along with our interests. The fact is that we are judged by both the people with whom we associate and the personal culture to which we emulate.
As for "quality" I turn to the bible for guidance and look to Jesus as the gold standard.
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
Jesus commanded the disciples and us to go into the world to love one another. Sometimes we live as if we were sent into the world to compete with one another, or to dispute with one another, or even to quarrel with one another. However, his greatest commandment was for us to love without exception. To care more about others than you do yourself and to worship God with all our mind, heart and soul.
I seek to pursue this standard in all that I do both personally and professionally. I want to surround myself with others who desire to do the same. To me a quality person is one who, through love, is willing to sacrifice themselves for others while striving to meet the Lord's standards for us all.
As a coach, I am not able to select the players who will participate on our team. However, I can help to create a culture which strives to put love and servant leadership at the forefront of our organization. We can control the culture and hold each other accountable. We are known as the Tribe which was patterned after the twelve tribes of Israel. The love of the Lord starts with our name and is carried throughout our organization.
We want to be successful in the short time we have on earth. We define success through how we have impacted the lives of others in accordance with the Kingdom of God. To this end, we strive to be more than a football team. We are a band of Christian brothers whose fellowship impacts the lives of others not only on Friday nights in the fall but throughout the year. We do our best to model servant leadership and I can tell you that Only Quality People will stick around.