Finding God's Winning Spirit

Water Break

August 28, 2014 | Greg Smith | Sports

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Earlier this year I wrote a series of blogs concerning the state and future of sports in this county (Sports Revival 1-3). One of my concerns mentioned was the exorbitant time athletes spent with couches and what criteria where parents using to select these mentors (coaches). After all, between school and travel-ball many young men and women are spending more time with coaches than with parents. I agree that this can be good or bad depending on the quality of the coach or parents but it is something that needs to be considered.

I mention this because this last week I ran into Mitch Hamilton who runs a ministry called Water Break Ministries - Coaches Praying for Coaches. Mitch was a high school football coach for 20 years and over the last few years of coaching began to see the need for a Christian coaches support group. He began putting together a prayer network for Christian coaches. Mitch set out, on his own, to build this network – one on one, face to face. He now has over 100 coaches in his network all over the country.

Water Break Ministries is simple in concept. Any coach that has a prayer request texts Mitch and he immediately sends this request to hundreds of other coaches. Each coach has agreed to pray specifically as soon as they have a break (hence the name Water Break Ministries). Mitch shared one of his stories with me and I want to share it with you.  

One day before practice a player (let’s say named Jake) came into the office and began to share his depression, fear, hopelessness and his thoughts of suicide. The coach, who is a partner in Mitch’s Water Break Ministry, did not know how to respond to this young man but visited with him and encouraged him. Once the young man left his office the couch texted Mitch and asked for prayer not only for the player but that God would show him how to minister to this athlete – Mitch immediately texted this concern to his list of coaches across the country.

One of the coaches, in another city, received this text while conducting two-a-days with his own football team. He called the team together and told them to take a knee. He went on to tell them that there was a “fellow player” in another town who needed their prayers. He went on to say that he had been asked to pray for this coach and young man named Jake and asked if they would join with him. There on that practice field 88 young men prayed for a fellow athlete that they did not know. There in a brief moment a coach was brave enough and open enough to allow his players to experience something that they may never have had the opportunity to experience – to feel important enough and powerful enough to make a difference.

It would be safe to say that that day, that practice, was like none other for those players. You and I both know that this was a big risk for that coach and some will even say that it was inappropriate and ill-timed.  But whatever the case, there is no more powerful demonstration in my mind when it comes to Sports and Theology than this. Water Break Ministries does not require coaches to be so bold but rather is a way for coaches to reach out for support. These coaches respect and appreciate the power that comes from brothers and sisters in Christ who share their passion and responsibility for the young men and women under their charge.

For those coaches who subscribe to this blog I would encourage you to contact Mitch at waterbreakcoachesministry.com and help Mitch build this network. I cannot imagine how powerful the impact would be if thousands of Christian coaches united to model and teach Christ daily to their athletes and our children. That would truly be a sports revival.

 

Agape

 

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