Coach Wooden, the Apostle Paul, Dad and Mamma: On Leadership

I got my copy of, Wooden on Leadership, off my shelves not long after the brilliant old coach passed away. I’m re-reading the underlined and dog-eared parts and that’s most of the book. One of my favorite passages in the book is found on page 80. Here is what he said:

“At some point, later than I’d care to admit, it became clear to me that the most productive model for good leadership is a good parent. A coach, teacher, and leader, in my view, are all basic variations of being a parent. And while parenting is the most important job in the world, leadership isn’t far behind. I revere the opportunity and obligation it confers, namely the power to change lives and make a difference. For me, leadership is a sacred trust.”

Paul wrote about his own apostolic leadership is a strangely similar way. In I Thessalonians he spoke of his leadership in parental terms. “But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us” (1 Thess. 2:7b-8). “As you know, we dealt with each one of you like a father with his children, urging and encouraging you and pleading that you lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory” (1 Thess. 2:11-12). Spiritual leadership is a Dad/Mom kind of thing.

I am grateful for the example of Tim and Sherry Snowden. The lives they live for my brothers and me was/is a living text on servant leadership. I pray for God to supply the grace necessary to live like them for the sake of our children and the work God has called us to do.

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