Faith Baptist Church
4258 Botetourt Road
Fincastle, Virginia 24090
(540) 473-2325

Coaching Spiritual Growth

How simple must I make the word of God in my teaching? If I keep it simple all the time it may help you for a little while, but if I keep it simple all the time you will never grow. If your thinking is not pushed and challenged your spiritual eyesight will be very limited.

I Cor.9:24; Heb.12:1 Text

You have to remember that you are in a race, not for first place, but for finishing. There is no first place in Christianity except for Jesus Christ. If you are not pushed to grow and expand your spiritual lungs you will fall behind and you will become discouraged and drop out of the race. NO, you won’t loose your place on the team, you won’t loose your salvation, but you will loose the reward for not finishing.

When I was in high school my track coach used to push me all the time, as a matter of fact he pushed the entire team all the time. He pushed us to improve our time as runners. He pushed those who did the field events to get stronger and push their muscles more and more so they could push the shot put farther, or throw the discus farther. He taught us techniques as hurdlers as to how we could get across the hurdles faster. He taught the pole vault participants how to approach the pole vault box and bar to get higher.

He made those of us who worked on the relay teams practice and practice on getting the baton passed off smoothly so that we could beat the competition.

Now, I know as Christians we are not in competition against each other, but we are in competition against the thinking of the world, and Satan. We are in competition against our old sin nature. We face opposition in many forms just as all believers have faced.

Sometimes when my coach was pushing me I would see him just standing there with that stop watch in his hands yelling at me to dig it out on those last yards or so past the last hurdle to the finish line. My legs and my lungs were burning due to oxygen depletion. He wanted me to win the prize so he pushed me. He pushed me in order to expand my capacity.

I want you to win. In order for that to happen you have to be here for instruction. You have to learn new words and new concepts to compete with the ways of the world and the people who influence you. In a since I am your coach and I don’t coach you for fun, I coach you to win in the devil’s world. I coach you to win against your deceitful sin nature. I have to try to coach the disobedience out of you, and to do this I can’t skip over the Instruction Manual, the Bible. If I am too technical at times it just means you don’t know what I am talking about, but what I am talking about you need to know. If I am boring at times and I know I can be, who isn’t boring at times, but at least I am boring at attempting to make you a better Christian.

It’s not the team with the fancy bus or fancy uniforms that wins the track meets; it’s the teams with the most heart that wins. And when I say that I am not just be metaphorical. When you are pushed in track the heart muscle is developed to a greater capacity. It pushes more blood and enriching oxygen through your body giving to you the endurance and speed it takes to win the race or field event. When your spiritual heart is developed through all sorts of biblical instruction it expands your heart and enriches the body of Christ. As a dedicated athlete you must listen to your team nutritionist who coaches you to eat well and feed your body good foods. If you do not eat well you will not grow, nor will you be healthy. As a dedicated athlete you must get plenty of rest, but you don’t rest during practice because you play like you practice. If you don’t practice well you won’t play well.

If you miss church regularly, a church where the pastor feeds you well on the word of God, you won’t run well against the competition of the world, the flesh and the devil and you will not win the prize.

When you don’t understand something that means you have room for growth and so you must ask yourself, “Do I want to grow”?

Put the things that you don’t understand on the back burner of your mind until it is brought up again and perhaps by the next time you will have filled in the blanks with other truths which make former teachings understandable. Guess what, you’ve just knocked 10 seconds off your last lap. You are growing and you are competing at a higher level and you will add to the entire team. It’s not about you. You don’t make up the team, its Team Christ, and we all are a part of the Team, the Church, and our team represents Christ at Faith Baptist Church, Fincastle Virginia.

I know you can’t learn everything, no one can, but I know God has given to you everything you need to grow.

He has given you the indwelling Holy Spirit, a human spirit; a Bible, a local church and a teaching pastor. Now it’s up to your free will to go after what you want.

Some pastors won’t push their team. They will stroke their churches ego and feed their emotions and pat them on the head and feed them entertaining simple sermons. They may have a lot of competitors on their team, and they may look busy on the field warming up, singing their team songs and laughing. But once they set foot on the track for, let’s say; the mile run, and the starters gun goes off; then those sugary sermons and cream puff messages and hopped up inspirational songs will wear off before they reach the quarter mile mark, and then with your training, you will pass by them with the speed and endurance to finish the race way ahead of the pack. You will have brought honor to your team and your good name. Your self-respect will be deserved. It will not be a hollow respect for superficial performance, but for faithfulness and endurance all of which was brought about by you listening and following your coach’s instruction. The memories of your race will last a life time and you will be encouraged to face even greater challenges in the future. You will be an inspiration to others who run the race set before them. You will bring glory to the team. As positive believers you bring glory to Christ’s Team and when it time for the award’s ceremony you will receive the appropriate crown or crowns from your Savior.

The Pastor
July 2007