It’s more the WHO than the DO

“It’s more the WHO than the DO.” Young athletes must understand it’s much more important who they are, than what they do. If they get this order wrong it’s very dangerous because they will be building an identity around something that can easily be taken away. (One injury will do it.)

Their “doing” is based on performance and we know that, like Bruce Springsteen, one day their “Glory Days” of high school athletics will come to an end. However, “who” they are speaks of them as a person and we know that they will take this person with them wherever they go in life. If they never form a healthy identity of “who” they are, they will never reach full maturity. (Think Stability and Security over Statistics.)

Speaker Tim Elmore explains how a healthy identity looks a lot like a fully-grown tree.

Roots – The roots below represent one’s identity. Roots are unseen but are most important to the strength of the tree. They must be deep and intertwined with others.

Trunk – The trunk is visible and represents one’s core strength and vitality. Strong roots result in a strong trunk which can withstand adverse storms and high winds.

Fruit – The branches and ultimately the fruit represent the life-giving attributes of the athlete. Only with genuinely strong roots and a strong core do we get good fruit worth sharing with others.

Over time, the most healthy, resilient athletes are the result of coaches and mentors who enable them to build their identity around solid, life-giving elements beyond their sport(s) of choice.

Athletes need coaches who model for them the elements of a healthy identity…  

*It revolves around the “life-giving” characteristics inside of us.

*It’s based on internal and eternal elements which cannot be taken away.

*It’s built upon self-worth and core beliefs that will last a lifetime.

*It involves solving problems together and serving people.

*It furnishes a platform to leave a legacy.

As a coach, prepare the athlete for the path, not the path for the athlete. 

Insights to Live By….

I’ve always told our teenage boys, “Don’t peak in high school.” However, with all the hoopla and attention we adults give to this age group, it’s easy for them to believe they’re celebrities. The more I’ve unpacked this over the years, I’m convinced this is more about the adults feeling good about what “their” kids can do for them than anything else. The teenage years are “seed years” and are meant for trial and error, for lumps and lessons and for growth and development into the young adults they will become. They don’t need more hoopla and attention, they simply need Unconditional Love from their parents and other caring adults.


TTG Leads: Servant Leadership Focus Group

PrintThe purpose of Toward the Goal Ministries is to, “Meet individuals’ spiritual and emotional needs through coaching, mentoring and servant leadership training.”  As an extension of our stated purpose, Bruce and Jocelyn will be launching a new initiative in 2015 called TTG Leads. One of our desires is to lead as Christ modeled, knowing it’s the right way to lead, the most effective way, and the most life changing — for the leader as well as those who follow. Because there is an ongoing need for more leaders in our homes, churches, work places and community, this group will provide an intentional time of learning, growth and development for participants in the area of servant leadership. Biblical principles of leadership will provide the core and foundational teachings of the sessions.  Several planned initiatives include:

*Public Speaking training sessions which will include presentations by participants

*DISC personality assessments given by a certified instructor

*EQUIP Leadership program curriculum

*Interviews with current leaders and presentation of findings

*Servant Leadership: The Upside of Down curriculum

*Books and articles pertinent to servant leadership will be read and discussed. We will be meeting weekly for ninety minute sessions, February-October 2015 with the class size being limited to ten persons. Participants will be stretched, will grow and will be equipped with a multitude of resources for their personal and professional growth.

Ways to partner with us:

*Participation – Sign up yourself or nominate a person you feel would benefit from the training.

*Prayer – Commit to praying weekly for this group as we meet and learn together.

*Sponsorship – Give a gift to either sponsor a participant or to help with the cost of resources/expenses.

Contact Bruce or Jocelyn via email or phone if you have more questions and/or would like to participate or partner in this exciting training opportunity.  330-231-7277                                                   330-231-7121

Planning to Have Faith

Most of us confuse faith with a plan. In other words, we have faith that our plan is foolproof and will work, leaving little margin for faith from the very beginning. With a plan, we use logic and reason and get all our ducks in a row. We then have faith that our plan will happen…but seldom do we plan to have faith in the process from the very beginning. With true faith, we don’t know all the specifics from a human perspective, but our plan includes a trust and belief that God’s got it and will eventually reveal it.

In reading through Hebrews Chapter 11, we see over and over the words “By Faith…” By Faith… Abraham, Moses, Noah, Isaac, Jacob acted in obedience to something God had called them to do. In each of these situations and in countless others in scripture, we see a similar pattern. To test to see if it’s an act of faith, here are four steps to take.

1. Believe when you don’t see it. We must be sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Faith is trusting God and is seeing the invisible with spiritual lenses.

2. Obey when you don’t understand it. Too often, we need to understand everything and then we “obey” our limited understanding of it. This is the complete opposite behavior of true faith. We must obey first, trusting the understanding will follow. Because faith always involves risks, God desires for us to trust Him first.

3. Persevere when you don’t feel like it. The waiting period to see what God will do becomes very hard at times. However, it’s true that growth occurs when we live our lives by commitments rather than by emotions and feelings.

4. Thank God before you receive it. We must be confident enough in God and His Promises that we can thank Him in advance, even before it becomes a reality.

When our plan succeeds, we are seen, esteemed and glorified. When faith is lived out, God is seen, esteemed and glorified…and people say, “Wow, only God could’ve made that happen!” Amen.

Jocelyn and I recently shared the above teaching at The Church at Carter’s Orchard in Dover. Here is a link to the complete message:

Servant Leadership: The Upside of Down

servant leadershipServant leadership is both a leadership philosophy and a set of leadership practices. Unlike traditional leadership styles which come from the “top of the pyramid,” the servant-leader models humility by putting the needs of others first and helping people develop and perform to their maximum potential. In this keynote address, Bruce shares illustrations, stories and real-life examples of what servant leadership looks like both at work and in all of life.