From H. B. London —
I DON’T KNOW HIM, BUT I LIKE HIM
You might imagine I am writing about Coach Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts.
I admire his bold expression of faith. He said, “I think it’s great … Christian coaches can do it in a way that we can still win.” After the Super Bowl win, all of us heard Coach Dungy give a clear testimony and Christian witness.
It brings to mind the words of the Apostle Paul, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (Romans 1:16). Would that all of us might be so bold.
I also admire the way he leads his team and their coaches. I heard one report, that at the beginning of each season, the coach calls his team together and says, “You need to listen. The volume of my voice today is what it will be all season. I will not shout at you.” Instead of cursing and ranting, Dungy showed the team that by cheating him with their effort, they were cheating themselves.
The coach is a realist. The Associated Press quoted him as saying, “You’re not going to win every game. Every season is not going to end the way you like. But that’s the real test of a champion. Can you continue to fight when things don’t go your way?”
A good reminder for those of us in the ministry. We can’t control all of the people or circumstances we encounter.
The message he gave to the Colts before they took the field for the Super Bowl was a simple one, “There will be some storms out there and we’ve got to get through those and hang together.” Some more good advice for those of us who might be facing some adversity today.
Bill Pugh, President of Athletes in Action said of Dungy, “You can be a Christian coach who really does live out Christian values and be very successful in terms of wins and losses.” Another great lesson for all of us: We do not have to compromise to succeed.
When Tony’s oldest son, James, died in December of 2005, it was the Dungy family’s faith in Christ that enabled them to go on. Coach Dungy would say, “A personal relationship [with Christ] is the only way I’ve found true peace, joy and forgiveness.” Amen!
The coach not only shares his faith, but also his success — a wonderful combination.
Be blessed and be a blessing.