A few weeks ago, a group of USG members and staff spent three days in Tampa, Florida, focused on deep and lasting spiritual, professional, and personal growth through our USG Weekend Gathering experience.
One of the best parts of these weekends is the opportunity that our teams have to meet and learn from high-level leaders throughout the collegiate and professional sport industry. This specific weekend, Doug Gilcrease (former Chaplain of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), left us with a profound understanding of scripture that can, and should, completely transform how we live as followers of Christ. Specifically, for our USG members pursuing a career in the sport industry.
“...And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.”
Psalm 78:72 (emphasis mine)
Focused on Psalm 78:72, we see an incredible example of what I like to call, “Kingdom Credibility”, a leadership style that draws people to trust and follow leaders that in turn, trust and follow God. This brings glory to the Lord's Kingdom through the platform that the leader has been given.
This is the example that David set in his early days as King! But, what gave him the credibility to impact the Kingdom the way he did? During our time in Tampa, Doug pointed out two key factors in David’s "Kingdom Credibility":
First, David was a man of great character. We see that he was able to shepherd his people with an "integrity of heart", a godly sincerity that aimed at nothing but the glory of God and the good of the people following him. Similarly for us, as Christians in a secular career like the sport industry, we must be found with great character if we want people to experience Christ in and through us.
Second, David was a man of great competency. We see that he led his people with "skillful hands", an incredible level of wisdom and excellence in what he did and how he did it. How will we, Christian leaders in the sport industry, ever make an impact for the Kingdom if we’re not good at what we do? Will athletes, support staff, or others in our departments or organizations follow our leadership if we are incompetent or unskilled in our position? No, of course not. Put simply, we won’t have a job!
At USG, as we reflect on the past year and prepare for 2022, we hold tightly to what Doug shared during our Tampa trip. We want to challenge ourselves and you to live with Kingdom Credibility. If we want to set an example and share Christ with others throughout the sport industry, we must live with great character AND competency.
Without character, no one will trust us. Without competency, no one will hire us. Together, though, we can live with steadfast credibility and influence for the Kingdom, bringing the utmost glory to God as he works through us.