May 24: Souls, Not Goals

“Our number one goal is not winning games [but] to bring glory to God,” said Mark Steffens, an atypical sports coach guiding an uncommon soccer squad.

Steffens coaches the Charlotte Eagles, members of the United Soccer League in North Carolina. Though they play at a professional level, the team’s focus is more on having players who “do the right thing” on and off the field.  As Elizabeth Johnson writes on, the team was established in 1993 with two goals:

“First, teach men to live for God on the field by playing fair. Second, send team members into the community…to teach impoverished children and refugees about soccer and to use the sport to attract people who wouldn’t normally visit church.”

Team members strive for excellence in a culture of love, acceptance and forgiveness. They bring this spirit to their work with children as well.  “We honor God whether we win, lose or draw,” Coach Steffens declares.

In the case of an athlete, no one is crowned without competing according to the rules.  (2 Timothy 2:5)

Inspire me, Lord, to see there is more than one way to win.

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