The Gospel According To The San Antonio Spurs- “Leadership Lessons” PT-1

If you are a sports fan like I am, it would be fair to say that the 2013 NBA Championship between the Spurs and the Heat will be a series that will go down as one of the best! Granted I am a Spurs fan, and yes it took me a couple of weeks or so to finally come to grips with this disappointing loss! I must admit I am not completely over it, but I did learn several “key” lessons by watching this series.

Therefore instead of being somber over the Spurs loss, I thought I’d share a few valuable leadership nuggets from what I saw from watching the Spurs. As a pastor and an athlete myself (football that is), I cannot help but to watch as coming from a “coaches eyeview “.  Hence, allow me to share some basic leadership lessons that you too can apply to your congregation, ministry, business, etc.

The FIRST LESSON we can learn after watching the San Antonio Spurs is: Finish What You Start! 

After the third quarter the Spurs lead the Heat 75-65. This allowed the Spurs to capitalize on their momentum in the fourth to conclude with a victory and a 5th championship. However with 6:02 left in the game, the Heat found their way back in the lead with the score 84-82. With 58 seconds left, tied 89-89, Tony Parker scores and Spurs take the lead 91-89. Then with 31 seconds left on the clock, Manu Ginobli was fouled and went to the free throw line. Now the score is 93-89. Spurs were on their way to taking it all. With only 6 seconds left, Ray Allen makes a 3 point basket that would be the shot that will forever be played in “slow motion” to all Spurs fans. Long story short, the Heat were able to tie the Spurs, go into overtime and win. Game 7 was all she wrote for the Spurs!

When it comes to sports or even church ministry, we must teach our leaders and/or members to finish what they start. Too often we can create big projects with cool ideas, get church members involved, get the congregation excited, however still finding a way to leave the “Ark” unfinished and lying there.  Creating new ideas and church projects are exciting when first put on paper. But we must remember that a good idea means nothing if its simply going to be an idea and never followed through. I have recently learned that if I was to come up with a project for my church, and I’m excited about it, and I shared it with my leaders and congregation, and got them motivated, and later realized it was a bad idea altogether, I must finish what I started! The sign of an incompetent leader is when he/she has no follow through (you hear that Ginobli)! In other words, if you start off strong, finish strong.

People would respect us greater if we completed our project(s) even when we knew later on it was going to flop. Just don’t stop in the middle of it and say, “Nah, it’s not going to work”; complete it! The flip side of the this lesson is, what if it was a great idea that needed to be done? What if this project that was placed in your heart by the Lord was a goal that needed to be met? The danger is being content with the notion of having a great idea and yet never following through. It’s kind of like joining a gym and being more excited with the fact that you have a membership card in your wallet and yet never hit the weights. We must remember that we don’t start losing weight simply because we have a gym membership, we must follow through.

Therefore, how can we finish what we start? 1) Focus: Don’t let your mind wander to another project, or get involved with another project. Focus on what you have in front of you. Like the Spurs, they may have seen number 5 championship in front of them, but they still had 6 seconds left. Focus!  2) Picture The Finished Project: You must be able to see what the Lord has given you to do come to fruition. Keep mental notes on making sure you can see the end. Seeing championship number 5 is important but you must complete those “free-throws”. Finish it!  3) Don’t Multitask: Although many of us have a gift of being a multi-tasker, if not careful we will use that gift too much and miss out on creating quality! Therefore if Danny Green is a more powerful three-point shooter, make sure to keep him open and not solely on making a strong defensive plays. Get it? D) Keep Away From Distractions: There are always needs in the church. However, let’s not become distracted by other “needs” when your “needing to finish what you started” is at hand. In other words, let’s not start thinking about the party and the honking of the horns on Military Drive in San Antonio quite yet. The game is still on. Don’t be distracted.

Stay tuned for part 2- Pastor Sammy

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