Why Ministers are a JV Coach and that is exactly where they should be

I’ve seen my fair share of high school sporting events over the years. Let me tell you, there is a real difference between JV and Varsity. Maybe the players don’t see it (or maybe they do) but to the average spectator, seeing a JV game can be cringeworthy at times. Varsity games can be that way as well but there is a big difference.

Watch this video and see how ministers are really JV Coaches and that is perfectly fine. In fact, that is exactly where they should be.



Ministry leaders are 3 things, at least:

They are Instructors. The reality is JV players are not as skilled as Varsity players. In fact there are some JV players have never played that sport before. Even if they have played, a lot of JV players do not have the same fundamentals as Varsity players. That is why they are on JV and not Varsity. That is also why JV coaches have teach them the fundamentals of the sport so they know how to do the basics well and then they can build off of that. The more the player can perform the fundamentals, the more likely they are going to grow as a player and eventually reach Varsity.

Ministry Application: When a person comes to know Christ as their savior, in many circumstances, they don’t know what to do next. As a ministry leader, you have a great opportunity to walk with them and help them as they begin to develop the fundamentals and learn the basics of what it means to follow Christ. In regards to volunteers, ministry leaders have a great opportunity to help them understand the position they are serving in. You can coach and train them in how to do it effectively.

They are Cheerleaders. As a JV coach you are encouraging the players. Varsity coaches do this as well but as a JV coach you are believing they can do something whether they believe it or not. Time after time I noticed the JV coaches pulling players aside and simply encouraging the players to perform the tasks needed. They are yelling positive encouragement to them believing that they can do it, even when the player may not.

Ministry Application: This applies directly to new believers and volunteers. Following Christ is hard especially when so many others are not following Christ. That is why those you are ministering to need encouragement and inspiration. You are their cheerleader. You are the one encouraging them and challenging them in life and in their relationship with Christ. For volunteers, a minister needs to be encouraging them and encouraging them in the work they are doing for the Kingdom of Heaven.

They keep the end in mind. Varsity coaches are focused on winning. That is the ultimate judgment on how they are doing. JV Coaches are not as focused on winning as they are developing. They are trying to develop the players into better players so they can get to Varsity eventually and help the school win Championships.

Ministry Application: New believers are going to struggle in their faith. New volunteers are going to mess up. This is OK! Keep your focus on the end. You are part of their lives helping them learn the basics of the faith or how to serve the Lord with their gifts and passions. Don’t be so concerned with the wins and losses as much as the end game.


When you are in high school, you want to make Varsity. You want to represent your school at the highest level. In order to get there, it takes JV Coaches that can teach them the fundamentals so they have a foundation to build on. JV Coaches also cheer them on and believe in them way before they even believe in themselves. And, they keep the end in mind and focus on progress being made on the field or court so that their players continue to improve. In the same way, Ministers instruct and coach up people, they encourage and cheer them on and they focus on progress being made and the end in mind. The more effective ministers become at doing these 3 things, the stronger the faith of those they are ministering to will become.

What kind of coach are you? What kind of coach will you be?

What do you think? Do you believe ministers are JV coaches? Share below or on social media using #ymsidekick when you share.

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Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at YMSidekick.com and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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