To my fellow teammate in the great contest:
Encouragement is my thing. Admonishment isn't. I'd rather be with the team, bolstering confidence and rooting them to victory, than in the locker room at halftime, screaming at them to get their act together, pointing out what I'm quite sure they already know that they're doing wrong.
That's why I usually go in for practical pats on the back, and why I shy away from spiritual coaching that turns out sounding like a rebuke or a reprimand. I try to imitate one of my favorite coaches of all time, Paul.
Paul followed pretty much in the coaching footsteps of Jesus. Paul told stories about his amazing recruitment: how he went from being a scout for the wrong team to becoming first-string quarterback for Team Jesus. But occasionally, when some of his fellow teammates started running toward the wrong goalposts, even Paul had to haul out some halftime speeches that singed the old ear hairs.
But you know what? Teams that win have coaches that aren't afraid ...1