the whys of jimmy johnson

Something else from Catalyst on Friday came from an unlikely source. In the middle of the day, Emmitt Smith – of Dallas Cowboys and, more recently, “Dancing with the Stars” fame – was interviewed. He talked about leaders he’d worked under, and working as a team.

He noted that many of his coaches from the past hadn’t always imposed “their way” on the team. (And Emmitt saw this as a good thing.)

But Jimmy Johnson was different: Jimmy did require the team to do things HIS way- but he also explained WHY they needed to do it his way. Emmitt saw that as powerful, too.

As campus ministers, I think we should take that tack with our student leaders. We do know more they than do (usually) about the missionary work of campus-reaching. There’s good reason to ask them to follow our methods, not just our motives.

But at the same time, they’re college ministers, too – right? They’re working to impact college students, so regardless of their own collegiate status, they’re college ministers alongside you. They are your peers by calling.

So are you explaining your methods to them like a peer? Are you letting teachable moments spring up liberally? Even when describing how to greet guests, or how to set up a stage, or why you didn’t choose to join that campus-wide worship service?

Of course, those college ministers without reasons for their decisions have bigger problems. But for you who are leading with intentionality, don’t forget to share your WHYs with your leaders!

Leave a Reply