Coaching: A Guiding Light to Faith and Community

Originally Published: Aug. 23, 2018

“Let your light shine!”  Recalling Pastor Charley’s words from a recent sermon. Recreation Ministry Chair Robert Rivers challenges us – members of JCUMC – to actively support the recreation ministry by our presence – by “letting our light shine”.  With over 300 children on our fields and courts for 30 weekends of the year, we have an incredible opportunity to show all these families just how special JCUMC is.  The most pressing need is for coaches, but even coming out to the fields or courts on game day to cheer the teams on, share the warmth of our church, and invite families to worship with us are tremendous ways we can support the ministry of the church.

Many church old-timers have fond memories of being involved in our rec program.  After participating in the soccer program from the age of three for 10 seasons, church member and college sophomore David Lang coached his own 6 and under team the spring of his senior year in high school.  “The Dream Team!” was how David described his team when he posted a team photo on his Instagram page.  David also carried this treasured photo with him as he headed off to college.  Both last year and this year, this photo is displayed front and center on his desk in his dorm room.

At a recent church committee meeting, two dads compared notes from their coaching years at JCUMC.  Don Lang (David’s dad) spoke of his 10 seasons coaching David’s soccer teams.  Not to be outdone, Mike Harper, father of 23-year old twins Austin and Savannah, counted 49 separated teams that he coached over the years – from soccer to basketball to baseball.  Exaggeration?  Then Don countered by adding that he also co-coached several other teams for both David and his older son Andrew.  Both dads smiled as they reminisced over these special experiences with not only their children, but with other children in the church.  What an impact these dads and other parents have made over the years to the youth of our community!

Consider how you will participate in this ministry and have a positive influence on our youth.  Certainly, we need additional coaches to meet the needs of the children who sign up to play.  In recent seasons, we have had to disappoint a number of children who signed up, but were not able to play because we did not have enough coaches.   For this fall soccer season, at last count only two church members are numbered among the coaches.  Church members are especially needed to be coaches as recreation is an outreach.  In a recent report to church council, Robert stated that “Coaching is #1 – it is the best way JCUMC can have a positive Christian influence on these children.”  He also affirms that it is a fun and character-building program for all involved – both participants and coaches.

So, whether you are a parent of a current player or have no children in the program, will you consider adding your name to the list of coaches?  High schoolers are welcome to sign up as well.  Whether for fall or spring soccer, basketball, or whatever, we need you.  And if coaching is not your thing, there are other ways you can support the rec program, including sitting and watching the games, passing out literature about our church and the rec programs, passing out popsicles, and greeting and directing newcomers to the correct fields on game day.  What a wonderful way to show that we are an inviting church by demonstrating Christian hospitality to others.

If you want to know more about this ministry or volunteer to help, please email