Yesterday I read one of the best and most touching articles I’ve ever read. The article was written by Gene Wojciehowski of ESPN.com. It was about Pat Summit, the women’s basketball coach at the niversity of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN. She has been their head coach for the women’s basketball team 37 seasons. This upcoming season will be her 38th. I guess she had been having trouble remembering things so she went to the Mayo Clinic. They did a battery of tests on her and discovered she has early onset dementia Alzheimer’s type. She was obviously devastated about this. So was her family, the university, and her team as well. But she has decided to stay at the school and continue to coach until she can’t do it anymore. I applaud her for that, and I applaud the school for sticking by her.
Pat Summit has been a rock of stability for the school. In the past few years the university has fallen on hard times. They had a football coach for 17 years, and he was either fired or resigned. So they hired a guy who stayed at the school for one year and left when his alamater called him. Now they have a football coach who I hope will give them stability and stay there for a while. And their head men’s basketball coach for the past six years had made some recruiting violations and then lied about them to the NCAA. He’s been fired or forced to resign from the school. Now the school’s athletics director has been fired or has resigned.
Through all of this Pat Summit has been the face of the University of Tennessee. She has the most wins of any college basketball coach men’s or women’s. She has been there for her school and I am glad the school is now being there for her. (For the article, please see sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/storycolumist=wojciehowski_gene.)
Pat Summit is a great example of true spiritual leadership. In John 10 when Jesus talks about Himself being the Chief Shepherd, and that He knows His sheep and His sheep know Him; He’s talking about the shepherd who is constantly among His sheep. He knows them by name. The sheep know their shepherd’s voice.
The Apostle Paul talks about spiritual leadership in both of the Thessalonian letters. He said he and his companions treated the Thessalonian brethren like a mother caring for her little children and like a father admonishing and encouraging his children on to better things.
In other letters we have of Paul’s to other churches he planted or was associated with, he talked about how much he loves them, how he longed for them, and wants to be physically present with them. To the Philippian church he told them, they are his joy and crown. To the Roman church, he specifically named several brethren there and greeted them.
This true leadership. True spiritual leadership.
Thank you all for your time and attention today. Please tell me what you think of this. God bless you all. Grace and Peace.