Pastor's Pen
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August 27, 2015, 10:38 AM

Sacred Hoops

 

Sacred Hoops

 

   One of the most enjoyable books I read this summer is Phil Jackson’s Sacred Hoops. Jackson was the famous coach of the Chicago Bulls basketball team and coached numerous other teams. Sacred Hoops is a biography of Coach Jackson’s life including the people who most influenced him in his philosophy of life. Of course, his parents are at the top of the list along with other coaches and some professions in the area of psychology and sociology. Jackson coached some of the most well- known players of our generation including Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman and other members of the Bulls.

   In the area of leadership, Coach Jackson believed that when he would back off and listen to the concerns and desires of the players he got much better results on the court. I like that! Most of my business books, especially those written by Jim Collins, focus on how good companies become great companies. Most of these authors and researchers believe that a wise leader is one who is receptive to others contributions and do not have to be dictatorial. A good idea for any leader! For example, Jim Collins, in his book, Good to Great, discovered that what makes a good company become a great company is the leader surrounds himself/herself with people better than he/she is at different skill levels.

  Phil Jackson quotes John Heider, author of The Tao of Leadership, who writes: “The wise leader is of service: receptive, yielding, following. The group member’s vibration dominates and leads, while the leader follows. But soon it is the member’s consciousness which is transformed. It is the job of the leader to become aware of the group member’s process; it is the need of the group member to be received and paid attention to. Both get what they need, if the leader has the wisdom to serve and follow.”

   Part of Phil Jackson’s effectiveness as a coach and in life was his ability to listen and be receptive to others and to teach players that basketball is about five people on the court and not just one super-star. He developed something called The Sacred Hoop.  What that means, he says, is that before and after each practice they started in a circle to symbolize that they were forming a complete hoop, and each person is important.

   Isn’t all of this true in the church … no Lone Rangers, but everyone is important? Kind of like we are stronger together than our individual parts! We are called to serve together to the glory of God, not the glory of any certain church or denomination or preacher. Wow! This reminds of something Jesus said, and what I have come to believe is the central hinge verse of Mark’s Gospel … Mark 10:45 “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.” Something to think about. 08.23.2015

Dr. Rick Baggett is pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Ardmore (the church with the bells) and can be reached at: rbgoodnews@yahoo.com

 

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