I grew up a San Antonio Spurs fan in the 1990’s. But I didn’t grow up anywhere near San Antonio. I grew up 90 minutes from Cleveland and watched the Cavs led by Mark Price and Brad Daugherty. I grew up watching Michael Jordan- and disliking him because everyone loved him. (In hindsight, I wish I had watched Jordan more. This is my 35 year old self speaking) But I became a Spurs fan because of David Robinson, the Hall of Fame center from Navy. I liked Robinson’s play but also his character as a Christian.
Now, nearly 25 years later- the Spurs have just won their 5 championship since 1999. Last night’s title clinching game was a work of beauty- an exhibition of unselfish teamwork to find the best option. As great as LeBron James is (and I’m not a hater) the Spurs’ team concept stands out in contrast with Miami’s “pass it to LeBron and hope he scores” style of play. (*in reality, the Heat would have a better team concept if Wade, Bosh, Chalmers, and others had actually showed up to play!!)
It’s well known that the Spurs front office and their coach, Greg Popovich, do some of their best work internationally. At the trophy ceremony last night- you saw players from all different nations with flags draped over them. Here are where some of the Spurs are from…
- Tim Duncan- U.S. Virgin Islands
- Tony Parker- France
- Manu Ginobili- Argentina
- Kawhi Leonard- USA
- Boris Diaw- France
- Patty Mills- Australia
- Tiago Spliter- Brazil
The Spurs are an international collective of athletes that form one of the best team cultures in any sports. They are selfless and focused on achieving their goals as a team.
The Church can learn a lot about leadership and working as a team from the Spurs. The Church can learn about focus from the Spurs rather doing a lot of “good” ministry. The Spurs are a diverse group; coming together to work in singularity towards the goal of a championship. Our local churches tend to be a homogenous group of folks who struggle to align themselves in a common direction. Is it any wonder why our churches struggle to move forward? We all want it our way rather than finding our common ground and working in unity to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19)
While we may not all be into sports- there is a lot with the Spurs that we can learn about leading our churches.