Game Day Devotional Letters
Game Day Devotional Letters
Wed Dec 19 08:00:00 EST 2012 | by Roger Lipe
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One of the tools for ministry which I have used most consistently over my 19 seasons with college and high school football teams, college basketball and volleyball teams is writing devotional thoughts in letter form to either be read aloud to the team or to be copied and distributed to the team on paper, or even both.

There are a few reasons why I persist in this method and why I believe it to be remarkably effective.  1) This information is delivered on game day when the players and coaches are at a heightened state of intensity and focus.  2) Its form, that of a letter, is more personal than a simple devotional photocopied from a book.  It is addressed to them and crafted for this day, this game, this opponent and today’s situation.  If feels immensely more personal to the reader or hearer.  3) By using it consistently, across the years of a player’s career, it becomes a normal part of game day.  4) It gives the readers something to hold onto, to re-read, to keep in his or her locker and it contains my contact information for later conversations.

I have been stunned at the remarkable way that coaches and players, both male and female, have responded to these letters.  One team kept each letter across their 35 game basketball schedule and then copied them and put them in a binder for each player at season’s end.  One football player told me that he had kept the game day letters from every game of his four seasons in a binder.  The personal nature, the timeliness and consistency of this method seems to connect deeply with competitors’ hearts.  Below is a sample of the text which I print onto my letterhead and sign at the bottom, just like a personal letter to a friend.  Please consider this method for its strong effect.

Saluki Football – The Team

October 13, 2012

Gentlemen,

How would you describe the sense of team unity experienced by this team?  What are the benefits that accompany a team with great unity versus a team that is full of strife, contention and selfish attitudes?

Today’s scripture describes such unity in Psalm 133 and verse 1.  There we read, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!”  Seems simple, huh?  The psalmist says that unity produces an atmosphere that is good and pleasant.  It’s simple to describe, but harder to produce.

Team unity is good, leading to the best possible performance from everyone related to the team.  Unity brings out the best in each player, coach, trainer, equipment manager, etc…

Team unity is pleasant, smoothing out every potential conflict and contention.  Every team is made up of vastly different people.  It’s supposed to be that way.  Team unity allows us to maintain a focus on our common goals, aspirations and values.  That makes the living together pleasant.

In today’s competition, let great team unity produce an atmosphere of goodness and pleasance.  Strive together to see each teammate compete to his highest capacity.  Keep your focus on unifying words and actions that make the whole process pleasant for everyone concerned.  Compete in unified way and you’ll be unstoppable.

God bless,
                                                                                


Roger Lipe
Psalm 90:12-17

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