• Dr. Hal Kitchings

TB Leads TB to Super Bowl

THE TAMPA BAY BUCS ARE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DECADES. I have never lived in a major city with a professional football team that wins consistently. This year I do. Many of you reading this do, too. I have found it to be an enjoyable experience, regardless of whether “our” team wins Super Bowl Sunday. (February 7) Yes, I’m a fan of football. No, I’ve not been a lifelong Buccaneers’ fan. Yes, I’ve been a fan since moving here soon-to-be seven years. No, I’ve not always been a fan of our quarterback, Tom Brady. But as I mentioned in a recent sermon, it’s been cool to see how his overall leadership has excited the fan base. Conversations are being held between total strangers due to this season. Conversations that can sometimes lead to deeper subjects. I love it! I know I don’t have to explain to you that TB stands for Tampa Bay. And I know that I don’t have to share with you that TB additionally stands for Tom Brady. Furthermore, I realize he’s not the only reason we’re going to the Super Bowl. But I do believe he’s the main reason.

TOM BRADY IS A LEADER AMONG LEADERS. A football team is a team sport. No one player can take all the credit or blame for winning or losing. But as I mentioned in speaking on Abraham’s leadership this past Sunday, Tom Brady is a great leader. And he’s surrounded by leaders. Think about it. No player or coach makes it to the professional level without being a leader of some kind. Here’s what I’ve learned about leadership from Tom Brady. (Most of these I shared during my introduction to the sermon I’ve referred to.)

1. He elevates his teammates.

A true leader realizes it’s not all about him. He’s there to help others rise to their potential. TB does this consistently. He’s like a player/coach. He seems to treat everyone the same. He is respected by his teammates, too.

2. He soars with his strengths.

Big Tom doesn’t run the ball a lot. He’s not fast and knows it. It’s okay. He focuses on his strengths and plays accordingly. As we age, we should all do the same. Know who you are and spend more time on that area than your weaknesses. Surround yourself with those that are not like you to be on your team.

3. He moves on after his mistakes.

Tom Brady is not perfect no matter if this is his tenth Super Bowl to participate in. (Did you get that? TENTH!) He overthrows receivers. He doesn’t always keep up with the clock. He sometimes “loses it” on the sidelines. But the dude keeps coming back. He doesn’t allow mistakes to define him. Neither should we! We learn from them and move on…

4. He displays confidence.

Confidence is not cockiness. It seems he’s become more confident and less cocky in his later years. He displays confidence and his teammates feed off of it. A leader that relays negative body language and tries to “fake it till he makes it,” doesn’t last long. I don’t know about you, but insecure “song leaders” make me nervous. I am not a musician. If I’ve got a fella leading me in the music portion of worship, I want to know he’s got a clue because I sure don’t. I’ve never been accused of being a musician. Confidence breeds confidence.

5. He takes care of his aging body.

He’s an old football player. Guys like him don’t come along very often. I believe one reasons is because he pays attention to his health. Physical health is not more important than spiritual health. But it is valuable for longevity and being a good example. The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Let’s not get legalistic, but let’s admit it’s important.

YOU MAY HATE FOOTBALL AND TB, BUT YOU AND I ARE LEADERS. Yes, that’s what I said. Every one of us are leaders. We influence someone. And how we lead is likely how they will lead. Learn from Tom Brady. Learn from Abraham. But most of all, let’s learn from Jesus. It’ll be super!

Until next time…

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