Diligent Leadership

Jim Tressel

Jim Tressel has just resigned as head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes football team. The embattled coach has stepped down in the midst of a continuing wave of accusations of NCAA violations and Tressel’s own failure to handle the situation properly.

The author of two books about faith and integrity, Tressel is seen as a hypocrite by some. Supporters still view him as a deeply religious man who has made some serious mistakes.

Tressel has been aware of some of the problems in the football program for quite a while. However, instead of dealing with the trouble head-on, he looked the other way. It seems that he was hoping that the situation would straighten itself out, without his having to intervene. Things rarely work out that way.

I must confess that, as a church leader, I have occasionally tried the same approach as Jim Tressel used—ignore the problem, hoping it will go away. No one enjoys confronting: a divisive elder, a Sunday school teacher who is undermining the authority of the church leaders or a deacon who is teaching false doctrine. The easy way out is to look the other way and hope for the best, but this is a sure prescription for failure.

The wisest action a leader can take is to meet conflict head-on. This is the healthiest way to deal with problems in a sports program, a business, a family or a church.

Romans 12:6-8 says, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is…leadership, let him govern diligently…”

I’m sure that Jim Tressel knows that verse. However, at a critical juncture in his career, he failed to live by its principle. Church leaders would do well to learn from his mistake.  

This entry was posted in Christian Living, Church, Current Events, Leadership, Sports and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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