Western Pennsylvania is mourning the loss of an area hero. The name, Chuck Noll, may not mean much to most people across the globe, but he is an icon in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Steelers football team was once the laughing stock of the professional sports world. Today, the Steelers are widely recognized as one of the greatest franchises in sports history.
The organization is top notch and every player drafted by the Steelers arrives with a sense of excitement and hopeful anticipation. Those who leave Pittsburgh in order to make more money often return—if only for a day—to the team in order to retire as a Steeler.
What changed? What mystical power transformed hapless losers into a championship caliber team? Chuck Noll. A radical shift began to take place when Noll became the head coach in 1969. Even though the Steelers won only one game in his first season as coach, the mindset of the team immediately began to change. New standards of preparation were established, new players were brought in, and current players—no matter how gifted—who were unwilling to embrace the new mindsets (of teamwork and hard work) were traded to other teams.
By 1980, Chuck Noll had coached four Super Bowl championship teams—an accomplishment that has yet to be matched. Part of Noll’s success was due to his realization that life is about much more than football. Chuck Noll’s life wasn’t simply about himself; he valued people and so they respected him in return. Noll’s legacy far surpassed his four Super Bowl rings. His players found purpose beyond football and the Steeler franchise was transformed from being a perennial loser to a world class champion.
King David was a game changer in his day, only the “game” had much greater significance than does football. David became the leader of a nation chosen by God to accomplish His purposes on earth. While generations of Israelites had tolerated the presence of evil giants in their land for 400 years, David—even as a teenager—rose up with faith and courage to defeat the monster, Goliath. Four of David’s men then emulated his example as each killed a giant of his own. We find no mention of giants in the Promised Land after that time.
Is it possible for an ordinary person to become a spiritual game changer? Absolutely! By God’s grace, every Christian can help to facilitate radical changes at home, in the church, among office coworkers, throughout the nation, and across the globe. Numerous factors can come into play—some of which I’ll share in upcoming post—but at the heart of transformation lies a mindset. Even in the darkest of circumstances, game changers possess an unwavering confidence in God. Such confidence is then supplemented by the courage to take action and the wisdom to make redemptive choices.
What giant(s) are you facing? Do you have a loved one who is mired in sin? Is your church full of conflict? Does chaos seem to surround you? Faith, courage, and wisdom are all necessary virtues that you can withdraw from heaven’s surplus. If you are a son or daughter of the King of kings and Lord of lords, you, too, can be a game changer. By God’s grace, you have what it takes to welcome His kingdom into your sphere of influence!