All he really wanted to do was teach the game. He was good at it. He knew the mechanics and could help his players understand it like never before. As they began to improve, he assumed he was doing all the right things. Games were won, statistics were accumulated. One night in his weekly Bible study, the central verse was Proverbs 16:12. It stopped him in his tracks.

“It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, for a throne is established on righteousness.”

As he studied it, thought about it, let it sink in, he began to talk to anyone who would listen about what he learned.

God holds leaders accountable. Leadership is a trust from God, something on loan from him. The coach and other team leaders will and do answer to God for what happens on their watch, for how they act and respond, for how they lead those under their care.

God holds leaders more accountable. More than everyone else. More than they are probably comfortable with. And for more than just baseball accomplishments (insert “God doesn’t really care about that”).

God holds leaders accountable for those they lead. This verse in Proverbs 16 can be read two ways and is translated two ways, both of which are true. In one sense, we understand that a leader who does ungodly (wicked) things is “an abomination.” In another sense (and translation), we are shown that it should be an abomination to the leader to witness ungodly behavior in those they lead. God holds leaders accountable for what they do and what they allow.

God holds leaders accountable for the foundations of their programs. As this verse says, godly leadership establishes a program not merely on athletic performance, but on what is right in God’s eyes. At any level of baseball, at any school, in any league, that’s God’s standard.

He knew none of this would be easy and that it would go against the powerful system followed by most everyone else. But he was convicted and challenged like never before to see his program succeed on and off the field.

Lord Jesus, help me be the leader you’ve called me to be, to help my team be established on what is right in your eyes. Amen.