Robert Cooper, author of The Other 90%, talks about his childhood and remembers playing the game Capture the Flag. In this particular game there is a clear winner and loser. You either capture the flag or you fail to find it. There is no in between or grey area. For good or ill, I’ve spent most of my life living in the same way; I played to win and had no problem letting everyone else know they lost. I’ve always been competitive by nature and for the most part it has served me well. I learned to push past my own invisible barriers and outperform my opponents. I loved the thrill of winning and the few defeats I had made me work even harder. I hated the feeling of second place and my coaches made sure I knew they hated it as well. So from organized sports to a simple game of tic-tac-toe, I played to win by any means necessary. I would cry if I lost. I would accuse everyone of cheating if I lost. I would cheat if I had to. Winning was that important. Thank God I’ve grown a little!
Today, as a pastor and track coach, the concept of winning is still within me. But I’ve also come to realize there’s another side of the coin and a whole 50 shaded of grey between the polar opposites of winning and losing. Today I believe the outcome isn’t even the most important part of the game. Competition although healthy at times, can breed the wrong spirit and undermine cooperation and teamwork. If you don’t believe me visit some of the local churches in your area. Singers try to out sing each other when given a solo; pastors boast about how much last week’s offering collection was (instead of measuring discipleship or evangelism); who wore the biggest hat or most expensive suit. Everything is a competition that vets brother against brother and sister against sister. When we do this we miss the mark of being a whole body working toward the same goal for the same savior.
I know Second Chance isn’t perfect but we really do believe that no one has to lose in order for you to win. In fact, we believe the complete opposite. Since we value authentic community we work hard to create a space that is safe and loving for everyone. When any one of us wins, we all win-that’s the nature of being one body.
If you’re looking for a place that empowers you and nurtures you to your full potential, I believe you need a Second Chance!