As I have spent the past few days decompressing and enjoying some epic films, I have been continually blown away at the depth of the value in many of these great classics. One such INSTANT classic in my eyes is Remember the Titans. This film is explicit in its efforts to impart priceless lessons on its viewers. Let’s look at a couple of key principles in this film as they relate to vision, courage, and leadership.
Coach Boone, played by Denzel Washington, is a man of fierce tenacity, courage, and vision. In the very difficult times of racial integration, he was given the responsibility of leading the newly integrated high school football team of TC Williams. He didn’t want the task; hadn’t asked for the task, and almost refused it. However, like any quality leader, when the Lord called on him for this occasion, he rose to it.
It soon became clear, that upon accepting the job, he had a clear vision for that group of men, UNITY.
After several days of difficulty and team dissonance, he gave the pivotal speech in the video below.
His vision of unity, is a key lesson that ALL leaders need to learn. No team will survive, let alone, thrive without unity. As is with the body of Christ, all parts have a role to play. When a member does not act as they were created, things don’t go according to plan. This is were things fall apart.
“If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Corinthians 12: 26-27
The importance of the vision plays such a key role in the success of this team that Boone has put together. It becomes what drives all other foci of the group. Their courage under pressure stems from their developed sense of unity. Their ability to go that extra mile, to sweat long hours on the field, the standing up to negative outside influences, was all rooted in the vision: unity.
Are you a leader in your home? What is your vision for the family? …not just where do you see the family headed. Coach Boone was a self proclaimed winner. He clearly saw the team winning. He knew the type of skill that needed to be developed to get them to that goal. However, his vision didn’t stop there. More than the film spending hours focusing on showing their skill level increase, the how of winning, we see a focus on them each developing personal characteristics that aligned them with his greater vision, the who of winning.
In your family, try not to being solely focused on getting your family to a bigger and better home, to a more financially secure future, to a more comfortable neighborhood. Focusing on these tends to lead a mind turned to “the how of winning.” Those answers often lead to longer hours at work, less time with the family, compromise here; compromise there. Simply look at the “who of winning.” Who is your family going to become on the way to these other goals?
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” ~ 1 John 2:15-17
In terms of the Lord’s will for each of our families, you don’t need me to tell you that it is much less about our worldly success. In fact, what we would call success is often failure in the eyes of eternity, because too many of us lose the greater vision, “the who,” on turn to “the how.”
Decide today, that you will do these things:
- Seek the Lord for your family’s vision.
- Memorize/Meditate on at least one verse that brings that vision quickly back into sight, when you lose it.
- Cast the vision, unapologetically, to your family with boldness as one who speaks for the Lord.
- Repeat often (preferably more times than you feel comfortable).
As you pour into them, the “who of winning” develops. They begin to take on the attitude you demonstrate. As stated earlier in the film, “attitude reflects leadership.” Continue to lead with the attitude you intend to be displayed.
In this short clip, see what a group unified behind a consistent vision can look like.
This film is so filled with lessons for leaders, families, etc.