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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A.
2) Being Able To "Fit In" With Your Uniqueness.
- "Batch Slowly Wins Respect" read the headline of
Wednesday, November 25, 1998 Sports section. According to USA Today feature writer Jarrett
Bell, the rookie Detroit Lions quarterback has quickly gained respect. This respect is
from rookies and veterans, family and fans, sportswriters and front office owners.
- Most importantly, however, the one he most greatly respects is
- Perhaps that is one of the great crises of congregational leadership: the
crisis of self-respect. Ministers and other Christian leaders lacking this key quality
may, in the final analysis, lack that which is most necessary for effective, dynamic,
- What Are The Secrets?
- 1) Being Able To Withstand "Rookie Treatment."
- Veteran receiver Herman Moore, speaking of Batch in the locker room, was overheard
saying, "For a rookie, I guess hes all right." Little did he know, Batch
overheard the conversation. Other common criticisms might be "youre too young,
too inexperienced, too dreamy-eyed."
- The criticism from one's' peers, especially veterans, is a most effective criticism. The
one who succumbs and blindly responds to the response of those who claim greater
knowledge, ability, experience, and expertise is one who lacks self-respect,
self-direction and self-esteem. The combination of these leads to a lack of self-defense.
- One of the most important things for quarterback Batch is to be part of
the team. Given the diversity of the team members, interests and family backgrounds, Batch
recognizes that even in areas where there is not common experienceor
comfort"you kind of feel your way around and fit in."
- 3) Building A Positive Track Record.
- Finding himself as a starter on the Detroit Lions for the third game of
his rookie season was not magic. It was not an accident. It was the result of a long track
- Batch came from Eastern Michigan University, a relatively small and
unknown university overshadowed by the powerful University of Michigan. The media had
every reason not to focus on him. They had every reason to overlook this small university
standout. Whatever the record of his teammates at Eastern Michigan University, he knew
that the most important thing was his long-term future.
- 4) The "Trout Look."
- "I still havent seen what I call the Trout
look," said Lions quarterback coach Jim Zorn. This peculiar "Batch"
expression is when he holds his "mouth agape, with big, saucer-like eyes, where you
dont really know whether hes with you or not." But, quarterback
coach Jim Zorn added, as many times as he has seen this characteristic "Batch"
response, "he may be upset, but I havent seen him rattled."
- 5) Cool Composure.
- Perhaps the greatest and most noticeable Batch trait by peers, coaches
and fans alike. "I dont get nervous," Batch says, "because I believe
I belong here."
- 6) Self-Surprise.
- Perhaps no one is more surprised at Batchs immediate success than
Batch himself. "I never envisioned becoming a starter so quickly," admitted
- Batch would also admit, however, that though he was surprised that it
happened quickly, he is not surprised that he is a starter. That was, he would add, always
his goal. He persevered and sweated toward the goal. He produced the output. He held to
his vision. The outcome and its timing, though out of his control, was always in his
- There are things we can control; other things we cant.
"Self-surprise" is an attitude of readiness which exploits every possible
advantage in one's control, waiting for the golden moment of "self-surprise."
- Perhaps that is why he was repeatedly acclaimed more highly than
cross-town rival quarterback, Bob Griese, who led the University of Michigan to a National
Championship. But Batch knew that the best quarterbacks are not always on the championship
teams. His calling was to his team. But his greater calling was to realize everything that
God had made him. In this unique, God-given giftedness was his uniqueness.
- 7) Being At Peace With Grief.
- Virtually everyone has tragedy, loss and grief. Its also true of
the ministry. Unless one can effectively manage grief in this "vale of tears,"
the forces of decline, doubt and depression will almost inevitably settle in. These forces
will permeate ones life, family, friends and ministry leadership.
- Charlie Batchs seventeen-year-old sister died tragically in gang
crossfire. "Ill trade all that I have now to have her back
really difficult. When I look at this game, this is nothing. People try to say how hard
the game is and all of that. Well, life in general is hard for me."
- After several years of grief, Batch continued, "I finally realized
she was gone, finally accepted it to the point you know you cant do anything about
Its hard to come at peace with it
because its not at peace
I wonder why it was her."
- 8) Recognizing, With Gratitude, The "Reason" For
- Finally, he sighs, "Everything happens for a season
always something. But thats how I stay humbled, stay grounded. You are never
guaranteed tomorrow. I go home and thank God that Im here. Because as fast as this
opportunity came, it can go. Life in general has taught me that."
- This characteristic is recognized by others, too. Coach Zorn said,
"I think the experiences Charlie has helped mold the sense of determination he brings
to the football field."
9) Willingness To "Make A Statement."
- Standouts, by definition, do just that. They stand out. They make a
statement. Especially when opportunity knocks. In his tryouts for the Lions he knew just
one thing: "When I went there I knew I had to make a statement."
- But the making of a statement is not a one-time proposition. Its a
lifestyle. Those who only make "occasional statements" may not be showing
greatness but recklessness. Such haphazardness is driven more by impulse than vision, more
by the moment than by the future, more by lack of resolve than strength of character.
10) Living With And Recovering From Failure.
- Like every quarterback, Batch is not perfect. He has bad days, too. In a November 1,
1998 game vs. Arizona he threw three interceptions and lost a fumble. But it was in his
failure that his true greatness was demonstrated.
- "After we pulled him, he had the correct response," coach Zorn noted. "He
came up to me and said, Listen, I dont like being taken out. I got us into
this mess, and I want to get us out of it. I want to finish what I started."
- Sensing his determination, Zorn continued, "Dont get comfortable with this
taking you out." And hes not. Batch is right back in there even more confident.
He has found his "groove" and matching and passing better than the likes of Joe
Montana and Dan Marino.
11) Beginning Each Day With Enthusiasm For The Next Game.
- A quarterback who loses his enthusiasm for the next game is destined for
the bench. His enthusiasm is an essential element for excellence. Without it, each game is
simply "just another game."
- Do The Batch Attitude
- The "Batch Attitude" may, in many ways, exemplify the vintage
attitude of leadership. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the "Batch
Attitude" is the recovery from failure. Its the battle of the heart which most
often hinders greater leadership growth. Its the fear and pain that life brings that
may make it difficult to do the Batch Attitude one better!
- One of the most remarkable aspects of the Batch Attitude was that he had
a coach who believed in him. "Dont get comfortable with this taking you
out," Zorn reminded him.
- Success or failure of ministry may bring one face-to-face with greater
pain of new heights or new depths. Ministry, as life, repeatedly requires times for
individuals to retreat, re-group, and re-address what life and ministry brings.
- But dont get comfortable with the taking you out. God
aint done with you yet. Heed those coaches who tell you to "get up!" and
"go at it again." If you dont have onefind one.
- Imaginary Friend?
- Small children often, as part of their normal development, invent
imaginary friends. Such "friends" usually are characterized by those
characteristics most needed by these children in their respective circumstances. These
imaginary friends are strong, patient, confidants who enable fruitful reflection on
childhood issues. They offer protection. They also provide coaching.
- Sometimes the ministry experience is painful because we fail to follow
that simple, childlike pattern. Certainly some can make up an imaginary friend. As
Christians, however, we dont have to resort to fantasy or imagination. We can
resource Scriptures to give us real-life examples of coaches to give us strength.
- Have you ever had a conversation with St. Paul? What would it be like to
talk with him about success and failure? How about Peter? James? Ruth? Esther? Abraham?
David? Solomon? Mary? Each one, whether male or female, has insights to offer. Of course,
we would certainly not overlook the insights of our Lord who "suffered in every way
as we did except without sin."
- Go Beyond The Batch Attitude!
- Ministry will be painful. Life will bring grief. But Gods call to
faithfulness is a call to override these factors. Indeed, thats the real measure of
success or failure. Not the external occurrences but the inner transformation.
- Get up! Go at it again! You can discover that you can go beyond the Batch
Attitude. In success or failure, you really can do all things in Christ who strengthens
- Thomas F. Fischer
Index Articles 1-49
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Articles 300-349 Articles
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was revised on:
Tuesday, October 05, 2004 11:03:35 PM