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  • Writer's pictureJeremy Napier

Hitting the ground running

Updated: Jan 1, 2023

I wanted to provide an update and a few highlights of my first couple months as Character Coach of the Auburn Men’s Basketball team. My family and I are finally getting settled in Auburn. We bought our house (sight unseen), slowly furnishing it, and have placed the boys in pre-school. Daily, I am building relationships with staff, players, managers, coaches, local pastors, and campus ministers. Below are a few highlights.

Two weeks after my arrival, I traveled with the team on a trip to Israel. I had the opportunity to share the gospel at different holy sites; baptize players, coaches, managers, and staff in the Jordan River; preach a Sunday morning sermon; and provided daily devotionals.

Through my years of pastoral experience, I have learned there is ministry in “being present.” Therefore, I literally try to be present at everything from practice, 6am workouts, fundraisers, dinners, service projects, hanging out in the weight room, locker room, film sessions, etc. In addition, my family is also involved. By leading them, I hope to demonstrate a healthy marriage, as a husband, and a loving father. I believe this is ministry within itself.

Every day I try to meet with a player, a coach, or support staff member for lunch or breakfast. These meetings have strengthened relationships and have provided opportunities to give counsel and speak wisdom into their lives. I was very encouraged when Wendell Green, shared in a conversation, “I want to live for Jesus, I just don’t know how”.

I have instituted a weekly Bible study with players. We start with a life-map. This provides an opportunity for each player to get in front of their teammates and share their life story. I have them go through the 5 H’s (History, Heroes, High times, Hard times, Hand of God, and I throw in a fun one…Honey (s). We end with a “game winner,” the favorite verse of the player presenting, then we talk through that verse as a team. After we have prayer, those who want to dig deeper into the Word remain for Bible study. We are walking verse by verse through the Gospel of Mark.

We also had our first Coach’s Bible study. In this study I led them through 2 Samuel, the story of David and Bathsheba. I also included a follow up hand out as a reminder of our lesson. The goal, was to challenge them to have a “Nathan” in their life, to seek forgiveness and understand the fullness of the grace of God.

It’s been a very full three months. New and exciting things are happening every day. Even as I send out this letter, its already outdated! Please know that my wife (Sharon) and three boys (Josiah, Judah and Joshuah) are extremely grateful for your support. Thank you for making our ministry with the Men’ Basketball team possible. We serve a BIG God and I know He is going to do BIG things within this program. I meet with other ministry leaders on campus to pray and I ask that you continue to pray along with us.

Blessings & War Eagle!


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