NASHVILLE, Tenn., 3/22/11— Men want to win. They want victory in their lives, marriages and relationship with God. They want success in their finances and freedom from sin and addiction. They want to understand God’s Word and abide by the timeless truths contained therein.
Joe Gibbs, a three-time Super Bowl champion coach and owner of a three-time NASCAR champion team, relates to the innate desire in men to win. Gibbs recently teamed with Lifeway to offer Game Plan for Life: Your Personal Playbook for Success.
Gibbs, who coached the Washington Redskins for 12 seasons and led the team to eight playoff appearances, four NFC Championship titles and three Super Bowl titles, lives in Charlotte, N.C. He recently was named 2010 Person of the Year in NASCAR Illustrated magazine, reflecting the respect he has earned on and off the racetrack.
“What men want to know, everywhere I go, is how they can succeed too,” Gibbs writes in the book. “And they’re not just talking about becoming rich and famous or winning trophies. They want to be happy. They want to be good husbands and fathers, good people. They want to find true success and relevance in their lives.”
Gibbs has been in the company of other men his entire life and is well equipped to speak on the issues they face. He had a brother. He has played sports from the moment he could walk. He and his wife, Pat, have two sons. Gibbs owns a NASCAR team.
“I know men,” he writes. “Life’s not easy for them these days. Wherever I go – on business or for speaking engagements, sporting events or whatever – I run into guys who all seem to have the same questions and challenges. I can relate to these men because I’ve faced many of the same issues in my own life.”
Despite sporting multiple Super Bowl rings and three NASCAR championships, Gibbs describes himself as an average Joe.
“Forget what you might have seen or read in the media, or anything else you might have heard; I’m not that different from you,” he explained. “Here’s why. Maybe I’ve got a nice resume and have created some really special memories, but the best – and hardest – lessons I’ve learned in my life have come from failures, my own shortcomings and buying into some of the biggest myths our modern society has to tell.”
If “Game Plan for Life” and its accompanying resources can help men avoid some of the mistakes he has made, Gibbs said, “I’ll consider it a success.”
In preparation for writing “Game Plan for Life” Gibbs hired a research firm to survey a cross-section of American men to find out the top issues they face. The survey also gathered information on subjects men want to know more about in their search for success.
Gibbs said the survey was necessary to confirm his notions of what men are interested in. He also initiated the survey to uncover other topics concerning men that he had not considered. Ultimately, Gibbs wanted to gain insight into how men viewed spiritual concepts so he could communicate clearly about God and His ultimate game plan for life.
In 2008, a third-party research firm in Washington surveyed 700 randomly selected men, asking 97 questions about key life issues. One-third of the men were completely nonreligious, one-third had some religion in their lives and one-third were interested in growing spiritually. The respondents included 100 pastors, priests and elders, selected randomly from national church lists.
The sampling was broad enough to confirm 11 key issues, and “Game Plan for Life” provides an honest look at those issues. Gibbs and his ministry team then identified 11 scholars to help address those issues and write part of the corresponding chapters. The 11 issues discussed in the book are: the Bible, God, creation, salvation, sin/addiction, finances, relationships, vocation, health, purpose and heaven.
What Game Plan offers
In July 2010, Lifeway released Vol. 1 of the Game Plan for Life group edition. The kit includes resources for a six-session group Bible study.
The resource features Gibbs’ “Game Plan for Life” hardcover trade book, a group member book, DVD and CD-ROM.
The member book offers leader notes, group video, team training (group study) and individual training (personal Bible study).
The DVD provides six teaching segments with Gibbs and host Derwin Gray, a former NFL player and lead pastor of Transformation Church in Fort Mill, S.C. The CD-ROM offers leader notes and an administrative guide.
The kit was designed for laymen to lead each other.
“The purpose of this resource is to call men to deeper, spiritual ways,” said Phil Davis, a marketing strategist for Lifeway.
In this first volume, men focus on the first six issues that surfaced from the survey. The topics of the Bible, God, creation, salvation, sin/addiction and finances comprise the small-group study.
Gibbs calls on other experts to help lead the DVD discussions. Men learn finances from Ron Blue. Ken Boa leads a session on the doctrine of God. John Lennox helps teach the section on creation. Josh McDowell discusses how the Bible is the ultimate playbook. Ravi Zacharias teaches on sin and addiction. Finally, Chuck Colson delivers the discussion on the doctrine of salvation.
“Gibbs has assembled experts – ‘assistant coaches’ as he calls them – to help explain the issues more clearly,” Davis said. “The experts communicate in a down-to-earth way that we can relate to and understand.”
Vol. 2 of Game Plan for Life releases in July 2011 and will focus on the remaining five issues that surfaced from the survey: relationships, vocation, health, purpose and heaven.
The “Game Plan for Life” resource is one in a lineup that Lifeway will release in upcoming years that focus on godly masculinity.
“Game Plan for Life” is available at Lifeway.com. Visit LifeWay.com/GamePlan to learn more about Joe Gibbs Racing and his ministry to men.
by Kelly Shrout