I’ve been learning a little about the differences between English and European football culture since Bradford City were taken over by a couple of German businessmen.
English football supporters are used to their teams having a manager. The manager is the focal point of attention. The buck stops with him.
– He is preferably a famous name, or at least a local hero with a strong playing pedigree
– He is likely to bring in his own backroom team including other coaches, scouts etc. If he moves on to another club his team go with him.
– He chooses the players he want to sign and negotiates the contract. Players are likely to sign because they want to work with that specific manager.
– He coaches the players and picks the team.
The German model that our new owners have been working towards is different. Instead of the manager who does everything, the expectation is that there is a coaching team with a head coach and different people assisting by taking on particular responsibilities such as head of recruitment. Bradford City are not the only team to go down this route, though it tends to be more a thing with Premier League and top Championship teams.
Time will tell whether this is going to work in League One! However, it raises the question, what about pastors? Are we more like the manager or the head coach. I want to suggest that quite often we end up being more like the manager, everything comes through us and churches look to the pastor to be the main man, reputation and even local celebrity come too. However, Biblically I think we are meant to be a bit more like those European coaches, part of a team with a clear and specific responsibility.
Which are you?