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What Ministry Leaders Can Learn from Urban Meyer's Firing



On January 14, 2021, the Jacksonville Jaguars hired Urban Meyer to be their Head Coach. Last Wednesday night, December 15, 2021, the Jacksonville Jaguars fired embattled coach Urban Meyer just 13 games into his first season. 

Urban Meyer came to Jacksonville as a highly decorated College Football Coach, winning 3 National Titles. However, no one expected Urban Meyer to produce a winning season his first year in Jacksonville. But, from the very beginning there was dysfunction and a terrible work culture. From hiring a strength and conditioning coordinator who had been accused of making racist remarks and bullying Black players, to a video of Meyer with a woman who was not his wife at a bar, to his calling his Assistants "losers" and having heated arguments with players on the team, to the report in which former kicker Josh Lambo alleged that Meyer kicked him in the leg while he was stretching in warm-ups before a practice during the week of the final preseason game, this year was anything but good. All of these issues combined resulted in Urban Meyer being fired less than a year after he was hired. 

So what does this teach ministers? The Head Coach (Leader) needs to lead by example. It doesn't matter what you have done in the past (Meyer was one of the winningest College Football coaches), creating a positive culture and leading by example is so important. If you fail to do this, you will have failed your team and your Church. It doesn't matter how well you preach, how great you dress, how many followers you have on social media, if you fail to lead effectively when no one else is looking, your team will be falling apart and not be as effective as they need to be. 

Choose to lead by Christ's example. Be...

  • A Servant. Mark 10:45 ESV - "For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  
  • A Listener. James 1:19 ESV - "Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;"
  • A Delegator and empower others to lead. Luke 9:1-2 NIV - "When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
  • An Encourager. Matthew 16:17-19 CSB - "Jesus responded, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah,[a] because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound[b] in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed[c] in heaven.”
  •  Close to God. Mark 1:35 CSB - "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he got up, went out, and made his way to a deserted place; and there he was praying.

The more our leadership can replicate Christ, the more effective we and our team will be. And that will bring success. 

What do you think? What else can we learn from the Urban Meyer firing? Share your ideas below or on social media.

Also, if you are interested in being a Digital Missionary or want to learn digital tools to expand your reach in ministry this year, join the Digital Bootcamp Facebook Group!

Episode 195: Are Digital Pastors Ever Off?
Last Minute Christmas Encouragement for Ministers

About Author

Tom Pounder
Tom Pounder

Tom Pounder was born and raised just outside of Washington, DC. He is the father of 4 daughters and loves being a girl dad. He has a background in Student Ministry working over 22 years with teenagers and currently serves as the Online Campus Pastor at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs and podcasts weekly at

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