FaithSearch Partners, one of the premier Christian executive search firms in the country, recently launched its Athletics service line. With the platform that athletes and athletic programs/organizations have, FaithSearch believes it is imperative to secure the right organizational leaders for leadership opportunities in collegiate, professional, and K-12 athletic programs.
It’s more important than ever that the right leaders – both for the organization and the candidate – are hired in front offices and athletic departments throughout the athletics industry. FaithSearch’s Athletics service line specializes in securing those leaders for athletic organizations.
Today, we sit down with Ben Ingram, play-by-play voice of the Atlanta Braves.
A conversation with Ben Ingram
Q: You are outspoken about your Christian faith. How has that impacted your career and leadership style?
A: My faith has impacted my life in every way possible. It’s my foundation.
Colossians 3:17 says: and whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
I believe when you experience Christ, it changes how you see everything, especially your career. When you’re seeking the Lord, you become very aware of how you treat others. The biggest impact my faith has had on my career and leadership style is in the way I treat and interact with others. My faith has challenged me to see and treat others the way Christ does as you read through the Gospels. Do we always succeed? No, but it remains the standard. It remains the daily challenge I have set for myself, whether I’m at work or not.
Q: How does your faith play a role in how you view other leaders?
My faith gives me the ability to discern if other leaders are worth following or not. Given that Christ is our leader, we have a perfect model as to what true leadership looks like. If a leader is not willing to sacrifice, lead by example, display mercy, personify humility and motivate the individuals he’s leading, then that’s a sign of poor leadership.
Q: Sports is big business – In your mind, how does that translate into opportunities for Christian leaders?
Big business or not, our job is to work hard and dedicate that work to the Lord. I believe that when we apply ourselves and obey, He opens doors and takes you places He can be glorified best.
Romans 8:28 says: and we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
The way I view that is whatever we’re doing, we need to be doing it to glorify Him. He gave us our drive and ability; therefore, I should use that drive and ability to glorify God, and not myself. Again, am I always successful in doing that? Unfortunately, not, but it remains the goal. So whatever opportunities come along the way, I leave that up to Him. I know what my personal goals are. I work hard and am always trying to be better than I was the day before. Wherever the Lord places me, I see that as an opportunity to glorify Him and be good to those around me.
Q: How do you balance your role as a Christian leader with society’s inconsistent views on Christianity?
Society’s views on me, positive or negative, don’t mean a lot to me. It’s nice to hear positive things, but you can’t allow that to go to your head.
Romans 12:2 says: do not be conformed by this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what the will of God is, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Ok, so what does that mean? I believe that means we have to work hard to accomplish whatever goal lies in front of us, but we must do it the right and honorable way. In a world full of dishonesty, cheating, shortcuts, and self-glorification, our goal is to lead the way we’re instructed to lead and to do so in the most honorable way possible. In life, there is always a right way and a wrong way to do everything. Consistently doing things the right way is Christian leadership in my opinion. Not taking shortcuts. Not trampling on others to get where you want to go.
Doing your best to achieve your goals, while doing right by others is what I strive for. If I can do that, then I know I’ve lived up to the standard I’ve set for myself, and that’s what matters to me, not society’s views on how I should’ve or shouldn’t have done it.
Q: How do you walk the line between leading as a Christian and “preaching” to your audience?
I’ve read through The Gospels many times. What has always attracted me to Jesus is how He treated people and the way He acted. It has always inspired me. When you love others the way Jesus did, people respond to that. People are attracted to that. It’s not my place to preach to people. I believe we’re to do the best we can to reflect Christ. I will never be perfect. I’m as flawed as anyone on earth, but that doesn’t mean Christ can’t use me. So I do my best to reflect Him and let Him take care of the results.
We’d like to thank Ben Ingram for his time and openness on the topic of Christianity in sports. This post/feature is not an endorsement and Ben Ingram is not affiliated with FaithSearch Partners.