Legacy lived out
Chaplain pens spiritual manuals to guide players and coaches
Student-athletes are just that, students and athletes. At Liberty University, coaches and staff members work to develop their student-athletes to grow spiritually while becoming the best students and athletes they can be.
Dr. Ed Gomes, the director of spiritual development for the Flames football team, works to help his players grow academically, athletically, socially and spiritually. In June 2015, Gomes published a coaches and student-athlete discipleship manual to help him accomplish that task.
Gomes, who has been with the university since 1985, said the idea to create a discipleship manual began four years ago when he thought about how he wanted people to remember him.
“It started with a dream,” Gomes said. “ … I got thinking about leaving a legacy, and then I said ‘What do I want to leave? What is it that I want to pass on to my guys, to our student-athletes?’ Then I just started writing down some things that I wanted to start passing on to our student-athletes.”
Gomes has developed two coinciding guides, with one being for students and the other being for leaders. According to Gomes, a Liberty alumnus, the leader’s guide, called “Leaving a Legacy,” is a tool for coaches to mold and shape their student-athletes. The student guide, called “Building a Legacy,” is about life transformation.
“It’s another tool in the spiritual toolbox for a coach or a leader to use to develop (and) disciple student-athletes,” Gomes said.
Each manual is filled with 105 discipleship lessons covering everyday issues. According to Gomes, the manuals are created so they can be used in one-on-one situations, in a small group or in a team setting as leaders guide their student-athletes toward the whole body development displayed by Christ in Luke 2:52.
Gomes said that when he meets with players, he and the student-athlete alternate between choosing a lesson to study and pray over. The student guide has fill-in-the-blanks for every lesson, while the leader’s guide has the responses filled in.
In his 14th year as a member of the football team staff, Gomes said that his role as the team chaplain allows him to act as the liaison between the student-athletes and the Office of Student Conduct.
As Gomes continues to invest in the student-athletes now, he hopes his discipleship manual will be part of the legacy he leaves behind when his time at Liberty is over.
Those wishing to purchase Gomes’ discipleship manuals can find them available online and at the Barnes and Noble bookstore on Liberty’s campus. The campus bookstore will host a book signing on Friday, Nov. 6 at 3 p.m.
RODRIGUEZ is the news editor.