Notre Dame is one of the biggest college football programs in the country. With a strong fan base and great tradition of success, they also set a high standard for their coaches and expect to regularly be championship contenders.

Last year’s 4-8 record was a big disappointment, so head coach Brian Kelly knows the pressure is on to have a bounce-back season. He wrote an essay on yahoosports.com about the upcoming season, and explained many of the changes that have occurred.

Although many aspects of their team needed to be addressed and adjusted, Kelly acknowledged a key change that had to take place this year:

“The final changes here have come with me. I knew things needed to change from last year, and that started with me…I’ve put an emphasis on creating clear expectations on both the players and the coaching staff and making sure the message of process over production resonates on a daily basis.

“I was all about production last year and I saw where that got me. I’ve really enjoyed changing the process and approach this off-season, and I’m looking forward to seeing how that leads to production on the field this week.”

In reading his comments, there are a few important takeaways we can apply to our own lives.

Instead of seeing how others need to change, or wishing situations were different, we need to begin with ourselves and acknowledge how we need to change first.

Also, Kelly’s message of “process over production” has an important message for us. Football players must follow the coach’s process in order to get the results they’re looking for on the field. Production doesn’t just all of a sudden happen.

The same is true in our own lives when we’re following Jesus and becoming more like Him. It’s a “process” where we’re becoming more holy, obedient, dependent, and faithful.

The process of spiritual maturity is life-long, and the transformation in us takes place over time. But if we continue to surrender to the Lord, admitting our need for change while trusting His power at work within us, we will ultimately see fruit in our lives. This is the result of the “process.”

Paul explains in Philippians 2:12-13 (AMP), “So then, my dear ones, just as you have always obeyed [my instructions with enthusiasm], not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation [that is, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity] with awe-inspired fear and trembling [using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Christ].”

“For it is [not your strength, but it is] [a]God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.”

I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please help me to understand the process of sanctification and spiritual maturity, while recognizing it’s You transforming me. Help me to admit my need for change, and to trust Your process of growing me. I believe the results and fruit will be there as I follow your ways. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.