What Do Jesus & Pete Carroll Have In Common?

photo courtesy of @ The News Tribune

photo courtesy of @ The News Tribune

By Beau Crosetto

I know this sounds ludicrous that I would mention the two names in the same sentence, but there is one main thing here that I want to draw our attention to.

If you know me I bleed blue and green and just absolutely love the Seahawks and now Pete Carroll. People close to me know he is probably the #1 guy I want to meet in this world because I am fascinated with the way he goes about building a culture and team. He is dogmatic in his approach to building a program. And one clear-cut part of that approach is what catches my eye!

Some of you can’t stand Pete Carroll but don’t write this article off because of that!

He and Jesus have a one thing in common.

*I don’t know anything about Pete’s spiritual beliefs. I am simply using him as a leadership example and not in any way saying he is a Christian leader.*

They Both Choose People Who Others Overlook

Pete Carroll is quickly becoming known as a coach who chooses to find players that most teams overlook. The list is long, but here is one example

Russell Wilson

  • He wasn’t picked until 3rd round and said too be too short at 5’10’’

He was so controversial because guys under 6’0’’ don’t succeed in the NFL…period. Many general managers and analysts put Seattle down for even taking him.

Michigan State players watching the draft tweeted out hateful things because they couldn’t believe their QB, Kirk Cousins, wasn’t taken before Russell.

“I’m done!!!!!!!” junior cornerback Darqueze Dennard wrote, minutes after tweeting, “I’m so pissed right now!!!!” after re-tweeting the thoughts NFL-hopeful fullback Todd Anderson: “Russell Wilson over Kirk is the worst pick I have ever seen #truth.”

If you want to read all the tweets from Michigan St. players, you can right here.

Picking him wasn’t even the most gutsy thing Carroll did. Seattle paid Matt Flynn 10million dollars this year to come play QB for the team. But Carroll decided to start the unproven rookie as the season started anyways.

He didn’t just pick him, he let him play.

But all Russell Wilson went on to do this season is become a franchise QB:

  • He just tied the rookie TD record with Peyton Manning at 26 TDs
  • He had the 4th best passer rating in the NFL
  • He led his team to the 2nd round of the playoffs…the last rookie QB standing
  • He broke the rookie passing record for a playoff game.

He is now the Hero in Seattle.


But Jesus also selected his disciples this way too. The people he picked to lead his team were often those that “experts” would have scoffed at too.

He didn’t start in the religious order and take Pharisees and Sadducees who were perfectly trained and could quote scripture they knew like the back of their hands. No he picked overlooked people who no one would have selected to start the Christian movement.

  • Peter (fisherman with no religious training)
    • Became the “rock” that the church was founded on and Jesus main man. Peter was called to follow Jesus from the fishing boat, denied Jesus three times but then went on to be the most bold preacher in ACTs and led thousands to Christ giving his own life along the way.
  • Mary (prostitute sinner)
    • She was the first one Jesus appeared to and the one He used to get the message out about his resurrection. The first witness to the resurrection to Jesus!
  • Paul (murdering Jew who hated Christians)
    • Jesus stopped him in his tracks literally and picked him to be the main witness to the gentiles. He became the foremost writer of the New Testament and the church planting extraordinaire!

The Destined but Overlooked

What I love about Jesus is his willingness to call people onto his team and into leadership that are totally overlooked and no one else would have picked.

He is grading on a totally different rubric.

Jesus is showing us so clearly that God is one that is not scared of the marginalized, not scared of sin. He isn’t worried about getting his hands dirty and “coaching” people up. He sees inside of us the potential we have and reaches in to pull it out.

Better yet, he doesn’t just pick us, he lets us play too!

Any good spiritual director will tell you to pay attention to what you see around you in the world that may be drawing you closer to God or highlighting things about him to you. It could be a movie, a book, something in nature.

But this season for me it has been Pete Carroll and this incredible theme of taking unwanted and overlooked players and making them great assets on a playoff team. I cannot help but think about Jesus and his team and movement and how he did the same.

A.P.E. Leadership

As you lead your organizations, churches and ministries, can you see the overlooked people that God would see? Do you have any prostitutes, fishermen or murderers developing in your group? Or is your group filled with sure fire, tried and true people?

If you don’t have some ragamuffins on your team and you are not excited about developing them into the person and witness that God sees them to be, you probably are missing the mark.

Remember most of us started here too!

Who is your favorite “overlooked” character in the Bible that God used? Please let us know in the comments!

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About Beau Crosetto

Beau is the author of "Beyond Awkward: when talking about Jesus is outside your comfort zone". He is called by God is to raise up and release people that want to start new ministries (apostolic) as well as people that want to share their faith (evangelists). He currently is the Greater Los Angeles Director for Greek InterVarsity and in charge of specifically seeing new Greek (fraternity & sorority) InterVarsity chapters start on college campuses. Beau is married to Kristina and they have three kids: Noah (7), Sophia (5) and Wesley (3).

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