We caught up with ex-Springbok flyhalf Pat Lambie to chat about his faith, hear his thoughts on leadership and to understand the influence of Scripture Union in his life.

Pat, from my past interactions with you it is evident that you are a Christian. Could you share a little about how you came to know the Lord?

I began attending Christian Fellowship in Grade 8 at school. It was held during prep (homework period for school boarders) on a Friday night, and there was free hot chocolate and biscuits served. The more I went, the less important the hot chocolate and biscuits became, and the more I began to learn and grow.

I remember first meeting you on a Scripture Union led Michaelhouse Confirmation Camp at Em’seni. What part did Scripture Union play in your spiritual growth?

Scripture Union played an enormous role in my spiritual growth. The confirmation camp was a highlight of my school career and in my life of faith.

Both you and Kate were involved in your Christian fellowship at school. Could you share a little about the value you found in going to such a weekly gathering at school?

Well, I am unable to put a value on it. As mentioned, the weekly Christian Fellowship gathering was how it all started for me (even if the reasons for attending weren’t right at first).

Pat, there’s so much spoken about the importance of leadership these days. As someone who held leadership positions at school (Head Prefect amongst others) and then again with the Sharks, what few things have you found helpful in your leadership? And what encouragement would you offer to those who find themselves in such positions of influence?

The best leaders that I have come across are the ones that are consistent in the things that they do and say. They are true to themselves and treat everyone around them with respect. I believe that these are some of the characteristics that are important for people in leadership positions.

Have you been involved in sport from a ministry point of view – and what role do you see for local churches in ministering to young people through sport?

Uh, hopefully it is easy for people to see that I am a Christian through my career in sport. I think that there is massive scope for ministering to young people through sport. It is an easy connection to make with a lot of youngsters, and the common ground could then open opportunities to show and talk about faith.

Setbacks, struggles, pain, hardship are a natural but difficult part of life and you’ve suffered from many sport’s injuries. What has been helpful for you to remember during such times?

It has been challenging, and I have asked a lot of questions. But it is reassuring to know that there is a bigger picture and that God is leading me in the direction that is best. He only wants what is good for us, and that is comforting.

Our readership interacts with young people daily. What are some of the things you found helpful as a teenager in going through High School?

It is very easy for our lives to be distracted by “worldly” things, “worldly” messages. I loved the grounding that was offered through SUIS (Scripture Union Independent Schools), and all the things that we could learn, things of real substance and importance.

As a nationwide ministry, Scripture Union interacts with children and teens from a range of economic backgrounds and diverse cultures. As a fellow South African, what words of hope would you like to convey to them?

The diverse cultures and economic backgrounds are part of what makes South Africa such a beautiful country! God says: “Come as you are!”