I’m going to summarize the background information: “I’m going to present in a JH classroom, and travel with the football team 2 days a week for 10-15 weeks.”
“How do I stay true to my role as a student pastor in a situation that doesn’t allow for me to be overt in my faith? How far is too far in this situation?”
Thanks for the question Dusty. First things first: you’re not really concerned with being true to your role as a student pastor, at least I hope you’re not. I’m sure you are concerned with being true to what Christ as called you toward. I’m confident this is what you meant, but I wanted to double check and make sure to everyone reading that I could care little about you being faithful to a role/job/ministry/whatever. I care a lot about a person being faithful to Jesus.
You are going to do video for a football team. I don’t see any conflict here. I can hardly imagine situations where a conflict might arise. That is to say, I don’t see where the rub would happen UNLESS you’re one of those people who is obnoxious with their faith.
I guess I need a better understanding of what you means for you to be OVERT IN YOUR FAITH. Let’s say the coach says, “stand over there.” you say, “I will, and I’m also standing on the solid rock of God’s Word, you have a good playbook coach, but have you read God’s playbook?” or something like that.
Of course, now it sounds like I’m making fun of you. I’m really not. I don’t know you, and understand your question fully. I AM MAKING SOME ASSUMPTIONS with are exaggerated in order to bring some wisdom to bear on this question. Read this paragraph twice if you are bummed.
The best wisdom is to be normal. All things to all people to reach them doesn’t mean being a freak of nature and/or a social misfit.
The best wisdom is to be normal and be a friend. How would you be overt with your faith to someone you don’t know that well? I hope it’s to serve like crazy (cup of cold water and all) and no on is going to argue like that.
The best wisdom is to be normal, be a friend, and don’t go looking for conflict. As far as it is possible, live at peace with everyone. When you love someone like crazy, it’s tough for this to be criticized. You’re being invited to provide a service, so serve. You’re not walking into a synagogue or to a public soapbox to teach and encourage. You’re not among a family of believers where it’s your duty to correct and discipline heretics and apostates.
The best wisdom is for you to be normal, be a friend, serve like crazy, and be ready for the opportunities to make a difference with your words. Always be prepared to preach the word, in season and out of season (by the way, I’d consider your video responsibilities as a time that is “out of season” to preach), you may have the right moment to invite someone, or give them a wise piece of advice, or tell them the truth you know.
Do not forget the dangers of the pride that comes with a messiah complex. Salvation and a person’s choosing to have faith is not so fragile that it has to happen right then, in that moment. You can delay a conversation. You can offer a question and say, “consider this and let’s talk at another time.” This is not weakness, in fact it is more difficult, for it requires a mind that has to be ready for more situations than the FOUR SPIRITUAL LAWS allows for. It is more difficult because you don’t get to put a notch in the CRUSADER belt… very few delight in a badge of meekness.
Wisdom is a great evangelism tool. It opens a lot of doors. It’s tough, because it’s hard to come by, especially when platitudes are plentiful. It’s easier to judge and preach rather than to listen and question.
Most people aren’t happy, this is an easy door to walk through… anyhow, I look forward to the comments on this one. There’s a lot of issues here, and this time I decided to keep the blog down a little bit.
if you’re interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state