My daughter’s high school played their last football game of the season last night. I’ve been the volunteer in charge of the “pit crew” this season, the guys who help set up the xylophones, drums, and podium for the marching band competition and show routines. The job got me into the football games and marching competitions, but also gave me the opportunity to get to know a lot of the band and their families.
I think this kind of activity is important for me, because it gets me out of “church” circles and out into the community. It’s amazing how much of a pastor’s time can be spent with members, isolating you from the unbelieving or unchurched world. (I know the label “unchurched” isn’t the greatest, but it’s the best I’ve got for now.) I got to know quite a few parents, the band director and his family and my daughter’s friends in the band, with no agenda other than being there.
For a while, no one knew that I was a pastor. Then someone recognized me from a baptism they went to, and the secret was out. It didn’t make too much difference. There was one guy who began apologizing ahead of time before using questionable language, but that’s about it. So they got to see that a pastor (at least me) is just a regular person in the community who cares about the students, schools and activities.
All of those things are a part of our witness in the community and the world. Being out there as people who care, people who help out, and people who work together can enable conversations about spiritual things in the future.