Conforming to Jesus is the Goal, Husker Coach Says
by Jim Brown
(AgapePress) - A Christian football coach at the University of Nebraska says many Christians in the church have decided to "clam up" rather than "speak up and speak out" about their belief in God. But Coach Ron Brown is not willing to water down his faith to gain notoriety or a job promotion.
Despite his long-time success at a storied football school, the Huskers' receivers coach has often been shunned for living out his faith as a disciple of Jesus Christ. In fact, his outspoken Christianity may have cost him head-coaching opportunities at other schools.
As Brown points out, in the fourth chapters of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Jesus was tempted by Satan to gain in terms of promotion. However, he says too often when we are offered the promotions of the world because of a talent God has given us, we assume that offer comes from God.
"The last thing I want to do is to use God to gain in football. Rather, what I want to do is use football to gain for God," Brown says. "I can't honestly say that being a head coach is the goal for me. It may be part of God's plan, but the goal is to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ."
Brown says if it is God's desire for him, he would love for that "conforming" to occur through the vehicle of sports and to have "a great, lasting influence" on those within his sphere of influence. He adds that he has been able to recruit many players to come play football in the prairies of Nebraska because they know of his faith in Christ.
Brown, who hosts two statewide Christian radio shows, shares that he rejected salvation several times before he accepted Christ as his personal Savior at the age of 22.
"When God began to show me that the stuff that I was attaching myself to, like football and academic success and popularity in college and all that, were ... things that were going to fall away and burn away, then it was that I recognized my 'lost-ness' in the holes of my heart and fell on my knees [and] gave my life to Christ - and I've been eternally changed and have never desired to turn back," he says.
Brown says his future plans involve seeking to remain in the center of God's will, and shaping his career around that. Sold-out obedience to Christ, he says, brings eternal reward.