Fall of my freshman year at ASU saw me signing up for just about every club, event and experience I could find - except fraternity rush. I was your typical “I’m never going to rush” guy. It’s not that it was the last thing on my list, it wasn’t even on my list.
In my second semester, I unexpectedly got invited to an info night for a new fraternity that was being planted at ASU called Pi Kappa Phi. I gathered some other guys from my dorm floor and we all reluctantly went. So, of course, three weeks later I was being installed as vice president.
Faith & Chartering
The early months as an associate chapter working to become chartered had us all sharing the deepest parts of ourselves and our stories with one another. It was around the same time that I started to become friends with Rob, one of the other guys on the exec board with me. During this early season of our chapter’s life, Rob frequently shared about his faith in and love for Jesus, but there was something different about him than anyone else I had previously known - his actions backed up his words.
It’s not that Rob was perfect, but he was the first guy that clearly articulated to me that he loved Jesus and wanted to live his life for him. It didn’t mean that he always got it right - in fact, that was kind of the point. What I saw as I got to know him was just that - he deeply loved Jesus and that was the lens through which he viewed the world.
Love in Action
Throughout college, most of us knew Rob was a Christian. But for those that didn’t, they at least knew there was something different about Rob. He wasn’t a “weird Christian” who would awkwardly and unnaturally bring up his faith in a forced way. He wasn’t a “fake Christian” who said he loved Jesus but lived his life in a way that contradicted that.
If I said I love my wife, but you never saw us hanging out, never heard me talking about her, and never saw how my relationship with her impacted my life - you might wonder if I actually do love my wife. (Luckily, I do! Love you, Michelle!) I share this because through his words and deeds, it was clear that Rob loved Jesus.
I tell this story about Rob a lot because the beautiful part is that he simply lived out his authentic faith among his brothers. There weren’t any magic formulas - he was just a true friend to his brothers. He was just one of the guys - involved in the fraternity, at the parties, date parties, and socials - who would tell us about his faith when the opportunity arose. He also actually showed us his faith by living it out through his pursuit of Jesus.
Be Like Jesus (And Rob)
So what does this look like for us? How do you point your brothers & sisters to Jesus in both word and deed?
Love as Jesus loved. Spend time with people, take the time to ask deeper questions to get to know others better and search for “handles” (interests, values, challenges, etc.) to have spiritual conversations, drive people home if they’ve had too much to drink, be an example that shows you don’t have to be drunk to have fun.
Always be ready to respond. Inevitably, when you live out number one above, you’ll have people who ask you essentially: “What makes you different?” Take advantage of that curiosity to engage in spiritual conversations with people where you can share your faith. This can be natural and not forced if your goal is to get to know the person you’re talking to rather than just converting them. The best resource I’ve read on this is “Beyond Awkward” by my friend (and Greek IV’s own) Beau Crosetto - check it out!
3) FOLLOW UP
Don’t leave them hanging: When you have those engaging conversations with others make sure to follow up with them! Shoot them a text, grab lunch, invite them to Greek InterVarsity and/or church – whatever you think is the best next step.
When we simply live our lives as fraternity men or sorority women - involved in our chapter - but practice the show and tell of our faith, we often get the amazing opportunity of having a front row seat to God moving in our brothers/sisters lives. So live your life in pursuit of Jesus and as the apostle Peter said, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15)