Nathan Nass: Ready to share Jesus

Former vicar, Nathan Nass, interviewed after winning the Titus award

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Senior Nathan Nass, the recipient of this year’s Titus Award for outstanding senior thesis, is looking forward to graduating this week. As he thinks about getting ready to serve a congregation, he reflects on his vicar year, a year that changed his mindset about ministry.

While at Martin Luther College, Nass was sure he wanted to be a pastor—as long as he didn’t end up in a mission congregation. “I am shy by nature. Being in a mission setting was the one thing I feared most about being a pastor,” he admits.

Then he spent his vicar year at Faith in Sharpsburg, Georgia as part of the Vicars in Missions program. “Being in a mission setting really emphasized to me one very important truth: God and his gospel message are at work despite my weaknesses,” he says. “Because it's not about me. It's not about my talents. It's about my God. Sometimes it's good to feel uncomfortable and inadequate, because that reminds me that whatever good results from my work is by the grace and power of Christ.”

That year in Georgia, and a year serving an emergency call at a mission church in Texas, may have changed his perspective, but it didn’t change his personality.

“I still am shy. I will probably always be a reserved person. I still feel a little uncomfortable when I go up to someone's door. My heart still pounds inside me, and my feet want to turn around and go back to the car,” he shares. “When I have the chance to talk to someone, I still feel like I am stammering every time I speak. But do you know what? That's okay. Because all those things—all those weaknesses—point me to Jesus.”

Not only is he pointed to Jesus, but his experiences in mission settings gave him the chance to point others to Jesus too. “I have had ingrained in me that two or three nights a week will be spent trying to get into the homes of unchurched people,” he says.

That’s a habit Nass missed this year, even though he was happy to be back on campus. “I like studying. I like being a student. I have always liked being around my brothers at the seminary,” he says.

Still, something seemed off. “It took me a while to realize just what it was,” he says,” but now I know that what is missing is the constant interaction with people who have yet to know about Jesus.”

As he anticipates call day, he is thankful for his education and his experiences in mission settings, because he now has a clearer focus: “A big part of life as a pastor is about seeking out those who don't yet know about Jesus.”