Thursday’s Podcast: The Ministry of a Football Coach

This morning we recorded our first live episode of The 252: an interview with Steve Johnson, for 31 years the head football coach at his alma mater, Bethel University.

Recording with Steve (far right) in the new space for Bethel’s History and Political Science departments – Photo courtesy of Molly Wickam

Steve took time out of preparing for Saturday’s game at Concordia College in order to tell us about his childhood as a Cubs fan and pastor’s kid in Chicago, his education at Bethel and transition into coaching, what a college football coach’s week looks like in Division III, how he sees athletics living out the larger purposes of Christian higher education, how coaching is a kind of ministry (and a football team is a kind of congregation), and what success means to him. Especially if you’ve never met Steve or heard him talk about his work, you’ll want to hear this. (While the Royals are just one victory away from clinching a 26th straight winning season under Steve, and he has taken his team deep into the D3 playoffs four times, he didn’t necessarily focus on those achievements…)

That was most of the episode, but stick around for Three to See at the very end. I talked about the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the last international competition for a star Australian player whose political activism was inspired in part by reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

You can download or stream The 252 from Podbean or Apple Podcasts.