A number of NFL players are finding creative ways to put their free time to good use during the NFL lockout.
Jimmy Clausen, a quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, went back to Notre Dame to pick up the credits he needed to earn a degree. Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd has been working on a random acts of kindness program. And others are working out, trying to stay in shape.
New York Jets defensive lineman Mike DeVito did something out of the ordinary recently with his time. He preached a sermon at Relevant Christian Church in Randolph, N.J. The 26-year-old is considering a career as a pastor or youth pastor after his football career is over.
The Associated Press reported that DeVito has been working with Pastor Adam Burt, a former NHL defenceman who has served as the Jets chaplain for three years.
“When I saw Michael’s heart, he has a real passion in it,” said Burt in the AP story, who is also the itinerant pastor at RCC. “As much of a mountain of a man as he is, he loves people deeply. I had no idea that his heart would be like, ‘Hey, someday I might like to do this,’ but the closer I get to him, I can definitely see the call of God being on his life and that’s exciting.”
DeVito shared his testimony with athletes at West Point and Columbia University in April.
“I feel that with this platform God has given me, it has allowed me to meet people, reach out to kids and be in situations where football facilitates it, but it allows me to talk about God,” DeVito said. “I love talking to the youth and trying to set the right example because if you can set a good foundation right from the start, it’s going to help them avoid so many problems down the line.”
DeVito admitted he was nervous before he preached his sermon, but the man who likes to tweet Bible verses and use the word “brother,” took to Twitter afterward to talk about how much he appreciated the opportunity.
“Very grateful that @pastorads [Pastor Burt] had the FAITH to let me preach my first sermon today at his church in Randolph,” DeVito tweeted. “Have a great sunday brothers!”
It sounds like DeVito is looking for more opportunities to speak about his faith.
“As much as I do want to get back to football and back to work, I’m not going to let this time go to waste,” DeVito said. “I’m just trying to see what path God has for me, and what better time than now? I won’t take this for granted.”