I do not see a conflict in what you stated.
Your Deaf ASL instructor tells you that you should not put yourself into
any situation where you are not fully qualified.
friend encourages you to teach the basics to church friend
they can communicate with a Deaf visitor who often attends our church.
Where's the conflict?
You've been studying ASL for several years
. You are continuing to study
ASL in whatever form you can. You are seeking advice from
professionals. You are aware of your own limitations. You are humble,
open, and passionate. You have deaf friends and acquaintances.
I think it would be a disservice to the Deaf if you didn't
teaching your church friends.
I suggest though that you grab your Deaf friend and have him/her team-teach with you
And remember, there is a difference between teaching your friends at
church and "going into business."
Here are two issues of which you should be aware:
1. Some Deaf feel that it is "not right" for Hearing people to
take "paid ASL teaching jobs" that could be performed by a Deaf person.
The line of reasoning behind this is that Hearing people can go get any
number of other jobs that require the ability to speak and hear.
Jobs involving ASL that don't require the ability to speak and hear are
ideal for Deaf people and should thus be filled by Deaf and not Hearing.
Some Deaf have the point of view that ASL belongs "solely" to the Deaf and that
it should be only Deaf people who get to reap any financial rewards from
the teaching of ASL.
2. Regional and local differences in signs
abound. Many people feel that "their way" of signing is right.
I suggest you pick a good ASL textbook or curriculum and stick with it.
Also, get to know as many local variations as you can. Then if and when students tell you their
Deaf friend signs it in such and such a way you can compliment them for
knowing a variation. Then show the student a few more variations, and
suggest that "for this class" he or she stick with the one that you
recommend based on what you've seen your local Deaf friends doing. Whenever
you notice that a significant number of your Deaf friends do a sign
differently than how it is done in your chosen curriculum, you should go with what the
local Deaf are using. (Note: If you are using my curriculum then contact me so
I can add the other sign as a local variation to my sign pages.)