Words of THANKS and much love go out to the guy who was my youth pastor. He is my hero when it comes to knowing other youth pastors and in some sense modeling my own youth ministry after. My old youth pastor (I say old for 2 reasons: 1. He is old 🙂 2. It has been over 13 years since he has been my youth pastor) retired from his youth ministry after sixteen years; yes you read that right – in youth ministry for over 16 years!!! That is simply unheard of in contemporary ministry, much less youth ministry.
So, this post is some random “Why I am thankful Steve Howell was my youth pastor”
1) Steve kept it real.
What I mean is that he seldom tried to be someone he was not. Sometimes this was to his downfall but mostly it was to his benefit. You have to know Steve to understand what I mean by that. All in all, I appreciate the fact that he was authentic in his love for God and for students. He cared and everyone knew it.
2) Steve took the right things seriously… and well to say the other things not so serious would be an understatement.
Sometimes you wondered if he could ever hold a meaningful conversation. Then other times your conversation with him left you deep in reflection and wonder of how profound the statements or questions he offered. I think this comes from being a father of five, and more importantly having a dynamic, vital relationship with the Profoundest One.
3) Steve lived with integrity.
This one might replicate the first but it’s worth repeating and closing on. I know his family life has had its ups and downs as any family (especially in the ministry), and through all of it his faith remained strong, his character remained humble and he seemed to be intentional about being selfless. Perhaps his faith and character remained so Christ-like because he was selfless (Philippians 2:5-9). In fact his selflessness showed itself when his going away party lasted about four hours! People couldn’t stop sharing how much he meant to them. Influence and spiritual impact stem from a life of selfless service.
From one YP to another… thanks.