In December 2005 I had just left China and was passing through Singapore where James Creasman introduced to two men named Smith who were devoting their lives to training and coaching movement pioneers across Asia. I knew movements as a careful observer, they knew movements as participants. I shared the lessons that ultimately ended up in my first book, Movements that Changed the World. They listened and encouraged me to keep going, as I was on the right track. One of those Smiths was named Steve.
I understood movement principles, Steve Smith helped ground those principles in action. I met Steve again in Singapore in 2010 at a gathering of movement trainers. I think there might have been 40 people. Steve got us in the room and facilitated peer learning and application. I watched the way he drew people together, among them some strong personalities and opinions. He led with skill and spiritual authority. He was a man committed to building coalitions to fulfill the Great Commission.
When I stop and think of Steve Smith right now, two words come to mind — grace and determination.
We met many more times at various gatherings, I can recall Houston, Dubai, Dublin and England.
This is what Steve Smith taught me—give your life to obeying Christ’s command to make disciples of the nations. Pursue it with all your might. Don’t be content with your own efforts, train and mobilize God’s people, build coalitions, learn from other practitioners. Go deep with God as you depend on the Holy Spirit and obey his Word. Steve and Laura modeled what it means to go this journey together as a family. Lastly, Steve taught me that you can face anything in this life, even the horror of cancer and the confusion of unanswered prayer, and with Christ, you can triumph.
After a long illness, Steve Smith died on March 13. He was fifty-seven. He leaves behind Laura, three grown sons: Cris, David, Josh and wife Caroline and twin grandsons.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Tim 4:7