5 Life-Changing Experiences – A Mistake

I can hear you now. “What?? a mistake changed your life??”

It’s a long story, but after High School and a few years @ A&M, I ended up as a music major @ Texas Wesleyan in Ft. Worth. I had no skills for it, but loved studying music. It was completely the opposite of the engineering degree I had been seeking @ A&M – where I had the skills and no desire. I also realized that I loved working with youth groups during that time and took my first part-time youth ministry position at Aledo FUMC. It was a great job. During that time, I worked part-time @ the Sears Auto Center, went to school (Texas Wesleyan) full-time, and worked part-time at as a youth minister. I drove almost 100 miles a day and became pretty adept at changing clothes in the car. I worked for about 2 years this way, and ultimately realized that at the end of my degree in music, all I’d be able to do is teach band or try to make it as a performance musician. Neither option sounded good.

Anyway, the music minister at the church talked me into going to choir camp that year as an adult participant. When we arrived, they told us they had never received our registrations (there’s the “mistake” I’m talking about) and that we could stay if we would work with the children. We had the week off already so we decided to stay. I played guitar with the guys in my group and ended up leading singing for 100s of children in the evenings. One of the other counselors, Susan Bryant  approached me about coming to be the full-time youth minister at her church. I had never thought of that. I knew music was a dead end for me and I knew God was revealing an ever-increasing love for youth ministry to me in those days, and I went for it. The pastor called a week later to arrange an interview. I drove down and life has never been the same.

Tomball UMC Church Directory Photo - 1992

Tomball UMC Church Directory Photo - 1992

I stayed at that church (Tomball FUMC) for 12 years. I found another family there. I grew there. I was discipled there. I was stretched there. God allowed me to be a part of some incredible ministry and to see lives changed dramatically. I met my bride there. I was married there.Tomball FUMC was a turning point for me, and I would never have been there if it weren’t for a mistake. Here’s how I see it all adding up:

God had someone lose my Choir Camp registration

+ God allowed Susan to see something in me

+ God created a restlessness in me about the music major

+ God led the Pastor at Tomball (Nick Sholars) to call me

+ God granted me favor in the eyes of the SPRC

= a new job + a new direction in life + discipleship + a new extended family + a passion for life/ministry + an eventual bride + my amazing children + + + + etc. + who knows what else is to come?

It’s just crazy to think my whole life spins off this one “mistake.”  Hmm. . . .was it really a mistake or did God have a hand in it?

7 thoughts on “5 Life-Changing Experiences – A Mistake

  1. Susan McNiel Godfrey

    This is a great post Steve! Even when I knew you at FUMC Crowley, I always thought you’d be a great youth pastor, you always reminded me of my cousin Michael in personality. Isn’t it amazing how God works in our lives! I love how those “mistakes” turn into amazing works in the hands of our Lord.

  2. Jimmie Hackworth

    Great one Steve! Keep up the good work. It’s great to look back on our lives and see how little decisions/mistakes/etc have totally shaped us. I was watching late night TV one night when I was a freshman in high school and saw a commercial for a magnet high school where I ended up meeting Helen and we’re celebrating 20 years this year and have two awesome boys. Thinking back on things like that, challenges me to think about other decisions that come up every day.

  3. Lorel Hohl

    Never knew that story Steve, or how Susan was involved with inviting you to Tomball! I’ll have to thank her for that! Those were some amazing years — not only for you, but for those of us who benefited so much from your ministry and leadership. Love you bunches!

  4. Mike Wright-Chapman

    I like it! Great story, Steve! It is amazing how things come together – in God’s kairos – to get us where God wants us.

  5. Kelly Davidson

    My family and I were blessed beyond measure to have been a part of your ministry. I can connect simular dots in seeing what got us to Tomball and Tomball UMC. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was God’s hand that got us here – that He had a plan for us at TUMC. And it’s funny, Susan was the first person that reached out to me at TUMC and made me feel welcome and “a part of”. Thanks for listening to the Lord’s calling – your listening had an impact on our life.

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