I’ve known Steven for over a dozen years. Over that time I’ve worked with him in different capacities at our church, both officially and unofficially. For the last 8 years or so, I’ve served with him on the Church Session. During those years we underwent quite a few major changes, moved geographically, changed staff, combined two congregations into one, etc., as well as dealt with a host of pastoral concerns.
I’ve gained tremendous respect for Steven. His work ethic is very high. He has shown time and time again the ability to grow – to learn from experience and put that new knowledge to use in whatever the next challenge might be. He has proven the ability to really build up a staff and not only develop them professionally, but personally as well. He has exhibited great patience in dealing with those who directly report to him as well as those to whom he was responsible.
Steven was able to not just keep the church running on a day to day basis, he was singularly responsible for casting a vision for what the church should be and how to realize that vision – a task made difficult in that he had to accomplish that working with a group of men who had other responsibilities and abilities. He was able to plot a course, setting a plan that was realistic and yet challenging, and he managed to keep us all on task.
But most of all – what I admire about Steven is his decency. He treats everyone with respect and treats everyone’s opinions with respect. Even when he disagrees with you, he seems to assume that there must be something in your opinion that he is just not getting and make every effort to understand what that might be. And he does not do that in order to ‘win’ the debate, but to really seek out a mutual understanding. He treats others as I hope I do…