My journey from a youth pastor veteran to rookie on the airwaves
Thanks for tuning in,
If you can stomach questionable grammar soldier on, but if it’s going to cause you any type of anxiety that will result in a response to me this blog may not be for you. Now that the boundaries have been set let’s Rock’nRoll.
Since I started at LIFE in mid April often the first question I get asked is “How did you get that job?” or there is sadness in their voice about me leaving the church because they don’t understand my decision to join LIFE . It’s a fun story that bares repeating, but if I’m going to tell it right we need to set the stage and go back a few years to February 2015.
I’m working at Christian Life Centre in Ajax as the Youth Pastor and we are planning an all nighter for our students. Scott Jackson emailed me asking if I could set a date for a band he was managing “Anthem for Today”. The only hang up….and it was a biggie, Anthem was an pop/rock vibey kinda band and my youth group was more urban and would’ve appreciated more of a hip-hop/raggae feel.
I had brought in a lot of artists at CLC as a youth pastor, I always wanted to give a stage and support our local bands. I was, and am, passionate about giving my students christian music that they would love. Not having a good christian radio station to connect your youth group to is brutal. PS If you have one in your city don’t take it for granted because one day you may not have one. Then you will see how much it played in your day to day walk with God.
Back to the story. I knew I would face some push back regarding Anthem from my leadership team, so like any good youth pastor I let my intern take care of it! I’ve had enough interns to know that they would take the credit for it and I all I would have to do is smooth it over. Sure enough when it was announced I got text messages saying “Pastor Steve…nooooooo”. It was rare when I overruled my leadership team, it almost never happened, but I wanted this one (I let Manic Drive pass through for a ridiculous low price and I regretted ever since). I knew once Anthem took the stage they would win our students over and they did, it took a few songs and show was great. Scott and I officially met face to face at the show for the first time. (Side story, Scott may or may not remember this, but we actually met at the LIFE studios before the station started. A friend had snuck me in the studio, LIFE 100.3’s name was under lock and key and I shouldn’t have been there, Scott asked us to make a quick exit so the surprise wasn’t ruined.
After the show Scott and I stayed in touch, in a weird way I felt a bond with Scott. I loved his drive and his work ethic (More details on Scott in my second blog). I think it was nice for Scott to have someone text him every now and then just to say hi and see how he was doing without wanting anything in return. One morning I woke and God told me to text Scott. No, I didn’t hear an audible voice but just like your conscience works I knew I had to text Scott. I text Scott at 7am to tell him I was thinking of him and hope everything was good. Scott’s response…”Who told you?” I had no idea but Scott and Anthem had decided to go their separate ways. Scott and the band did some great things together and I knew this would be a difficult season for everyone.
Scott and I contuined to trade text messages back and forth. Scott knew my youth days where winding down. When Tim Maassarany decided to leave the station to pursue another career Scott sent me a text and asked if I would be interested in changing careers to join the Morning Show at LIFE. My response “HOOK A BROTHER UP!”
On Friday March 10, 2017 I met with Steve Jones and Scott Jackson for a formal interview. By the end of the interview we all agreed we wanted to go to the next step, which was meeting Todd Gale, the host of the “All New BreakfastClub”.
On Sunday March 12 I had dinner with Todd and Scott with our spouses, then we went to the station to do some recordings with Todd to see if there was potential for chemistry between us.
The First Super
On Monday March 13 Scott texted me to check my email, I was nervous to open it (he wouldn’t actually text me to say I didn’t get the job…..right?). Scott extended an offer to join the LIFE family as Co-Host of what would become the “The Get Up & Go Show.” By Wednesday we accepted and started the process of moving forward.
Saying good bye to Pastoring…….
Saying my identity was wrapped up in my title would be understatement. I lived, breathed dreamed about the church. Knowing how much God sacrificed for me so I could have a relationship with him drove me every week to try and have the best environments possible. On the outside I try and keep a smile on but on the inside I’m raging ball of intensity and it came out though my prep for youth. If the world can draw us in with their storytelling in the entertainment business how much more should we be able to do with the greatest story ever told. It shouldn’t be hard to get creative and if it is maybe you need a holiday. Always give God your best in everything you do!
As a pastor you want to have maximum impact on as many lives as you possibly can; LIFE 100.3 has an average of 64,000 listeners per week. This means every time I share the word of life or I share a devo on air I have spoken to more people then I ever would in a church. I wasn’t saying good bye to pastoring, God is increasing my influence.
I hope you enjoyed my journey into LIFE.
I have two more blogs penned out for the next couple of weeks,
- Scott Jackson
- School of Jones
Until then, thanks for tuning in.
great story stevie…I had wondered how this came about!!! I wish you great success stevie…I know you’re very passionate about God!!! and you’re also a very talented person…this is one of the best forums for you!!! ..congrats stevie…I’m trying to listen…lol…it’s a bit early….
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Thanks Wendy! Hope we can see you more when we move.
I’m very very proud of your journey ! I knew your mom and only met your dad a few times. Your mom always had a special place in my heart for sticking up for my kid when I was ready to thrash him . Your childhood was not an easy one and it warms my heart to see the road you took . So many others turn from God and choose the other road that keeps running the same path they try to run away from . All they need to do is give it to God and their life will be so much better !
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That was an interesting , fun blog with some great side stories. Keep up the good work! As people come and go from the LIFE family, there is always different stories to be told about how our cool Saviour works in wonderous ways. Nice that you shared some of yours with us. Glad to have you and your family on board and I hope you and Todd will help us all to “Get up and Go” for years and years to come.
Reblogged this on Caller Number 7.
We have watched you and your family grow (not just spiritually☺️) since your Orillia days, and we have never been more excited to see God use you reach more people than ever through radio.
Thanks Gwen! You and Stirling are the best