DTC Stories

Defending the Cause: Finding Joy in the Journey – Steve Hood, Church Champion, Colorado Springs, CO

A new video, KINGDOM PURSUIT, is available for viewing and sharing through social media with your span of influence at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmUIbVx2PyQ. This one-minute video encourages men to step and into action to help build God’s Kingdom.

…for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

Is it possible for a successful Colorado Springs home builder and family man surrounded by a strong community of men encouraging him in his faith to “hit a wall?” That’s how Steve Hood, president of Alliance Builders, Inc., described his life in 2012.

“I had big responsibilities, but little joy,” said Steve, Church Champion for Woodmen Valley Chapel since January 2013. “I thought it was with my job and contemplated quitting, but I own the company. Through the insight of my men’s group, I discovered it wasn’t a problem with my career, it was a problem with balance. I had allowed big responsibilities and life to rob me of joy.”

A friend sketched out Steve’s life struggle in simple form. He drew a big circle and labeled it his life and within this circle he drew a much smaller one representing joy. Seeing a big life and minuscule joy on paper made it clear to Steve his real struggle was allowing his responsibilities and schedule to stiff arm him from pursuing his passions that bring him the most joy.

“We discussed how finding joy in the journey through giving your life away provided the big doses of joy to help overshadow the grind of everyday life,” said Steve. “I wanted to live life with a capital L. That’s what brings joy to our journeys. My life-joy ratio was completely unbalanced.”

Seeing his current state drawn out on a piece of paper brought conviction and prayerful soul-searching reminiscent of King Solomon’s “all is vanity” pleas in Ecclesiastes. God made it known to Steve what brought him the most joy — sharing his passion for outdoor activities with young men. He had done so with his son, now serving with Youth With A Mission, and through mentoring a neighbor boy who had lost his dad. He was well acquainted with the joy experienced by giving your life away.

As a result of restructuring his life, which Steve readily admits is still a work in progress, he got involved in Fathers in the Field in the fall of 2012. Steve serves as the Church Champion at Woodmen Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs, a church he’s associated with through his men’s group that has been doing life together since they met a John Eldridge “Wild at Heart” conference over a decade ago.

Steve met with Woodmen’s Rich Griffith, Director of Men’s Ministries, to present the opportunity for men to use their love of the outdoors to share Christ’s love with fatherless boys. The ministry was a perfect fit for Steve, so he decided to champion the effort.

“I had credibility because of my involvement in the men’s group since many of the members are the church’s ‘heavy lifters,’ said Steve. “I shared about the important thing God was unfolding in my heart – mentoring young boys.” Rich was open to starting the ministry, but desired to take baby steps. After a sabbatical and family mission trip, Rich came back with a renewed vigor going from “let’s take baby steps” to “we’ve gotta do this!” It was a 180 degree turnaround orchestrated by God.

“Rich came to a commitment ceremony for one of the three boys we’re mentoring now and was hooked,” said Steve. “I’m beating the bushes to find a boy I can mentor and other men who will step up and get involved in Fathers in the Field. My work in the ministry has brought me joy as God’s used me as a catalyst for Mentor Fathers and Field Buddies to find their match.”

“Hitting the wall” was Steve’s wake-up call from God.

“The world will take every inch it can get. The next thing you know your life is consumed by less important things and you’ve given your life to the world,” said Steve. “It can be a nasty existence as there’s no real life in that. Serving and spending time with God are the riches parts of my day.”

Steve’s built a team of three Mentor Fathers and is currently awaiting his own Field Buddy. His newfound ability to encourage and implore other men to make room for Kingdom pursuits and expand their circle of joy will no doubt have an influence in the lives of young boys for years to come.

The out-and-out Christian is a joyful Christian. The half-and-half Christian is the kind of Christian that a great many of you are – little acquainted with the Lord. Why should we live halfway up the hill and swathed in the mists, when we might have an unclouded sky and a radiant sun over our heads if we would climb higher and walk in the light of His face? Alexander MacLaren, Scottish minister (1826-1910)