Steve was present for the last sermon I ever preached at my former Mega-Machine. In fact, that's when we first met. I knew almost immediately that he was much different from any other pro athlete/celebrity I had ever met.
In Seattle, Futbol (Soccer) sells out stadiums. The MLS team, The Sounders, actual win. The team is owned by comedian, and The Price is Right host, Drew Carey. So Steve is a celebrity in the city and the Futbol world. He is well loved, and well respected by both colleagues and fans.
What drew me to Steve was his graciousness, humility, and desire for continual learning and growth. Even though our public chats are often interrupted by fans, we always dig deeper than surface level in our conversations.
As a young man, Steve was mentored by Myles Munroe. A speaker from the Mega-Machine I had listened to several times. In fact, Myles was one of the few Mega-Ministers I ever felt at ease hearing speak. His focus on Jesus and the Kingdom of God, instead of prosperity gospel and tithe taking was always refreshing. Myles tragically died last November in an airplane crash.
The most impressive thing I have seen in Steve's life lately has been how he has handled the adversities of losing his career to injury, losing his mentor to an airplane crash, and losing his close friend to a motorcycle accident all in the last two years.
As he starts his new career, plans his wedding, mourns the loss of dear friends, and sits with me over drinks. He remains the same Steve I once met four years ago. Humble, full of hope, and inquisitive and questioning as ever.
As a Futbol or Soccer Celebrity and Pro-Athlete, Steve has a unique perspective of institutional religion in America. We talk about it, along with describing how dropping our beliefs made it possible for us to love those that are different from us.