“On March 13, 2019, just a couple days after his 57th birthday, Steve Smith lost his battle to cancer but won his place before his Savior and King. He had run the race, had fought the good fight and kept the faith. Laura, Steve’s wife, sent us an excerpt from his will that reads: “I have run the race Jesus has set out for me and call all my family and descendants to do the same. To Him be all glory, dominion and authority forever.”
Below are special memories and thoughts from various leaders from Beyond as they remember their friendship and relationship with this soldier of the Gospel.
“God used Steve in many amazing ways. He helped catalyze Church Planting movements. He trained hundreds to catalyze Church Planting Movements. He wrote numerous books and articles related to launching Church Planting Movements. He helped many of us gain deeper insight into how the Spirit of God enriches, guides, propels us forward in the completion of Jesus’ life and Great Commission.
We rejoice with Steve and Laura that he now has the privilege of walking by sight with Jesus. And we truly praise God for all He did and will continue to do through Steve
We also grieve for and with Laura, Josh and the whole family as they feel their deep loss for now. We grieve our own personal loss. We grieve the loss for the global Body of Christ. I am so thankful to Jesus that He will help them and us grieve but that we do not grieve as those without hope.
A key contribution Steve has made to all of us is either to introduce us to or reinforce our understanding that yes, there will be a final generation which God uses to “herald the Good News of the Kingdom as a sacrificial witness to all ethne” and only then will the end come. More importantly, I have been advanced in my resolve by Steve and others to join in the prayer that God might consider us faithful enough to be that last generation.
This God-given calling to each of us – to be among the sacrificial witnesses to make disciples of all ethne – brings a joyful urgency for doing whatever God requires so millions will joyfully join us in Jesus’ life!
Thank you, Steve, for your willingness to give it all for God’s glory among all peoples. We will miss you, and are grateful it is just temporary. And we will continue to help and be community for Laura and the family. See you “soon.”
And thank you, God, for creating, calling and equipping Steve the way you did. We have all been helped to become more like you because of your ministry through Steve.
And Lord, we as Beyond recommit to pay whatever price you ask so that your plan of making disciples of all ethne is fulfilled.” – Kent Parks, Beyond
“We honor Steve Smith, a man who sought to honor God with all his life.
Steve began his mission years first marrying Laura and planting a church in Los Angeles. They had three sons: Chris, Josh, and David. As a pastor Steve started a 20 year journey in writing what would become a two series novel the “No Place Left” saga – using the theme that came to characterize his life from what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 15:23 — Steve’s prayer that in his lifetime, or soon after there would be No Place Left where the Gospel had not been preached. Steve later served in East Asia, seeing a Church Planting Movement start there. Then for many years Steve served as a trainer, mentor, and coach of hundreds of men and women to prayerfully see these movements all over the world. Steve helped other movement leaders Ying and Grace Kai write a best selling missions book about another movement and strategy that has helped hundreds of movements: T4T: A Discipleship Re-Revolution. The theme of not just training a pastor, or training a disciple, but helping every believer in Jesus to be a trainers of trainers, who would in turn train other trainers.
Steve worked even to the end of his life with his commitment to multiplying disciples, churches, leaders and movements as vice president of multiplication for East-West Ministries, Beyond, and co-lead facilitator of the 24:14 Coalition. These are all efforts that will continue to live out Steve’s legacy to live Biblically based lives that glorify Jesus!” – Neill Mims, Beyond
“The things we loved about Steve Smith were reflections of Jesus in him. Our family had the
privilege of becoming close friends with the Smith family when we all lived in Singapore and were part of a house church and lived life together. Our son, Seth, wrote this about Steve: “Through Steve I learned that Jesus’ truth was synonymous with His love. As I saw an unworldly, unnatural, amazing love pour out of Steve’s mouth and actions, I eventually saw the truth it stemmed from . . . the truth of Galatians 2:20 hit me and I saw Steve, but more importantly I saw Christ living in him.”
Steve loved the lost and unreached people of the world – those without access to the
Good News of Jesus who had changed his own life. He and Laura gave their best to bring the gospel to those they met in college and seminary and those they served in Los Angeles. When God led them from LA to the nations, Steve read the book of Acts over and over again. He asked God to do the same thing among the unreached people group they served in East Asia. When Steve agonized over persecution of the evangelists and believers, God reassured him that this was their sacrifice for Him. Bringing the gospel and helping others bring the gospel to these remote communities was a time of great joy for their family.” – Stan Parks, Beyond.