A Tribute to Steve Clark – a Faithful Teacher and Bulwark of God’s Word of Truth

By Don Schwager

St Jerome, a 4th century Bible scholar who translated the Bible into the common language of his time, wrote: 

“The man who is the strongest in disputation and who is well grounded in the testimonies of the Scripture is a bulwark of the Church.” 

I thank God for calling Steve Clark to be our founder and teacher. Steve’s life of dedicated service and teaching has profoundly impacted the character and charism of our brotherhood – the call to be disciples and servants of the Word of God, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Steve Clark’s teaching and impact in Servants of the Word

When I first met Steve and heard him speak in the late 1960s, I knew I was in the presence of an anointed man of God. His love for Jesus Christ and his radical commitment to leave all to follow Christ and imitate him, took an immediate hold on my personal life. I was eager to “beat a path to his door” to receive first-hand wisdom and guidance in following the Lord. I was soon in happy company with Bruce Yocum and a few other young men who met regularly with Steve.  He was a remarkably gifted teacher and a great example of a disciple who sought to conform his mind and whole life to the Word of God in Scripture. We were hungry to be taught and he eagerly taught us from the Scriptures. 

For several decades, Steve regularly gave us a series of talks on different books of the Bible, beginning with the four Gospels, New Testament epistles, and Book of Revelation, and some of the Old Testament themes, including the Psalms, Abraham series, and Old Testament Commentary. He developed a course on how to study and meditate on the Scriptures and how to read the Old Testament in Light of the New. He also developed a series of courses related to our call and ideal in living single for the Lord, such as prayer and worship. Many of our community courses, such as Fruit of the Spirit and Christian Personal Relationships, were developed by Steve as well.  All of his teaching was grounded in the Scriptures and filled with practical wisdom in how to apply the Scriptures to our daily lives. 

When Steve taught he spoke with clarity of thought, conciseness, and persuasion. He always drew us to the heart of Christ’s teaching and to the truth and soundness of God’s wisdom and commands.  

What made his teaching so very effective and fruitful? I believe it was his character – the character of a disciple of Christ. He revered the Scriptures as God’s authoritative revelation and submitted to it with humility, faith, and obedience. He wanted to be conformed to the mind of Christ. And that has been his goal and purpose in all the teaching and courses he developed for the Servants of the Word and for the Sword of the Spirit.

The paragraph from the Covenant on being Men of God’s Word, summarizes Steve’s teaching and formation of our approach to the Word of God in the Scriptures. 

Men of God’s Word 
We wish to be men who are formed in all things by the word of God. Because the Lord is our inheritance, we promise to keep his words (Psalm 119:57). We are men who want the good portion, the one thing necessary (Luke 10:42), and who seek wisdom so that we might find favor from the Lord and the true life (Proverbs 8:35). We will provide time for the Lord to speak to us and teach us, so that he may form our minds. We will listen to the Lord in prayer, but we will also put aside time to learn through reading, instruction or study, concentrating especially on God’s inspired word in Scripture. As we are able, we will meditate on the teachings of the Lord throughout the day (Psalm 119:97), and speak of them with one another and with others when we are sitting in our houses, and when we are walking by the way, and when we lie down, and when we rise (Deuteronomy 11:19). We revere the words of the Lord and want to love him with our whole minds (Deuteronomy 6:5; Luke 10:27).

May we remain forever grateful for our founder Steve Clark and the charism God gave him for our call and life as servants of the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Top photo credit: Steve Clark holding a Bible, © Servants of the Word.

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