Jason's Story thru Ministry
The Making of a Senior Pastor: Tracing Jason Howard's Journey Through Ministry
Taylor: Before we get too much further, I think that a lot of people know you of who you are on stage, and they've heard little stories but can you give like the story of how you got to be now Jason Howard senior pastor of Amplified Church in Pittsburgh?
The journey of faith is one of the most transformative experiences we can undertake. It is a journey full of challenges, but also one of great reward. For Pastor Jason Howard, this journey began at a young age, when his passion for God and desire to serve others first took root.
As the apostle Paul writes in 1 Timothy 4:12, "Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity." This verse perfectly encapsulates Pastor Jason's story. He was young when he felt the call to ministry, but he was determined to set an example for others and follow God's plan for his life.
In this piece, we will explore the story of how Jason Howard became the senior pastor of Amplified Church in Pittsburgh. We will witness the challenges he faced, the moments of grace that sustained him, and the transformative impact of God's Word on his life.
Through his story, we will be reminded that our journeys through life are guided by God's plan, even when we don't fully understand it. Join us as we delve into the remarkable story of Jason Howard's journey to become a senior pastor, and may we be inspired to trust in God's plan for our own lives.
From Humble Beginnings
Jason: So in Pittsburgh, we really called it the charismatic movement it was concurrent or sort of the same part of the Jesus revolution of the Jesus movement all that was happening. The charismatic movement in Pittsburgh had an even greater emphasis on sort of the experience of the feeling of the Holy Spirit, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit so that was one of the things that defined it and so I grew up in a church that was birthed out of that movement and so you know it was very much experiencing the presence of God like God is a real thing to you it's not really intellect as much as it's experiential.
As Pastor Jason Howard reflects on his upbringing in Pittsburgh, he recalls the powerful movement of the Holy Spirit that was sweeping through the city. In 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, Paul speaks of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which include wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, and speaking in tongues. These gifts were central to the charismatic movement in Pittsburgh, which emphasized the experiential aspect of faith.
For Pastor Jason, growing up in a church that was birthed out of this movement meant that God's presence was a tangible reality. In Psalm 16:11, David writes, "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." This verse captures the essence of the experiential aspect of faith that was so central to the charismatic movement in Pittsburgh.
As Pastor Jason attests, it was not just about intellectual understanding, but rather about encountering God in a real and personal way. This is in line with John 14:16-17, where Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit, who will dwell in believers and reveal the truth of God's presence to them.
Through the charismatic movement, Pastor Jason came to understand the fullness of God's presence and the power of the Holy Spirit in his life. This understanding has shaped his ministry and his approach to leading Amplified Church in Pittsburgh.
Amplify Church during that Charismatic Movement
Jason: So our church Amplify Church began during that charismatic movement but it wasn't a church it was a bunch of kids who were having an experience with God and their churches would not accommodate it...
As Pastor Jason Howard recounts the origins of Amplify Church, he describes a group of young people who were experiencing the power of God's presence in a way that was not being fully accommodated by their existing churches.”
Young people sought a deeper encounter with God, and they found that traditional church structures were not fully meeting their needs. In Matthew 18:20, Jesus says, "For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them." This verse speaks to the power of community in our spiritual lives, and it is clear that the young people who formed Amplify Church were seeking a more intimate and authentic experience of God's presence.
As Amplify Church continues to grow and thrive, it remains rooted in the charismatic movement that gave it birth. May we be inspired by the example of these young people who sought a deeper encounter with God, and may we continue to seek out new and powerful ways to experience the presence of the Holy Spirit in our own lives.
The Time I knew I had to let God take over my Life
Jason: I was in high school I would say that my relationship with God was I accepted all of that but for me, I hadn't really let him take over my life and when I was in high school um my dad was forcing me to go to the youth group I did not want to go but he made me go and we the youth group went to this thing this event um that I was forced to be at and there was a really big event a couple of thousand high schoolers and they are worshiping and I couldn't deny that the presence of God was there and I knew that I had to give everything.
As Pastor Jason Howard reflects on the pivotal moment when he knew he had to let God take over his life, he recalls a powerful experience at a youth group event in high school. In Romans 12:1, Paul urges believers to offer their bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, which is their spiritual act of worship. It is clear that for Pastor Jason, this moment was a true act of surrender to God's will and a recognition of the transformative power of God's presence.
Before this moment, Pastor Jason had an intellectual understanding of God, but he had not fully given himself over to God's will. In James 1:22, we are reminded that we must not only hear the word of God, but we must also do what it says. It is clear that for Pastor Jason, this moment was a powerful example of putting his faith into action and fully embracing God's plan for his life.
The presence of God was palpable at this youth group event, and Pastor Jason could not deny that he was being called to give everything to God. In Psalm 34:8, David writes, "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him." This verse speaks to the idea that we must experience God's presence for ourselves in order to truly understand the goodness and power of his love.
Through this powerful moment of surrender, Pastor Jason was able to fully embrace God's plan for his life and begin a transformative journey of faith. May we be inspired by his example to seek out our own moments of surrender and to fully embrace God's will for our lives.
From a Beautiful Realization to Senior Pastor
Jason: When God really got a hold of my life, then it was like I want to be a creative Pastor, or a worship Pastor. I want to write music for churches that is modern and progressive and doesn't sound like church, and I want to write music and sing and Lead worship like that's what I wanted to do right.
As Pastor Jason Howard reflects on his journey from a beautiful realization to becoming a senior pastor, he recalls a pivotal moment when God truly got a hold of his life. In Romans 12:6-8, Paul speaks of the gifts that God has given to each of us, including the gift of prophecy, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, and leading. It is clear that for Pastor Jason, his gift was creative expression through music and worship.
When God truly got a hold of his life, Pastor Jason knew that he wanted to use his gifts to serve God in a creative and progressive way. In Psalm 150:3-6, David writes, "Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!" This verse speaks to the power of creative expression in worship, and it is clear that Pastor Jason was called to use his gifts in this way.
As he pursued his calling as a creative pastor and worship leader, Pastor Jason sought to write music that was modern and progressive, breaking free from traditional church sounds. In Colossians 3:23-24, Paul reminds us to do everything as if we are doing it for the Lord and not for human masters. It is clear that for Pastor Jason, his creative expression was a way of serving God and offering his gifts back to the Lord.
Jason: I did tell God that I'd be willing to serve in any way that he asked me to serve, and he said well you can't take over the church if you don't want to do it. And I was like, well I'm not saying I don't want to do it, I'm saying I don't want to do it, but I will do it because I told God that I would serve Him… I did tell God that whatever he asked of me I'd be willing to do.
Through his passion for creative worship, Pastor Jason has become a senior pastor, leading Amplify Church in Pittsburgh. May we be inspired by his journey to use our own gifts and talents to serve God in creative and meaningful ways, following his example to offer everything we do as an act of worship to the Lord.
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