One of the greatest joys that I experience is teaching students, especially my Wheaton College Graduate students. I have met so many wonderful men and women in the M.A. in Evangelism and Christian Leadership program over the last few years. I have been able to enter into mentoring friendships with at least 10-12 former students over the past five years. One such student is Dan Jones. Dan was in my apologetics class in January, 2009. After a week long intensive class we began to build a friendship by enjoying meals together. We shared many hours talking, praying and just enjoying the love of Christ as friends. Just before Christmas, Dan (with the full support of his lovely bride Judy) offered to work with me as my associate at ACT 3. When I told him that there was no money for the job he was not deterred. He said that he actually believed that he could work for one year. We could then see how the Lord provided for him and how we were able to develop the work of ACT 3 as we served together as a team.
Two years ago I asked the Lord for an associate with people skills, computer skills and the unique mental and spiritual ability to understand my vision, love this mission and support me through facilitating what God had plainly given me to do. I am buried in details every single day and need every ounce of strength that I have to write, teach and mentor. Several times our board has prayerfully asked the Lord for the money to hire a part-time person, especially to help me with the marketing and development of the book, Your Church Is Too Small. When Dan presented himself to me and offered to fulfill this task I was stunned by God’s mercy once again. The Lord made it perfectly clear that no human could take credit for this development. The entire process, from start to finish, had to be of the Lord. Dan began working with me in January. You will see the effect of his work again and again in coming months though it might not be instantly obvious to most of you.
I want you to know Dan and to pray for him as my friend and associate. Here, in short, is his story.
Dan was baptized in the Methodist Church as an infant. He was then raised in the life and teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. He was discipled at Loyola University in Chicago through evangelical Christians serving with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He was later mentored in the Vineyard Church where he experienced a healthy expression of the charismatic. He currently serves with an Acts29 church plant in Chicago and will complete his M.A. in Evangelism and Leadership from Wheaton College in May of this year. Dan and Judy both desire to follow God’s call in whatever direction he will take them. Judy is a practicing pediatrician and the mother of two. Dan and Judy share parenting in a wonderful way and in so doing serve each other as Christ ordained.
As you can readily see Dan is a brother who has moved from one faith expression to another during a life of less than forty years. He believes that all of this experience of different churches and ministries has not come about out of disappointment or disagreement but rather because of God’s specific leading in providence. Because of this he counts his diverse faith experience as a rich blessing and believes, along with me, that this has uniquely prepared him to work with ACT 3 at this unusual time in his life.
After nearly 15 years in the marketplace, helping businesses of all shapes and sizes utilize technology and innovation to increase revenues, decrease cost, and eliminate aggravation, Dan left this career to pursue full-time Christian ministry in 2009. By faith he walked away and sought the Lord’s direction for the next step in his journey. He now considers God’s providence all the revenue that he needs at this present moment. Dan hopes that his skills and experience will continue to be of service to Christ’s faithful, furthering the missio Dei by specifically helping to spread the message of good news through ACT 3 at this time. Wherever else the Lord will take him in service to Christ and his kingdom in the years ahead he knows this is the place he should be right now. I totally agree.
Please pray for Dan and Judy Jones. They are very special people who have been sent by God at a very special time in the life of ACT 3. They want to help with the vision the Lord has given to me to spread the word about missional-ecumenism. If you attend an ACT 3 event be sure to meet Dan. If you can help him with this mission in any way please let him know. We welcome volunteer help when and where it is needed. We will say more as things move along in the months ahead.