I was asked this last week to provide a new and updated bio for a writing and video assignment I did for another ministry. I had not done this for nearly two years so it was helpful to delete a few items, correct one or two things that needed changing, and bring my sketch up to date for 2011. I will post this on the ACT 3 Web site as well but I thought readers of this blog might want to be the first to see the updated version.
I share this in order to:
1. Tell you more about the author of these daily musings about God, the church, ecumenism, mission and life in general with all of my curious and sometime eccentric interests.
2. Ask you to pray for me more faithfully based upon a better understanding of my background and work.
3. Encourage you to help me in this work if you would like to do so. You can contribute, as well as sign up for free weekly mailings, at www.act3online.com.
Here is the new biographical sketch:
John H. Armstrong is founder and president of ACT 3, a ministry for equipping leaders for unity in Christ's mission since 1991 based in Carol Stream, Illinois. He is former pastor and church-planter, of more than twenty years, and the author/editor of eleven books. His most recent book, Your Church Is Too Small: Why Unity in Christ’s Mission Is Vital to the Future of the Church (Zondervan) is his personal narrative and gives a theology of what he calls “missional-ecumenism.” It charts a way for the church to pursue Christ’s kingdom in friendships rooted in Christ’s love for the whole church. John is actively engaged in mentoring leaders and encouraging the ecumenical movement to develop a clearer focus on Christ’s kingdom and mission. To this end he has made a number of trips to India and South America helping equip leaders for ministry in some of the world's poorest regions.
John has authored thousands of magazine, journal, and Web based articles. Besides his writing ministry Dr. Armstrong is an adjunct professor of evangelism and leadership at Wheaton College Graduate School at the Billy Graham Center, teaches in various seminaries and colleges as a guest lecturer, and is a seminar and conference speaker throughout the United States and abroad. John and Anita, his wife of forty years, have two adult married children. Anita assists John as an editorial associate to help his ministry. Their son Matthew is engaged in a ministry of evangelism and discipleship. Their daughter Stacy is an administrative assistant for ACT 3. John and Anita have two grandchildren, Gracie (13) and Abbie (9).
John was born in Lebanon, Tennessee (March 1, 1949). He is the youngest of two sons of the late Dr. Thomas H. and Marie F. Armstrong. John's dad was a dentist and the editor of the Tennessee State Dental Journal. He also served on the faculty of the University of Tennessee Dental School in Memphis for nearly fifteen years. John's mom was his most important influence in hearing God's call upon his life and in learning how to teach the Holy Scriptures. His brother Thomas is a family physician in Huntsville, Alabama, and remains a confidant and close friend. John attended Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, Tennessee, where he was an ROTC cadet officer and graduated cum honore in 1967. He attended the University of Alabama from 1967-1969, studying journalism and history. In 1969 he transferred to Wheaton College, were he received the B. A. in history (1971) and the M. A. in theology and missions (1973). He did further study at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, and Northern Baptist Seminary, Lombard, Illinois. He earned the D. Min degree (1979) at Luther Rice Seminary, Atlanta, Georgia. John is an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in America. He is a member of several professional societies for mission and theology and is a member of the Abraham Lincoln Society.
John is the author of Your Church is Too Small: Why Unity in Christ's Mission Is Vital to the Future of the Church (Zondervan, 2010), Five Great Evangelists (Christian Focus Publications, 1997), The Catholic Mystery (Harvest House, 1999), True Revival: What Happens When God's Spirit Moves (Harvest House, 2000), and The Stain That Stays: The Church's Response to the Sexual Misconduct of It's Leaders (Christian Focus, 2000). He is the general editor of Understanding Four Views on the Lord's Supper (Zondervan, 2007), Understanding Four Views on Baptism (Zondervan, 2007), Roman Catholicism: Evangelical Protestants Analyze What Unites and Divides Us (Moody Press, 1994), The Coming Evangelical Crisis (Moody Press, 1996), Reforming Pastoral Ministry (Crossway, 2001), The Glory of Christ (Crossway, 2002). He has contributed single chapters, theological and historical introductions, and forewords to more than two dozen volumes, and has been published in Christianity Today, Christian History and numerous other Christian periodicals. He publishes a daily blog at www.johnharmstrong.com and writes a more substantive weekly article, The ACT 3 Weekly, (1,200 to 1,800 words) available at www.act3online.com. His personal story is also available on video at www.act3online.com.
John is a true baseball fan who sees a good number of Kane County Cougar minor league games each summer and faithfully follows the Atlanta Braves, his lifelong favorite MLB team, on both cable and the Internet. He remains a huge lifelong college football fan of the Crimson Tide after he attended the University of Alabama in the 1960s. It was there that he met the late Paul W. (“Bear”) Bryant, who was from the same small town in Union County, Arkansas, and was born in the same year (1912), as John’s beloved dad.