Below is a bio from John; woven in it is the larger story behind… the Kingdom Story.
I grew up much of my life in Tacoma, Washington and went to Clover Park High School. I received my undergraduate degree in Business Administration at Pacific Lutheran University in 1983, and then immediately came on the Young Life staff. After four years of youth ministry in Tacoma and Port Angeles, an internship in a nationally recognized college ministry beckoned me to Bellingham, WA; here I was deeply exposed to a mentor and a ministry committed to making disciples. Bellingham became home for a year. (1987-88). The following year I joined forces with Young Life in Tacoma and began a college ministry at the University of Puget Sound (!988-89). I remained the director for another twelve years, officed in the inner city and I experimented widely with how to disciple students. All along the way, I took classes part time at Fuller Seminary, which integrated well with my ministry experience. Foundational convictions about life and ministry flourished in these ministry years. An internship program was begun with the college ministry (now called Tacoma College Ministry) in 1995 that birthed and used the Kingdom Story (KS) curriculum as an essential ingredient for their training.
In 1988 I met my soon to be best friend and wife Carissa. We spent a sabbatical year overseas before we had children, half of that time spent in Hong Kong and half in Israel in a study program. My eyes were opened wider to the world of different cultures and the world of the Bible. I finished my Masters of Divinity at Fuller upon returning.
Having left the full time college ministry position in 2001, I spent the next four years splitting my time as volunteer and staff for both University Place Presbyterian Church (Adult Discipleship pastor) and Northwest Leadership Foundation. I continued to develop the KS curriculum and experimented with a church based internship program. In 2004, I received a Doctorate of Transformational Ministry from Bakke Graduate University; my project focused on a one year holistic, church based, city wide transformational intern program that was designed to be transferable to other cultures. I used the KS as my primary curriculum and approach for the participants.
Carissa, myself and our three children, Jonathan, Elizabeth and Rachel packed up and moved to Beijing in 2005 for a two year stint in ministry with young adults. The intern program of my D. Min. project-along with the Kingdom story, was implemented the 2nd year. We returned to the US in June 2007 and now live in Fircrest, WA. Other teachers in Beijing have used the Kingdom Story approach/translated curriculum in now multiple settings since 2007.
I worked full time with Northwest Leadership Foundation in August ‘07 with an initiative called “City as Parish,” which invited churches to collaborate with faith/civic organizations in ministry to the poor around their neighborhoods. The initiative has an intern program and the Kingdom Story was used as part of their overall training. In that period, I helped develop a pastor’s collective in University Place where I live.
From 2009-2012, I worked with Leadership Foundations in an initiative called “City as Classroom,” exploring how the community/city of Tacoma can partner better with our universities in the shared mission of equipping college students to be lifelong and transformational leaders. My development work here was primarily focused at Pacific Lutheran University, I learned valuable lessons about working with the city/institutions at larger in this season of ministry (2001-2009)
In 2008 I came on the adjunct faculty at Bakke Graduate University to teach their OT and NT theology classes with students in the USA and around the world. I also taught the Bible Overview and Narrative Theology for Christos, a lay theology/ministry training program.
In 2012, a discernment process helped me decide to launch Kingdom Story Ministries; we believed that it was the next and natural step in my personal story and that this organization could provide some crucial resources for our local and worldwide community.