My Friend Jason

(This article first posted on May 22, 2007.)

janz_family.jpgI first met Jason Janz at Northland Baptist Bible College, in Dunbar, WI, where we both pursued our undergraduate degrees.  I was a senior when Jason arrived at NBBC.  He and I moved in different groups and I really didn’t get to know him at all my senior year.  After my graduation, I was invited to stay on staff and become the director of the extension ministries department.  I had some big ideas as to how to improve and expand the office; and to do that, I needed some personnel. 

Well, before I had even moved in to the office completely, a sophomore named Jason Janz asked for a job.  He got it.

In the two years we worked together in that office, I got to know Jason a little better.  He still had an active student life but obviously had a heart hungry for ministry.  He organized a ministry team that traveled all over the Midwest and held rallies for teenagers.  He lived and breathed world missions.  He loved God.

I lost track of Jason for the next several years.  I moved on to seminary and then an assistant pastor position.  Through the years, I would hear little bits here and there about Jason and his family.  I heard about his becoming the youth pastor at his home church in Denver.  I heard about his brother Jeremy’s accident in Utah which left him paralyzed.  I heard about Jay’s leadership in something called Youth Imperative.

And then, one day, I heard from Jason himself.  Jason called me up on the phone.  His church was looking for a music pastor.  Was I interested?

The Lord led my family to join this remarkable church, Red Rocks Baptist Church.  And, once again, I was reunited with my old friend, now married with children too!  He had moved into the role of heading up evangelism and discipleship.  His passion for world evangelism was now more focused on one institution: the local church.  He was the creative one on our pastoral staff, always thinking outside the box, always looking for a better way to do things.  He even started a little website to facilitate fellowship and sharpening among fundamentalist pastors around the country.

In the five years since I moved out here to Denver, I have gotten to know Jason, not as a student or even co-worker, but on a heart level.  This man, who used to shrug away from a hug, now weeps openly when describing his love for the people of God.  Hugs are not so foreign to him anymore either.  His passion for the local church has driven him to the point where he is embarking on a totally new journey of faith: the planting of a church in downtown Denver.

So, here’s the real purpose of this posting: Jason needs your church’s help to make his vision a reality.  His goal is to have his first official service in the Fall of 2008.  As many of you know, deputation can be a long haul.  So, if your church can financially afford to add another family to your missionary list, you need to contact Jason.  Don’t waste his time by having him come in for a meeting if you can’t help him on his way.  Sure, he needs prayer support, but he needs $$ too.

Would you consider contacting my friend Jason and considering his new venture for Christ?  Jason will be a tremendous church planter.  He has a great family.  He is tested and experienced.  He is committed to the scriptures.

OK, so this sounds like a commercial.  It’s my blog.  He’s my friend.  I’m proud to know him and believe God is going to do something special in his ministry.  Wouldn’t you want to tell all your friends too?  Help him on his way.

[You can hear Jason’s final message from last Sunday at Red Rocks by clicking here.]

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