Meet Jeff Jones (Abort73’s New Director of Ministry Outreach)
Christian ministry and education has been a big part my life since I came to Christ in 1996. I think I had two main goals in my early Christian days: (1) to have a job where I could teach the Bible, and (2) to have that job be in youth ministry. From about 1998-2006, those goals were achieved. During that time I worked as a youth ministry intern in Boise, ID and as a Junior High Pastor in Burbank, CA. I also had the opportunity to receive seminary training. I graduated from both the Master’s Seminary and Talbot School Theology - with a Master of Divinity from the former and Master of Theology from the latter. I was well on my way to being the highest educated Junior High pastor in the country, no, the world, which I confess was actually my third goal. Pro-life work was nowhere on my radar.
Sometime around 2003, however, something changed in my heart. I was becoming less excited about youth ministry and more excited about Christian academics. This led me to acquire that second Master’s degree, which I started in the fall of 2003 and completed in 2006. It also led me to step down from my youth pastor position. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do the job, it was more that I didn’t think it was fair to the church to have someone ministering to the youth who wasn’t into it 100%. I thought for a while that I might end up being some kind of Christian educator or professor. I even taught a semester of 7th grade Bible at a private Christian school after I finished at Talbot. My heart though was still being led elsewhere.
My journey to pro-life work and Abort73.com started early on in 2006. I was in my last semester at Talbot, working as a substitute teacher, and constantly praying for direction in my life. I really had no idea what I wanted to do, nor did I feel particularly called to anything, except I knew I wanted to do something significant for the kingdom of Jesus. Well, quite unexpectedly, I received an invitation from a certain Michael Spielman (the founder and director of Abort73). We had breakfast one morning in Burbank and he just sort of dropped on me out of the blue that he wanted to hire the first full-time Abort73 staffer and for a variety of reasons thought I would be the perfect guy. I honestly was shocked. I never even would have inquired about such a position on my own. But since I had been praying so much about personal direction, I knew I had to consider it seriously.
Over the next year, as I completed my seminary studies and worked as a school teacher,I always had Mike’s offer in the back of my mind and in the front – I thought about it all the time. In my theological reflection, I had been seeking to learn about the role of the Christian community in the world. Specifically, I had become concerned with questions of social justice and how seriously Christians should involve themselves in ministries to the poor, the suffering, the sick, etc. Reading the Bible with such questions in mind led me to believe that Christians are called to such things. Cf. Matt 25:31-46; Luke 10:25-37; 14:12-24; 16:19-31; Rom 15:22-29; 1 Cor 16:1-4; 2 Cor 8:1-9:16; Gal 2:10; James 1:27. To actively rescue and care for those who are suffering in our world goes hand in hand with the proclamation of the gospel. It does little good to tell people of God’s love in Jesus, if we will not also enact it with specific action. Our loving rescue of those who are suffering is actually a picture of God’s loving rescue toward us accomplished in Christ.
Once convinced of these things, I knew I was called to Abort73.com. I cannot think of another group of human beings who are in more need of rescue than abortion vulnerable children. I believe that action toward their rescue truly embraces what Jesus calls us to, what God calls Christians to do in the world. I hope that I can help in some small way to relieve their suffering and also help to motivate more Christians to action.
And that’s how I went from a youth pastor to pro-life work… the end.