John was called to ministry while he was a student at Columbia Christian College (Portland, Oregon). He is passionate about the contemporary church’s call to be the embodied Christ to our world in our time. The longing to live out “loving God and loving others” as announcement of the Kingdom of God drives his ministry in both church and university settings.
In the course of John’s ministry in churches and colleges/universities, the journey has taken the York family from the West Coast to the Southeast. He has served congregations ranging in size from 100 (Oregon City) to 2000+ (Woodmont Hills). In different churches he has successfully followed ministers with long tenures (39 years at Western Hills; 10 years at Brentwood Hills). Until August, 2005 John shared preaching responsibilities with Rubel Shelly at Woodmont Hills. Rubel was the Senior Minister for 27 years. They often preached dialogue sermons. Following Rubel’s retirement from preaching at Woodmont Hills, John served as the primary preaching minister and coordinated the preaching responsibilities at Woodmont Hills until a new senior minister was hired in January, 2007. He continued on staff at Woodmont Hills until August, 2008, serving as a preaching minister and as director of adult spiritual formation.
John’s passion to see ministers and churches thrive in their relationships led him to complete a Master’s Degree in Conflict Management at Lipscomb (2010), with an emphasis on Church Conflict and Leadership Wellness Training. In an effort to better connect Lipscomb University to constituent churches throughout the eastern and southern United States, John established and coordinated the “Faith:Next” portion of Lipscomb Live events (2011-2013), working with regional church leaders to create workshops that fit specific interests and needs of the local church. Those workshops were held in 16 different regions and cities with Lipscomb representatives speaking to more than 65 congregations.
Throughout his career, John has sought to integrate ministry in church and academy. Thus, there is constant overlap in his teaching experience and his church experience (now 27 years of work in each). John currently serves as an Associate Dean of the College of Bible and Ministry and directs the Doctor of Ministry Degree in Missional and Spiritual Formation for Hazelip School of Theology. He teaches graduate classes for Hazelip School of Theology in the masters and doctoral programs. He is especially interested in Gospels and Pauline studies, Homiletics, Practical Theology, Christianity in Postmodern culture. John served as Presidential Faculty Fellow at Lipscomb University for 2008-2010, working directly with President Lowry and the Academic Leadership Team.
John’s published works include two books co-authored with Rubel Shelly: The Jesus Proposal and The Jesus Community. He also co-edited (with Gary Holloway) Unfinished Reconciliation: Justice, Racism, and Churches of Christ. John also has a number of articles and sermons that have been printed in Leaven Journal. In addition to his M.A. degree in Conflict Management, John has M.A. and M.Div. degrees from Abilene Christian University and a Ph.D. in New Testament from Emory University.
Interim Ministry Partners is a natural extension of John’s passion to work with churches for the sake of the Kingdom God. We find ourselves at a pivotal junction in the life of churches and Christian witness in North America. John’s passions for the rhythms of church life and the questions of mission, culture, and scripture are a great ‘fit’ at this particular season of life.
John is blessed to be married to Anne, whom he first met at Columbia Christian College. They celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary this year. They have two adult sons; Matt and his wife Steph have two children, Will and Paisley. Brad and his wife Jenn have a daughter, Elizabeth.