Learning from others in their own words: Jared Kennedy

I met Jared 2 years ago this coming spring at the Children Desiring God conference. I found out from his blog that he would be there and commented that it would be cool to get to meet him. Right before the first session, in a crowd of thousands, he sat down next to me and introduced himself. We had coffee and dinner the next day and have been in contact with each other ever since. What I appreciate most about Jared is his gospel focus. No matter the topic we discuss during our monthly phone calls, he always either points it back to the gospel or asks how that particular topic is effected by the gospel.

We started the interview by talking about family. Jared is married to Megan. They have 3 daughters Racheal, Lucy, and Elisabeth.

What is the best part of being a husband?

How much we learn from one another about loving Jesus. We both have different perspectives. Exploring each other's heart about how we interact with Jesus. This is the best part of marriage as well as the most challenging.

What is the best part of being a dad?

It's fascinating being a dad of all girls. I didn't have any sisters growing up. Learning things about girls through playing house, having tea parties, and playing princesses. I enjoy them.

Assuming you have it, how do you like to spend your free time?

That's a big assumption. I'm a college football fan. I'm a big Alabama fan. Roll Tide roll!

Describe your current ministry position.

Pastor of Children and Family for Sojourn Community Church. I am responsible for casting vision for all our campuses and implementing it at the east campus, where I am part of the elder board.

What are the biggest joys or blessings of this ministry?

Three things come to mind: 1. Working with parents and seeing them grow. 2. Working with younger staff. 3. Developing leaders is a joy of mine.

In terms of ministry, where do you struggle?

I'm not a detail person. Multi-site church is a beast. I don't think we are a model for it. We, like everyone else, are just trying to figure it out.

How long have you been involved in full-time ministry?

Seven years on staff, with a year break in the middle.

What have you been reading lately and how has it impacted you?

Bible - James 1 on how to suffer well. How to have hope in God in the midst of suffering. There is purpose there. I'm also reading First Peter.

Other books - God, Marriage, and Family by Andreas J. Kostenberger. It's a theology book as well as a gospel book focusing on the role of the gospel in marriage and family.

What is the verse or verses that God continues to use in your life?"

Colossians 1:28. It keeps me focused on what's really important. Preaching the gospel thereby bringing people to maturity. What's real? Jesus is. The mystery of the good life is found in Jesus. Which leads to people becoming mature and complete.

What is one word of advice or encouragement you would give to others.

Can I give two? 1. Keep the gospel first. Your role as a pastor begins with your role as a christian. 2. Your first ministry is to your family. Ministry will rise and fall on that.

At the end of the day, what's at the heart of the matter for you?

My performance doesn't hold my ministry together. It's based on what Christ has already completed. I get to participate in the fruit of what He has already done.

What the Gospel Teaches Parents

Learning from others, in their own words: Introduction