Jeff Iorg Blog

Are you praying for us?

Dec 14 2015

In 1995, when I left pastoral ministry and became a denominational executive, the tasks before me seemed overwhelming. They still do. With a sense of a need for a deep dependence on God, I formed a prayer team for both personal and professional support. One twist – I did not seek out people who promised to pray for me. I asked people who were already praying for me to self-identify and join the team. To my surprise, more than 30 people contacted me. The number of prayer warriors has fluctuated up and down from that number over the past 20 years. Recently, an original and stalwart prayer partner (Doris DeShon) passed away. Her passing reminds me of the need to occasionally offer the opportunity for new people to join our prayer team. So, as we move toward the start of 2016, I am again extending the same invitation to join the team. If you are already praying for me and would like to be on my prayer team, let me know by a simple email to Every month I will send you a personal letter outlining some specific prayer needs, which includes my speaking schedule. This is a personal letter that alerts you to needs in our family and our ministry. It’s a way of networking and communicating with people who God has impressed to support us with their prayers. More than 100 years ago, Methodist leader E. M. Bounds wrote, “What the church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use.” I want to be one of those men! Thanks for praying for me.


Reordering the Trinity

Dec 07 2015

            Our faculty does an outstanding job and I am proud of them.  Besides their stellar service in the classroom, many of them also write books and various other types of publications.  Dr. Rick Durst, Professor of Historical Theology, has recently published a new book called Reordering the Trinity: Six Movements of God in the New Testament.

            This book is a fascinating study of six “orderings” of the Trinity in the New Testament – meaning the various ways the words Father, Son, and Spirit appear in the biblical text.  They are not always in that order, and Dr. Durst carefully unpacks all 75 Trinitarian references and discusses the meaning and purpose in the variety of these inspired expressions.

            The book is readable.  Sometimes, serious theologians write for each other – rather than for the church.  I am delighted Dr. Durst has written a well-researched, tightly reasoned, and theologically meaty work that is accessible to many readers.  You do not have to be a seminary professor (or even a student) to comprehend and apply what Dr. Durst has written.  He also includes discussion questions for every chapter and sermon starters for the six chapters in which he analyzes the six orders of the Trinity.

            And, for those of you know Dr. Durst well, you will find ample evidence of his boundless creativity, ability to carry metaphors to surprising conclusions, and colorful vocabulary (I only needed a dictionary twice!).  If you have not yet met this wonderful teacher, his personal writing style will leave you feeling like you have made a new friend when you finish the book.

            This book is an excellent Christmas gift for any pastor or teacher.  Buy one for yourself and one for the spiritual leader in your life!


More Needed than Ever

Dec 01 2015

A few weeks ago, we released our new book Ministry in the New Marriage Culture. I say “we” because writing it was a combined effort of the Golden Gate faculty plus a few other invited guests. My primary role was general editor, coordinating the overall message and tone. The core message of the book can be summarized like this – “Same sex marriage is wrong. Now what?” There are multiple books explaining why same sex marriage is bad for individuals, families, and society as a whole. Nevertheless, same sex marriage is now both a legal possibility and a practical reality. The church must have a ministerial response, which is the point and purpose of our book. My additional role is being the point person for representing the book and its message in conferences, seminars, and other speaking opportunities. As I have traveled the country, I am meeting far more people than expected who have been impacted by same sex marriage. Parents, grandparents, friends, fellow church members, children, employers, and employees are all dealing with the fallout. If you think your church has not been affected by same sex marriages just because you do not allow them to be solemnized in your building, you are naïve (at best) or out of touch (at worst). More people than you imagine have more questions than you have likely considered about how to respond to this situation. After every speaking opportunity, a line forms of people with questions – not theoretical inquiries – but questions about real-life situations they are trying to manage or resolve. You may already have really good answers to these type questions – but if you don’t – pick up a copy of our book. We will help you understand how same sex marriage impacts dozens of practical ministry decisions – and give you wise, biblical guidance on helping others resolve these issues.


A Friendship, A Partnership

Nov 17 2015

            It was recently my privilege to celebrate the retirement of Dr. David Gill from his 39 year pastorate at Concord Korean Baptist Church near Concord, California.  David will continue his work with Golden Gate and his leadership roles with the Korean Baptist Fellowship, but in the fullness of time he has relinquished his pastoral responsibility to a younger man he mentored into leadership.

            During my congratulatory message, I thanked David (and Anne) for modeling a Christian home, for serving faithfully as a pastor, and for making a long-term investment in Golden Gate Seminary as a student, trustee, and faculty member.  His has been a life well-lived.

            But the focus of my remarks was thanking David for his friendship.  We have shared life together – particularly over the past decade.  We have eaten together, traveled together, preached together, and laughed together.  He has introduced me to many Korean leaders and served as a conduit for developing those relationships.  David has helped me make a larger impact because of his quiet leadership – both through preaching and translating my books into Korean.  In some small way, I hope I have also helped make his ministry more effective.

            David and I are friends who work as partners in ministry.  Many Anglo leaders see ethnic leaders as objects of mission rather than partners in mission.  David is the pastor of a large church, with a fully-orbed ministry, and a profound commitment to being a Southern Baptist.  His church has long since stopped being an object of mission and now participates fully as a partner in our mission.  We are partners and friends, co-workers who support one another in our shared work of expanding God’s kingdom around the world.

            Having a good friend from another culture has made me a better man and a better leader.  My wife would say the same thing about her friendship with Anne Gill.  Thank you David and Anne for your investment in our lives, for your faithful example of effective leadership, and for being our friends!