About

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I am a husband to Laura, a daddy to Sadie, and a minister and teacher for a couple decades to students and adults alike. Along this grace-filled journey, I have also had the humbling honor of authoring or coauthoring books with some incredibly brilliant people like Tim Hawkins (Diary of a Jackwagon, Fall 2015, Thomas Nelson,) Reggie Dabbs (REGGIE: You Can’t Change Your Past But You Can Change Your Future, 2011, Thomas Nelson,) David Ring (The Boy Born Dead, Fall 2015, Baker Books) and others. My book Just Keep Breathing, written with my good friend Reggie Dabbs, released January, 2016 (Thomas Nelson). I recently had the chance to serve Todd Wagner of Watermark Church in Dallas in his new and life-changing book Come and See (Oct, 2017, David C Cook Publishing.) I have also written several articles for the great folks at Relevant Magazine and others.

It should be noted that I am not the same John Driver who is a Mennonite theologian and author… you will find us both when you search online. That John Driver seems way smarter than me.

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I am a graduate of the University of Tennessee and I cheer for the Vols in good seasons and bad… it offers many opportunities to comfort myself with colossal helpings of chicken wings. I currently have the honor of serving alongside my best friends as the Teaching Pastor at my church in Mount Juliet, Tennessee near Nashville.

 

 

 

 

IMG_2466                              THE LONGER VERSION 

NOTE: Writing this section in first person just felt creepy. Don’t judge me… John rarely writes about himself in third person.

John earned a B.A. in History and a M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he was a distinguished Whittle Scholar. He then worked as a secondary educator for several years, teaching history and math to high school and middle school students before transitioning into full-time ministry.

John is the creator of Ignition 7 (http://ignition7.com), a worldwide initiative of videos, books, apps, and resources crafted to equip people to survive in their faith because when it is all said and done, “No One Goes Home With Them.” The Ignition 7 videos, website, DVDs, and Apple/Android apps have been downloaded, distributed, or simply used by tens of thousands of individuals and ministries in over twenty different countries. We recently signed an agreement with Study Gateway (HarperCollins Christian Publishing) to offer these videos and resources to thousands of churches around the world.

Ignition 7 Video Spark Devos were offered to millions of subscribers on the YouVersion app. Ignition 7 videos have been broadcast into millions of homes via JUCE TV (formerly JCTV of TBN) and the NRB Network. IG7 was also distributed to tens of thousand of youth leaders via Interlinc‘s Youth Leaders Only packet. 

John currently serves as the Teaching Pastor at his church in Mount Juliet, Tennessee near Nashville, where he serves daily in numerous writing, discipleship, and speaking endeavors.

 

johndriveredit smallTHE RIDICULOUSLY LONG VERSION

I grew up in Nashville as the son and grandson of pastors, but my path would lead me away from my childhood home to the hills of East Tennessee.  After high school, the University of Tennessee in Knoxville awarded me the Whittle Scholarship—the top academic and leadership scholarship offered from the university at the time. It was a gift from God that changed the trajectory of my life.

After arriving on campus Knoxville, I became the founding member and first president of the UTK chapter of Chi Alpha (XA), an interdenominational coed Christian fellowship.  It was during these years of speaking and leading worship on campus that I met incredible friends who eventually joined together to form the Christian band, Scarlet Thread.  In addition to being a songwriter for the band, I also played guitar, piano, and sang as we traveled to various venues in the Southeast.  Scarlet Thread recorded two albums, the latter with Dove Award-winning producer Travis Wyrick (Disciple, Pillar, etc.)  Sharing the stage with multiple artists including Switchfoot, Chris Rice, Shawn Groves, Paul Colman Trio, Mike’s Chair, and more, Scarlet Thread was blessed to encourage many people, even leading thousands of them to make decisions for Christ.  These were some of the most crazy and exciting times of my life.

In the midst of these band days, I met the girl of my dreams. Towards the end of our engagement, she had a brain aneurysm and underwent multiple brain surgeries. During these difficult days and months, God showed us deeper levels of his grace than we had ever known… sparing her life and restoring her to full health. Then after almost two years of dating, we tied a knot that is still delightfully knotted up today.

Shortly after we got married, I accepted my first part-time pastorate as the Student Ministries Pastor at a small church just south of Knoxville.  For four incredible years, God granted me the privilege of becoming family to a beloved group of students.  After completing my Bachelors of Arts in History and a Masters of Science in Curriculum and Instruction, I also accepted a job teaching history at a local public high school.  The next year, I became a middle school history and math teacher.  These years as a bivocational pastor and teacher shaped many of my perspectives on the influence of God-called men and women who are willing to serve their communities in unique and creative ways.

It was also during this time that I felt God speak specifically into his life that he should write.  I wrote my first manuscript, Shriveled Heart, as a senior in college.  I wrote my second book, Momentum Man, in response to a great need among the guys of my youth ministry who needed direction in their quest to become men of integrity and spiritual stability.  Through these experiences, a love and passion to write was not only forged, but also galvanized through the often painful process of being rejected by scores of publishers at every turn.  It was here that I first began to face and answer the question of whether God had called me to be published, or simply to be faithful to write and develop my craft.  Through this journey, writing became my passion instead of just my goal.

In 2004, the winds of divine change suddenly blew Laura and I in new directions as a series of unexpected events found us accepting a new job as a full-time Student Ministries pastor at a new church plant in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville.  I worked with the staff and volunteers of the church to physically construct a new building, a collective task that took over two years of daily, grueling labor in the elements.  I spent my days operating heavy machinery, framing walls, digging holes, and doing anything and everything else necessary to help finish the huge project.  We held our youth services in a tent on the property and finally moved into our brand new facility around Christmas of 2005.  Those years in the mud and dirt solidified lifelong friendships with the staff and people of the Life Campus; it was an irreplaceable experience that grounded me and my family in Mt. Juliet for years to come.

After almost eight incredible years of marriage, Laura and I met our new daughter, Sadie, on July 15th, 2008.  Sadie changed everything… in a good way!  I spent that first year of her life writing reflections and musings on the joys and difficulties of new parenthood.  The result is a collection of writings entitled The Chronicles of Sadie.

After serving as a volunteer or pastor in Student Ministries for over fifteen years, God began to move in our hearts again. We then transitioned to a new assignment at our beloved church and currently, I serve as a Teaching Pastor, mentoring staff and young adults. I am continuing to write music and books as I have the humbling honor of discipling young adults in the next season of their lives, marriages, and ministries.

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John speaks to audiences of all ages, including marriage events, youth & college events, as well as churches.

To contact John or to inquire about having him speak at an event, click here. 

To hear some recent messages, click here. 

 

Personal and Project Endorsements

Now more than ever, we need bold leaders willing to invest in people. John Driver represents more than just another author—he is leading a movement. He is an extraordinary communicator who opens his vault of experience from almost two decades of ministry to students and adults alike.

Jonnie W.
Award-Winning Comedian and Speaker

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Ignition 7 is a revolutionary concept for a few reasons: there is nothing out there like it, and it emerged out of a God-inspired moment in the heart of a pastor. Through the creative excellence of the Ignition 7 videos, book, and resources, we can finally tell those who encounter God that they do not have to go home alone. What an incredible tool for student and college ministries pastors, parachurch organizations, churches, and anyone out there who wins people to Christ!

Mark Batterson
Lead Pastor, National Community Church, Washington, D.C.
NY Times best-selling author of Circle Maker

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For years I wanted to write a book, and John Driver helped make it a reality. It took a long time trying to find my voice for the stage, and John helped me find it for the page. I’m so proud of the final product, my first book, Diary of a Jackwagon. John is professional, thorough and efficient. And a blast to work with.

Tim Hawkins
Comedian and Author

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John has guided so many people through the highs and lows of this maze called life. He will help you deal with the important issues of life and ministry you are facing.

Reggie Dabbs
International Speaker and Author

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John driver is a rare breed. He is passionate about the great commission. He actively pursues creative and innovative ways to fulfill the calling each of us as believers possess to evangelize and disciple.

An accomplished author and speaker, John has a gift to bring truth to people on every level. He has pioneered a new medium with his endeavor Ignition 7. These resources are revolutionary for the Christian faith and a catalyst for new converts and existing believers alike.

John is a servant and advocate to evangelists and is the kind of guy you want on your team.

Brock Gill
Internationally-Touring Illusionist, Stunt Artist, Evangelist
Featured on BBC & Discovery Channel’s Miracles of Jesus and Fox & Friends

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Tim’s first book project, Diary of a Jackwagon, was published by Thomas Nelson in 2015.  When we were in the planning stages, we knew that we needed to find the right guy who could help draw out the stories behind Tim’s comedy over the past 12 years.  It is a difficult task to translate stand-up comedy to the written word.  We were fortunate to be introduced to John.  He is professional, gracious, energetic, humble, and indeed talented.  He did great work for us.

Todd Hawkins
President, Rockshow Comedy, Inc.

 

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As pastors, youth pastors, teachers, leaders, and friends, how many times have we seen it? Someone is transformed by the power of God’s Spirit, totally free for the first time in their life! And then, as they stumble through the first turn, into a total crash and burn, we wonder, “What could have gone wrong”? Could it be that they were left to go it alone during this most critical phase- the first seven days as a new Christian?

What if we could go home with them for those first few days? This is the concept behind John Driver’s project, Ignition 7—a discipleship tool of seven powerful videos and a book— designed to infuse direct Christian leadership and influence into the life of new believers during the first week of their walk with Christ. Ignition 7 is a game changer; one of the most powerful, innovative, must-have, don’t-wait-any-longer, whole-new-way-to-do-ministry tools ever conceived.

Dale Mathews
Senior Vice President of Music Publishing and Church Resources
WORD Entertainment

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Ignition 7 is more than youth ministry. It’s the Great Commission in action. As the father of teenagers, I’m so excited to see a program that effectively disciples new converts using simple, direct steps to help ground them in their relationship with Christ. Young adults are abandoning their faith at alarming rates. Ignition 7 is a timely and relevant response with the potential to reverse this trend. I’m proud to bring these quality videos into the homes of our viewers.
Troy A. Miller
President & CEO
National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) Network

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I like John Driver.

Everyone talks about relationships, leadership, and discipleship, but it’s rare to come across someone with the experience, knowledge, and heart to actually build all of these ingredients into the DNA of a ministry. John Driver accomplishes all of this with humility.

You can see the fruit of his ministry in the band Skyhook. John pastored, mentored, developed, and still leads this ministry out of their home church. I have watched this group that grew up in his youth ministry develop into a band truly purposed to serve. This only comes from the heart transplant of a leader like John.

John has too many talents: writer, video-producer, discipleship curriculum developer, not to mention speaker, leader, organizer, and family man role model. His life experiences, communication ability, and insight for youth leaders combine into a powerful voice helping others navigate the often difficult life of someone determined to help students follow Jesus.

His heart behind Ignition 7 speaks to the frustrations of most youth leaders and provides a much-needed starting point to helping students begin the journey of becoming like Jesus. Everyone in student ministry should absorb the message in Letters to the Other John. Only a veteran with a solid foundation to build on, a continued drive to make disciples, and a love of leaders and students produces these types of resources.

I like John Driver.

Steve Pulis
Former National A/G Student Outreach & Youth Alive Director

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For the last 12 years I have been amazed by the work and ministry of John Driver. Whether his role was Educator, Leader, Pastor, Author, Songwriter or sitting in a creative director’s chair… I have yet to experience anything that was less than excellent or superb. He is a real deal, can’t miss, number one pick.

Terry Allen
National Representative, Calcutta Mercy Ministries
Former Tennessee District Youth Director