Bio/Contact

10410473_10152365945826631_4200600480602286543_n                      THE SKINNY VERSION

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.