Interesting Person Interview: John Montgomery

You’re the Dean of Spiritual Life, what does a normal day look like for you?

It depends on if it’s a chapel day or not. I try to meet with as many students as I can during the week. I may have a couple student meetings, I have a lot of meetings. I don’t think I have a typical day to be honest with you. I also have about three discipleship groups that I typically meet with. I also perform memo- rial services, which are not so typical.

Do you ever get burned out?

No. I think burn out happens when you do everything on your own. I think I don’t get to the point where I am burned out because I realize when I get tired and frustrated that I have begun doing things under my own power rather than the power of the spirit. That is when I back up and say God is not a part of the whole burn out thing. I love what I do, I love it, so I don’t get burned out.

So 10 years ago would you have ever thought this would be your career?

No. 10 years ago I was a worship pastor at a church and I had been at that church for about three years. The pastor there had just come to me and asked me if I would consider being executive pastor. He wanted to raise someone up to pas- tor the church, I wasn’t really sure that was what God wanted me to do. I never thought about being at CBU, even when I got the phone call that the position was open. However, the timing was perfect, I can’t even explain how perfect it was. It was totally a God thing.

How do you go about preparing chapel messages?

In speech they tell you to always keep the audience in mind. This is a really hard audience because it is so diverse, everyone is at a different place. You want to speak to the person who really wants something deep, you also want to speak to the person who does not even care that you are speaking. I also want to make sure I am true in teaching the word of God. I’m trying to interact with it so it changes me.

What are some of your other duties as Dean of Spiritual Life?

I have some administrative things, I serve on a couple of different groups in Student Services that help to maintain the quality of what we do for students. I also serve on the staff advisory committee, we represent the non-faculty staff and their needs on campus. I go to state Southern Baptist conventions and I connect with pastors at other churches and also preach at churches as a repre- sentative of CBU. I also do whatever President Ellis tells me to do.

In between all your duties at school you also have a family to attend to, can you tell us about them?

My wife Stephanie and I have been married 15 years. We have three kids John, 13, Chloe, 10 and Zane, 8. It is tough for me to balance my family and my ministry, my family helps me with that so I always try to listen to them. We have a dog name Roxy, she is a part of the family, although she has never made it into the family photos.

What are some of your hobbies?

Well my big hobby right now is pursuing my Ph. D. That is THE hobby, that’s it. That takes a lot of time, I pretty much study every night and quite a bit on the weekends. So I don’t have much time for a hobby right now. My wife and I do serve a ministry at our church, Pathway Church in Redlands. We serve in the worship ministry there, in an ensemble choir. I am a bad ensemble member because I usually miss for studying. We also sing on the worship team there too.

If you could say one message to leave the students with, what would it be?

It would be to pursue Christ, there is so much junk in the world that does not matter. I would say to die to ones self and let the Holy Spirit live through you. If we all pursued Christ to the end of everything, our lives would be very different. This is a challenge for me too; my pride and desires can get in the way. There is so much that this world has to offer, but all that is going to go away, none of that lasts. If we just pursue Christ everything else will take care of itself.

Leave a Reply