Get To Know Chase Oaks Lead Pastor Jeff Jones
Chase Oaks Lead Pastor Jeff Jones has dedicated his life to helping others know God, but his passion for seeing people grow spiritually hasn't diminished over the years. Get to know a bit more about Jeff, in his own words.
Q: Where did you grow up? Where do you consider to be “home”?
A: I grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, home of the Marshall Space Flight Center, the Army Missile Command, and Redstone Arsenal. Like many Huntsvillians, my dad, like my father-in-law, was an engineer and started a small aerospace company. Huntsville was a great place to grow up and that’s where I met my wife, but I’ve been in Texas long enough now (34 years) that I consider Texas my home. However, I am still an avid Crimson Tide fan.
Q: How did you come to be a Jesus follower? Where there any specific people or circumstances that made a difference in your spiritual journey?
A: I became a Jesus follower in middle school after I was invited by friends to a youth group at Calvary Bible Church. A college student named Todd was volunteering in youth ministry and took an interest in me, and he began to mentor me as a believer. Soon Todd, along with a group of other very serious believers, formed an organization called “Christians On-Move Evangelism” to lead our friends to a relationship with Jesus and grow our own faith. My high school years were very busy ministry years. I’m thankful for people like Todd and other youth pastors and youth leaders in my life. When I started college, I was asked to be an interim youth pastor in that same youth group, which further cut my teeth in ministry.
Q: Tell us about your calling and decision to enter vocational ministry.
A: I didn’t hear a voice from the heavens shouting down about a call to ministry—although that would have been very cool! What I did have was a strong internal sense of calling to give my life to help build Jesus’ church. That began even before high school. Even as a child, I felt the pull toward pastoral ministry, maybe partly because my grandfather was a pastor in Kentucky. I preached my first sermon at his church when I was in seventh grade during a Sunday evening service. I was given 30 minutes to preach, and after about seven minutes I had said everything about God, the Bible, and world events that I knew. (I’m sure our worship production staff wishes I could go back to that timeframe for a talk!)
The pulpit that I preached behind on that Sunday, which was my granddad’s for decades, is now in my office.
Q: What ministries and/or opportunities were you involved with, prior to accepting your role as Lead Pastor at Chase Oaks?
A: I came to Dallas in 1989 to start a four-year master’s degree at Dallas Theological Seminary. Jack Warren, our current Chief of Staff, was a friend from Alabama, and he had come out three years earlier for the same purpose. He was on staff at our church in the junior high ministry, and he invited me to serve with him as an intern. We drove from Alabama in a U-Haul truck on a Wednesday, arriving just in time to transfer to our car and attend the Wednesday night youth program. We served for about five years in youth ministry and loved every second of it.
After finishing seminary, we moved away for a short time but were soon called back on staff at Chase Oaks to help start a leadership training organization called The Center for Church Based Training. I was also helping lead adult ministries and leadership development on the church staff. After some years of doing that, Gene Getz, Chase Oaks’ founding pastor, approached me about becoming the next Lead Pastor. I started leading the staff and speaking about half the time on the weekends during that transition time. In January 2004, Gene “passed the baton” of leadership to me.
Q: Tell us about your family.
A: Christy is my wonderful wife, and if you know her you know she is by far the better of the two primary members of “Team Jones.” Christy has a science background and was involved in medical research before she decided to focus on raising our sons. A cool bit of trivia is that the researcher she was working for won the Nobel Prize for their work. Christy is also self-described mermaid who loves the water and has taught swimming for decades in our backyard pool.
We also have two sons. We are very proud of them, and they are both married to special ladies for whom we are very thankful. Collin and Kenzie, with our two precious granddaughters, Eden and Mabel, live in Golden, Colorado. Caleb and Samantha live in Jackson, Wyoming. We spent a lot of time in the mountains in their growing up years, so we lost them from Dallas to the mountains when they were old enough to establish their own families.
I also have to mention our little Yorkie Mix named Chewie, or Chewbacca, who also adds a lot of fun and joy to our lives.
Q: What’s your aspirational nickname?
A: I don’t know…the Jonesenator? I’ve never been cool enough for any of that. On a serious note, God called Moses the “meekest man on earth” and David “a man after God’s own heart.” One of those would be nice.
Q: Do you have a favorite food or cuisine?
A: Chick-Fil-A is at the top of the list. My favorite restaurant in Dallas is Pappadeux, but you will find me far more often at Fish City Grill.
Q: Who is your favorite superhero (or what’s your most desired superpower)?
A: I’ll say Superman, because he is an alien with supernatural powers who uses them for good. (Isn’t that what we are as Jesus followers: citizens of heaven, aliens here, sent and empowered by God with a bigger-than-life mission?)
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a free afternoon?
A: I don’t get a lot of those, these days. But before tearing my rotator cuff, I used to play golf every Thursday afternoon—and I still love the game. I also enjoy paddle-boarding or biking with Christy. We love being outside.
Q: What is a travel destination, activity, or goal on your bucket list?
A: I am a passionate skier, and one big goal is to go heli-skiing in Alaska with my two sons. They are ready, and I still need maybe one more ski season to pull that off. So, maybe 2025? That may be the way I go to be with God in heaven… but what a way to go!
Q: How would you complete this sentence? “To know me is to know that I ____________”
A: "… really want to see people who don’t know Jesus drawn to Jesus."
Q: What are three things you are most passionate about seeing God do through your unique ministry?
A: I want to
- Represent the heart of God well. God is the most gracious, loving, humble being in the universe, and I want to do ministry in a way where people can know him for who he is. My biggest fear is that I will obscure his heart to those he loves.
- Build environments where anybody can come as they are and be inspired to follow Jesus.
- Join God in changing our world for good.
Q: As you think about ministry and reaching others, can you describe the kind of person you are hoping to impact? I.e., As you write, preach, teach, and pray, who’s on your mind and who are you speaking to?
A: When I teach and lead, I really do think about the whole faith spectrum, from the skeptical non-believer to the long-term godly Jesus follower. Every sermon is designed to be able to impact anyone along that spectrum. That said, we are here with a mission and that mission is to make disciples of people who are not yet disciples and to share the good news with people who do not yet know the good news. One of our DNA statements is “It’s Not My Party,” from a parable Jesus told to let us know God’s heart for those who are not here yet. So, everything we do as a church is not just for us but even more for those who have yet to come, because that is the heart of our Father.