Jon spent his first three years in pastoral ministry as a middle school pastor in the northern suburbs of Chicago. During this time, it became increasingly clear that the most effective youth ministry had to focus on partnering with parents, not just focusing on the students. God called Jon and Megan to New Hope, MN in 2016 where he began as the Middle School Pastor. In 2019 he was asked to take on oversight of 6th–12th grade, which he did with the stipulation that he could still work primarily with middle school-aged students. Over the first three years at New Hope Church, Jon pushed for more family-focused, intergenerational ministry, and discipleship. As a result, he was asked to restart men’s ministry. Jon and his family had every intention of continuing in ministry in the Minneapolis area for the foreseeable future and then God, seemingly out of the blue, started doing His work to move their hearts further across the country.
Jon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Shippensburg University, a Master of Arts in Christian Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and is set to defend his dissertation in mid-October for his Doctorate of Educational Ministry with an emphasis in family ministry (graduating in December from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary).
Jon grew up in central Pennsylvania hunting whitetail and trout fishing with cousins and friends. Hunting whitetail has continued ever since but based on their location in Minnesota he’s had to trade trout for walleye and northern. He says it’s important to note that he is certainly no expert but still loves to hunt and fish. Having been a wrestler and football player, Jon also enjoys watching and playing almost all sports. He loves reading books and wants to never stop learning.
Jon and Megan will celebrate 10 years of marriage on December 17th. They have three children: Baelyn will be 8 on September 18th (2nd grade), Sage is 5 (Kindergarten), and Andrew is 2 (into almost everything except school). Megan is a full-time mom and part-time speech pathologist. Whether it is biking, hiking, boating, or swimming at the lake, they love to be outside and active. The Kimmels enjoy doing things as a family and love hanging out with friends playing games or sitting around the fire pit.