Monday, April 27, 2009

Thank You, Ben

The Bible says that we are to "Outdo one another in showing honor" (Rom. 12:10), to give "honor to whom honor is owed" (Rom. 13:7), and to give continual thanks to God for fellow believers (2 Thess. 2:13). So I thought it'd be appropriate to give a public word of thanks to Ben Peays, executive director of The Gospel Coalition. Remarkably, Ben is TGC's only employee, and was able to coordinate a richly edifying conference of several outstanding speakers and 3300 attendees.

He'd probably be a bit embarrassed at this post, but readers might be interested in a little bit of background on Ben:
  • Ben and his twin brother John were standout wide receivers at Westlake High School in their hometown of Austin, TX, catching passes from their quarterback and future NFL player Drew Brees.
  • Ben and John both went to Wheaton, where they played football. Ben graduated from Wheaton in 2000, with a double major: business/economics and Bible/theology. In track he was 4-time All Conference and the 2000 team MVP; in football he was 4-time All Conference, and an All-American Honorable Mention, leaving with a second-place school record for all-purpose yards.
  • From 2000-2002 he worked for a hedge fund in the financial industry. Feeling called to ministry and convicted that he couldn't serve both God and money, he quit his job and moved to Budapest, Hungary, to observe a church planting consulting group.
  • In 2002 he realized he needed to pursue further education, so he went to Trinity and received an MDiv in 2004.
  • From Trinity he went to Princeton Theological Seminary, where he earned a ThM in 2005.
  • After helping to write a business proposal for the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding and successfully receiving a substantial grant, he moved back to Deerfield in 2005 to serve as the first Managing Director for the Henry Center. At the same time he began pursuing his PhD in Theologial Studies in Systematic Theology under Kevin Vanhoozer. He is done with his coursework but still has to write his dissertation.
  • On January 1, 2008, he was named the first Executive Director of The Gospel Coalition.
  • Ben, his wife, and their two young sons are members of CrossWay Community Church in Kenosha, WI.
Even though Ben is obviously gifted at the academic level, he's discovered that his primary calling is to serve others through his administrative gifts. As a "behind the scenes" guy he is serving churches and pastors and students very well--and I speak for many when I say, "Thank you, Ben." May God graciously give you many fruitful years of excellent and edifying service in and for his church.