Pastor Jym KayMissions Pastor
- Born and raised in Chicago, IL
Attended Gordon Tech High School
- Active in (as a young man) Calvary Tabernacle Church in Chicago
- Worked in music (in record stores, as a sound engineer, and drummer) as a younger man
- Ordained to the ministry on December 12, 1996
- Married Jenny on May 5, 1990 in St. Andrews Anglican Church in Hong Kong
- Celebrates the gift of his son. Jason
- Served as a youth pastor, pastor, and missionary in Asia and the U.S.
- Hobbies include travel, music, and building Legos with his son
- His motto in life is, “There is a ‘test’ in the testimony.”
- His Bible verse is Ephesians 2:10—“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
- He loves serving the Lord in this church and looks forward to involving others in service, discipleship, and evangelism.
Did You Know?
- Served as a missionary in Asia for 14 years
- Hosted a television show in Hong Kong
- Played drums in a rock band in Hong Kong that recorded albums in Chinese
- Cannot sit and do nothing
- Loves a good joke and a good laugh
Evangelism…For Such a Time as This
Plans are in place. At the same time, Pastor Jym Kay seems to understand that regardless of what he does, God will be faithful to use someone’s life to reach and train His people for such a time as this.
Pastor Jym’s heart is not only to lead people to Christ, but to equally get people involved in that vision, that journey, that ministry. He points to a sovereign God who is at work in dreadful circumstances, but whose face is easily found in the face of the poor and needy, just across town. Those who serve with Pastor Jym point to his study of leadership and his emphasis on team dynamics as key elements in his commitment to help those around him to identify their strengths, provide an atmosphere where they can serve, and then wholeheartedly release them into ministry.
What brought you to Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale?
I was possibly the first supported missionary from the church back in the 80s. I primarily lived in Hong Kong, working as a youth pastor. I came here in 2000 for a sabbatical and it was during that time that I shared my vision for youth ministry, being an outreach focused group, not an in-reach focused group. In Asia, my wife Jenny and I were doing missions trips and extreme outreaches, like serving the poor and doing street evangelism throughout that area. And that’s just the kind of vision Calvary wanted to see happening here. So, they asked me to consider coming off the mission field to work as a youth pastor. I love Pastor Bob and Calvary Chapel. And so, I did that here for two years.
What were some of the things that you did with our youth group?
Some of the things we did were pretty radical! We had some mission trips to Haiti and Guatemala, outreaches, and street evangelism. Even our youth retreat had a time of serving with “Habitat for Humanity.” It’s funny, whether I’m pastoring a church, youth group, or small group…evangelism is at the heart of that ministry.
Where did God lead you next?
We went back to Hong Kong and I began pastoring a church and started a Saturday ministry which was “a church for the unchurched” targeting twenty-somethings. We were in the center of the city, on the eighth floor of a building right in the middle of the largest night club area. Every time we left out of our place we could hear the bands playing. And every single week we saw unbelievers come to hear the gospel.
How did you present the gospel to the “unbeliever”?
Well, that was the whole purpose of our ministry. And I would tell our team, if you don’t like the worship, that’s okay, because this isn’t for you. If you thought the teaching was kind of simple, it doesn’t matter. But if a guy who’s not a Christian just walks through the door and says, “Man, I understand that!” that’s for him.
When did God call you back to CCFL?
In 2002, I felt that our mission was finished in Hong Kong. Jenny and I talked to Pastor Bob who was our Pastor but also our friend. We spoke about evangelism and training the body. He said, “I’m so grateful that so many people bring their friends to church, but my heart also is that they take the church out to their friends.” So, I teach people to reach their friends and share Christ with them at work, in their neighborhoods, wherever.
What’s the heart of an evangelist?
Knowing God cares about lost people. We show and share the gospel. We show the gospel through our lives, working with the poor and needy, and other people in practical ways. And of course, we share the gospel once that door has been opened.
We live in very dark times. How do you evangelize in times such as this?
One of the greatest or most common ways to see people come to Christ is through relationship—as we get involved in people’s lives, as we rub shoulders, take risks, hear their stories, share ours, and then His! Our church is really unique. So, for us it’s about being that light in the darkness. If you’re walking a Christ-led life, people will see that difference and ask you, “Why are you different?” It’s Jesus! But it’s not enough to show it; you have to share it.
How has the face of the poor changed over the past few years?
In the past, we would have easily defined “the poor” as those in Ethiopia or as the single mom in an under-resourced community. The new definition of poor needs to expand to include those who were not in need a couple years ago but because of the economy, have lost their jobs or their homes—their economic security. We also see such a rise in the “working poor” those who do work forty hours a week at an entry level job, but because of their low pay and no benefits, they are struggling to make ends meet. That has to impact our programs.
Tell us about The Refuge.
The Refuge is a ministry of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale I’ve had the blessing of starting back in 2005. We call it “A Place of Hope” because we know that there is hope for everyone in Jesus Christ. What we found in doing community outreaches is that we were doing a great job of helping the poor, but we weren’t getting to know the poor. People were coming to Jesus but not to church to be disciples, so we brought the church to them. The Refuge puts us face to face with the lost and the needy. It’s too easy to pull ourselves away from that. I see Jesus in the face of the poor. God’s there because His heart is there. It is a great opportunity also for volunteers from the church to get out of their “comfort zone” and minister to the least, last, and lost.
Do you have a favorite Bible character?
Esther. I remember the words, “for such a time as this.” I’ve seen it so many times in my life where there have been divine appointments for defining moments in my life. I look back and think, “Why did I do that? Why did I have a heart to share the gospel when I was such a young Christian?” And then I see that that’s something God put in my life. That’s how He places us in evangelism for such a time as this. And for such a time as this you can make an impact on a nation, a town, a group, a life…through God’s work. He puts us in situations to get us out of our “comfort zone.” Like Pastor Chuck Smith said some years ago in his teaching of Esther, “For such a time as this…God is calling you and you need to step up right now into play. And God’s will is not contingent on your obedience. If Esther would have said ‘no’ God would have called somebody else to step up. But she would have missed out.” That has always stuck with me. I often think, “God, I don’t want to miss out!” My biggest fear in life isn’t failure; it’s regret. I never want to step back from what God has for me and say, I could have. After thirty-five years of following Christ, I am not looking back. I believe that the best is yet to come.
The things that we often remember in life are those that are out of the ordinary. Can you recall a challenge or incident that God used to draw you closer to Him?
I was in the mission field in Asia and my pastor in Las Vegas wanted me to come back and serve at the church and I didn’t want to. But the question that kept coming into my heart was, “Are you willing to submit?” So, as I was taking a step of faith in outreach, God was asking me to also take a step back and sit in obedience. That was a bigger step of faith for me, because I was always ready to go out into the mission field. I did see how God used me that year in Vegas too.
Tell us about your family.
Jenny and I have been married for almost twenty-five years. God has given me the perfect person. We met in Hong Kong, where she’s from, while I was a missionary there. Prior to having our son Jason, we went on many missions and outreaches together, doing ministry side by side. Jason has been on a mission trip and sometimes comes to outreaches. He’s the love of my life.
You’ve been friends with Pastor Bob for a long time. How did the two of you meet?
We met through his brother Jim. Bob had just gotten saved and Jim suggested he should hang out with other Christians. I was living in a house ministry with other guys in Las Vegas. We had just finished Calvary Chapel Bible School in Twin Peaks, California, and were helping Calvary Chapel Las Vegas to get started. I was outside, washing my car, this little red sporty car, when I see Bob walking up being cool. He couldn’t find the house so he asked me, “Hey, you probably don’t know this, but somewhere around here there’s like some Christian people, you probably wouldn’t know for sure…” I had long hair, just like him, so I guess I wasn’t his picture of a “Christian.” I replied, “Yeah! This is the house, my name is Jym.” We became best friends right then and hung out together a lot after that. We would share our faith together. At the time I was working as a sound engineer with Christian bands, so I would take Bob on concerts with me. We would pick up hitchhikers on the road and share the gospel with them. I remember one time we picked up a homeless guy who was going to hitchhike from Las Vegas to Los Angeles! We were in our twenties, two single guys just having fun and sharing our faith with people.
And now, as you look at him, what do you think about the man he has become?
It’s amazing to see the hand of God. I love Pastor Bob’s book, One Surrendered Life. The title is perfect. It’s what God can do with a life. It’s like an Esther story—one surrendered life.
How would you describe your life?
I look at the journey of my life and I never planned to be a missionary. I never planned to be a pastor. I never planned to be a youth pastor. I never planned to work with the poor… I just planned to be a musician, and I did that part of my life. But I never knew that God was going to use my life to impact the lives of others. And yet, I always say that God never created us to be spectators, He created us to be players. From the day that I stepped on the mission field at the age of twenty and said, “okay,” it’s been a wild ride!
What do you like to do in ministry?
I love to get people in the game. I like to tell people who are sitting on the bench, “God wants to use your life, get involved in God’s work!” My heart is not only to lead people to Christ, but to equally get them involved in that vision, that journey, that ministry.