1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . Jump

A year ago, this month, I helped wind down daily operations of GMI (Global Mapping International) as the CEO. While there were months left of work to finalize the shutdown, last year in August and September I took a sabbatical to ask God what might be next for our family in our Kingdom service.

As I have shared with many of you since then, we felt God challenging us to focus on the innovation space within a larger organization where we could invest in helping design new programs and redesign older ones that needed to be rethought. His leading seemed very specific and that is always a bit scary. With fear and trepidation, we decided to walk faithfully in it and see where things might go.

Since October, we have been patiently (sometimes not so patiently) listening to the Spirit’s voice, seeking to align our lives with His and building a platform to serve as an innovator.

I’m happy to announce that God has given us a clear next step that fulfills so many of the things we had been hoping and praying for. On August 1, I will begin my role as Director of Program Innovation for SIL International. Founded in 1934, SIL serves language communities worldwide, building their capacity for sustainable language development by means of research, translation, training and materials development. They have a unique role in language advocacy and development and also a key role in the Bible translation process. I have been so impressed with how SIL is seeking out the intersections of life and language and asking God how they can serve the Kingdom at those strategic points.

I am very excited to be joining SIL’s innovation group (called Innovation Development & Experimentation; IDX) and learning from a talented group of innovation leaders, entrepreneurs, data scientists, technologists and product managers. My role will focus on defining new programs to be developed and shepherding them through the innovation process until they can be successfully integrated into SIL’s core efforts. I have had the privilege to work with SIL’s Chief Innovation Development Officer, Steve Moitozo, for the past several months on a consulting project and have known him for several years before that because of GMI’s partnership with SIL. I know I have a lot to learn from him and look forward to working on his team and benefiting from his Godly leadership. I asked him to share a few words about my joining the team,

“At SIL we to want to help people do the things that matter most to them in the languages that mean the most to them. One of the key ways IDX enables SIL is by converting its ideas into healthy operational programs that help people thrive with their languages. I am excited that Jon has agreed to work with me and the IDX team as we help SIL innovate by doing new things with uncertain outcomes. I'm sure his mix of experiences, aptitudes, and heart will be a great compliment to SIL's innovation agenda.”
- Steve Moitozo

During this year of transition, I have learned many things. I have grown in patience, learned to listen more intentionally and increased my understanding the value of proximity and presence. I have invested strategically in my local community. I have invested in my wife and children and been blessed by their amazing personalities and gifts. I have sought out leaders and innovators around the globe in order to learn from their experiences. I have also had the great pleasure to serve as a consultant for some amazing organizations who asked me to help them during this time. I’m so grateful to each of these organizations (and my many friends and partners within them) for allowing me to come alongside them: Spoken Worldwide, SIM International, David C Cook, Tyndale House Foundation, 1615, Community Bible Study, Radio HCJB, In Christ Communications, the Retirement Reformation, Camino Global, and SIL International.

But as I jump into this next role, the thing I am most aware of is the hundreds of people who have been praying with and for me and my family in this transition. I have cherished your kind emails, encouraging words and genuine concern. Your faithfulness in prayer and support have given Mindy and I the confidence to wait patiently for God to give us direction; knowing He would provide for our needs. I would request that you continue to pray for us as we dive into this new challenge.

I look forward to being in touch with many of you in my new role. I will still be blogging here at Generous Mind and on The Future Shapers. I will also continue doing the innovation webinars. I can’t wait to see how God will use this new season of learning, working and leading to grow me, encourage others and bless the Kingdom.