An Interview with Jeff Vanderstelt

This is an interview with Jeff Vanderstelt, lead teaching pastor at Doxa Church in Bellevue, Washington. He is the author of Saturate: Being Disciples of Jesus in the Everyday Stuff of Life.

In fifty words, explain why you wrote Saturate?

I am captivated with the vision of Habakkuk 2:14 when the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. That’s saturation. God’s plan is to do this through Jesus, at work in everyday people in everyday life. My hope is to inspire and move people to this end.

Why do you think so many Christians struggle with “personal evangelism”?

I’m convinced that we talk about what we love most and what we believe most changes our lives. I often wonder if the reason more Christians don’t share their faith in Jesus is because their affections are not fully captivated by him or they haven’t experienced the gospel bringing significant change to their own lives.

If we treat the gospel as simply a solution for the “afterlife,” then we won’t think it has much to do with our everyday lives. As more people come to see that Jesus’s love for them changes everything for the better, their love for him will grow and their confidence in the gospel’s power will increase. Then they will talk about Jesus more and more with each other and with those who don’t yet know and love Jesus.

I believe another reason that Christians might struggle with personal evangelism is because the Evil One hates it when we talk about Jesus because he knows such talk rescues people from his destructive work. Every time one of us speaks to another person about Jesus, we’re entering into the throes of battle. Many Christians are unaware of this reality and easily give in to the fears and lies of the Evil One, who tells us to be afraid of what people will think or to assume no one wants to hear about Jesus.

In the end, what we love most and what we fear most control our actions most. If we’re captured by the love of Jesus and the fear God above all else, we will be freed to speak of the good news of Jesus Christ, anywhere and to anyone.

If we’re captured by the love of Jesus and the fear God above all else, we will be freed to speak of the good news of Jesus Christ, anywhere and to anyone.

What kind of mindshift is needed to motivate God’s people to share the gospel with their communities?

We need to believe that the gospel is good news everyday to Christians and “not-yet believers” in Jesus. Too often, Christians believe the gospel is good news for those who don’t yet know Jesus—that it’s only good news for the start of one’s Christian life. However, we need to see that the gospel is the power of God for salvation—past, present, and future. It changed us, is changing us, and will forever change us.

If we believe this, we will never stop proclaiming the gospel to each other in the midst of the everyday stuff of life. It will become the norm for our daily conversations, the solution to our everyday problems, and the answer to our most pressing questions.

Is corporate worship important?

Absolutely. We’re called to not give up meeting together, but to encourage one another and spur each other toward love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24-25). The first Christians gathered weekly to remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ and, in some cases, daily to keep building each other up in Christ.

We need each other. We need to be encouraged, exhorted, and equipped on a regular basis for our everyday mission. I believe Christians need to regularly gather together to be reminded of the incredible grace we’ve received through Jesus and the power we have because of his Spirit at work in and amongst us. This can be done through singing together, praying together, hearing the Scriptures taught, discussing what God’s Word means for us, and hearing regular testimonies of the gospel at work in our lives.

It’s not good for anyone to be alone in this work. We need to be together and we need to keep lifting up Jesus in a variety of ways so that we don’t forget who he is, what he has done, and who we are in him.

Why is the idea of a “missional community” not just a fad?

The term “missional community” may be newer, but the concept is as old as the church. It’s not a new idea at all. In fact, even before there was a community of believers, God was on mission to rescue humanity. He then chose a people to be his people on the earth through whom he would accomplish his mission.

Jesus was the ultimate means through which God accomplished that and the context in which he did it was a community on mission (i.e., his disciples). Then, as God’s Spirit filled his people at Pentecost, Jesus sent them out together on mission and in community.

It’s always been God’s plan to have his people—who love each other like family—live as servants of the King, showing forth his rule through acts of service and going out as missionaries to proclaim the good news of his kingdom, to everyone everywhere. Over the years, the church has lost sight of this reality and has forgotten her true identity.

I believe and hope that the true “fad”is actually our tendency to view church as a Sunday event filled with disconnected individuals. It’s my prayer that we return to God’s original intent for his people: a family in community and on mission together everyday.

What would you say to the believer who wants to be on mission for Jesus in the everyday stuff of life but is part of a church that emphasizes programs and services rather than life-on-life discipleship?

Study the Gospels and learn from Jesus. Then begin to live everyday life with gospel intentionality. Take meals, for instance: make every meal a worship service. As you eat and drink, remember Jesus as God’s provision for our deepest hunger and the Spirit as the thirst quenching presence of God in our lives. If every meal became a worship service, you would be attending about twenty-one worship services a week! Start eating with others more often. Eat with those who love Jesus and encourage and remind each other with the truths of Jesus at the table. Eat with those who don’t yet know Jesus and ask the Spirit to grant opportunities to bless them over a meal in word and deed. Invite people to join you at your table and serve them a meal as a picture of Jesus’s service to us.

Another example: view your job and vocation as a place for ministry to happen. You spend about one third of your life working. Why not work with all of your heart unto Jesus as your ultimate boss? Worship him through your work.

Yet another example: engage in sports and recreation as ministry. Rest and play in light of the gospel, knowing that we can truly rest because of Jesus’s work and can truly play because God is in control.


Jeff Vanderstelt

Arguing that there’s more to being a Christian than attending church every Sunday, this book will help readers recover a biblical view of discipleship and joyfully embrace God’s mission in every facet of their lives.

In short, start viewing life as the program and every moment as an event Jesus wants to work through. You don’t have to change your church or leave your church; just start being the church wherever God puts you. And honor the leaders he has placed over you. The tendency when learning something new is to be critical of others. Remain humble and thank God regularly for the leaders he has given you. Pray for them. Encourage them. And then share what you’re learning with them. I don’t know a pastor who doesn’t want the people under their care to be on mission in the everyday stuff of life. They will be encouraged to hear how God is at work in and through your life.

If you could say one thing to pastors, what would it be?

Care for and equip the people God has placed under your leadership. They are a gift from God to you; serve them well. You are a gift from God to them. You have been given to them to equip them for ministry in everyday life. You have not been freed up to do the ministry for the church. You have been freed up to equip the church for the ministry.

It’s a great joy to minister to people. It’s also a great joy to see people you train experience the joy of being ministers themselves. If every leader in every church devoted the best of their energies to equipping the people of God for the mission of God Monday through Saturday, our world be changed in a matter of years.

Let’s devote ourselves to seeing gospel-saturation happen, so that every man, woman, and child has a encounter with Jesus through his people—the church—every day and in every place!

If you could say one thing to laypeople, what would it be?

You don’t merely go to church; you are the church! It isn’t a building. It’s not your church leaders or the programs your church leaders put on. The church is God’s people saved by God’s power and filled with God’s presence for God’s purposes in the world. It’s you.

He saved you from sin for his redemptive purposes in the world. Let Jesus invade and have all of your life. Christ in you and working through you is the means by which God plans to bring change to our world. You are who you are and where you are according to God’s purposes. He wants you to know that he intends to work through you in everything you do, everywhere you go, each and every day.

Devote yourself to knowing Jesus more. Make yourself available for him to work through your everyday life. Ask him to fill you with and equip you by his Spirit. And step out in faith, trusting that he is more than able to empower you for amazing work in his name for his glory.

Related Resources

Crossway is a not-for-profit Christian ministry that exists solely for the purpose of proclaiming the gospel through publishing gospel-centered, Bible-centered content. Learn more or donate today at