When meeting Pastor Jason Allmon, one senses there is a bit of boyish-mischief reflected in his smile, but in his heart are deep waters and a passion to raise up disciples, as a lifestyle, for Jesus.
“We believe this is best done by following the ways, words and works of Jesus. Jesus was the perfect disciple-maker and He taught us and modeled for us how to do this thing called discipleship,” Allmon explained.
“Being a disciple means you are following Jesus, being changed by Jesus, while on mission with Jesus,” continues Allmon.
Allmon’s spiritual insight has been gained through a diverse … and sometimes painful … journey, but God uses our experiences to enhance our mission.
In high school, the 6-foot 3-inch Allmon excelled in track and cross country.
“My main interests were sports and chasing girls. Church was my social network. I lived in rebellion to God and did what was right and fun in Jason’s own eyes,” Allmon said.
In retrospection, these former selfish and shallow attitudes have given him a realization of how important it is to disciple youth, and their parents, in the Gospel.
After high school, Allmon traveled as a corporate trainer for Outback Steakhouse where his responsibilities included opening stores and training personnel at resort restaurants. A tour of duty in the United States Navy as a corpsman prepared Allmon for challenging ministries later in life.
There were some hard life-lessons on his way to his spiritual awakening, but thanks to the Gideons and their Bible distribution, he read the Gospel of Matthew and God’s Word penetrated his heart. Through answered prayer, doors of opportunity opened to him; and God provided the steps and mentors he needed to build accountability and spiritual maturity.
Allmon enrolled in St. Louis Christian College in Florissant, MO where he trained in the ministry, was an RA on campus and worked again with Outback Steakhouse. He and his wife, Andrea, met in college. Andrea was Valedictorian in 2007; and he was Salutatorian in 2009. As a life-long learner, Allmon continued his education, receiving his M.A. in Theology from Cincinnati Christian University; and in January, will begin work on his Ph.D in Historical Theology through Midwestern Theological Seminary.
“We were opposites. Andrea is methodical, I’m an extravert,” he laughs. She was pure and submitted to her parents, while Jason had been rebellious in his youth. At first, her parents didn’t like him, but as their relationship developed over several months, they gave Jason permission to court their daughter with two stipulations: they get pre-engagement counseling and pre-marital counseling. They have been married for 11-years and have been blessed with three children: Matthais, whose name means “gift of God;” Tahlia Grace whose name means “refreshing grace of God;” and Hezekiah whose name means “power of God.”
Because of his military training, Allmon was able to serve as a chaplain for a non-profit gym ministering to Veterans with PTSD; and as a Rescue Technician doing high angle, trench and close space rescues. Picture a superhero climbing up the side of a building or rappelling down a cliff using a rope … that’s High Angle Rescue. It entails learning the proper use and techniques of knots and rope systems, haul systems, rappelling, belaying techniques, stretcher rescues and high line rescues.
Allmon has held several positions in ministry, but one of the most humbling occurred at a church in Ohio. “Young leaders can be over zealous and proud. God was taking me on a journey of maturity. God taught me what discipleship and the Great Commission were. I spent much time reading the Word and reflecting about how God fashioned and designed me. Eventually, He opened a door of opportunity to become a discipleship minister,” comments Allmon.
According to Allmon, being a disciple requires introspection and asking what is God’s unique calling at this time and place. Using Jesus as his model, he realized that Jesus discipled people using five areas (Public Space, Social Space, Personal Space, Intimate Space and Divine Space). Jesus intentionally invested in 12 men over the course of three years and His plan was to saturate the world with the Good News of His Kingdom. These 12 men would make disciples who would make disciples, replicating Jesus’ model.
In ancient times, Public Space would be in the Synagogues. Our Public Space is in church services where we worship, learn together and grow in unity.
In ancient times, Social Space would be where Jesus spent time with friends, family and people such as Zacchaeus the tax collector or in Lazarus’ home. Our Social Space has expanded to include electronic social networks.
Jesus took time with the Twelve Disciples in what would be considered Personal Space. Our Personal Space could be a small group or discipleship group such as BLAST (Building Lives Around Sound Truth) which will be meeting Wednesday nights at Community Christian Church.
Three disciples, Peter, James and John, comprised Jesus’ inner circle which is considered His Intimate Space. Our Intimate Space could be growing together and sharing from our heart with family and close friends.
Jesus’ valued His daily Divine Space where He removed himself from contact with others and spent time alone with the Father. Our Divine Space should be the same model, where we turn off or remove anything that would distract us and spend time in prayer and in the presence of our Heavenly Father.
During this time of introspection, a friend from seminary contacted Allmon and told him about a church in Southwest Virginia looking for a lead pastor. Allmon conducted a Skype interview and later while traveling home from vacation, stopped by and preached. “We were impressed with the location – country living with a suburban feel; and we fell in love with the heart of the church leadership. We were blessed by their generosity, kindness, and heart for God’s Word in the church community. We thought we were going to be church planters, but now it appeared God was calling us here,” recalls Allmon.
“It was a big move of faith, being called farther from family into a different culture. But Community Christian Church is a mission minded church, passionate about changing lives through Christ in community. The church has produced missionaries, global ministries and ‘Timothys’ are being raised up here,” he said.
Community Christian Church reaches out to the community in various ways such as preparing and delivering food for local firefighters, making and distributing custom Blessing Bags to families in hospitals, and connecting and partnering with local Christian groups.
Allmon answers the question: How is the Gospel changing us daily? “The Gospel can change who we are and impact others around us. God is a Missionary God and the people of God are His missionaries in our community. We need to face outward toward our city and county; draw a bigger picture; and advance discipleship.”
By DANIELLE REID, The Patriot