Name: Jeremy McKeen
Birthplace: Kingston, New Hampshire
Job title: Lead Pastor
Church Name and Location: Truth Point Church. We meet at Bear Lakes Middle School, located at 3505 Shenandoah Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33409. www.truthpoint.org
How and when did you come to know the Lord?
I came to know the Lord because by His grace the Lord made Himself known to me. God revealed Himself to me through Philippians 3:9, which says, “And be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.” I had been raised by wonderful Christian parents and had read that verse probably 100 times, but suddenly on the floor of my dorm room as a junior in college, I saw the glory of the Bible for the first time. God showed me that the good News of Christianity was not holding out to God “a righteousness of my own” hoping He would accept my best efforts, but instead receiving the “righteousness from God” that He was holding out to me in Jesus. I realized that the perfect moral record I needed to stand before God was the very perfect moral record He gave me freely by faith in Christ. God revealed Himself to me, by revealing who He is in Jesus for me.
How and when did you become involved in Life ?
When God revealed the truth of the Bible to me as a junior in college, I began serving as my Fraternity’s Chaplain. This included giving a brief devotional message to the guys once a week. At this point, however, I still had my sights on becoming a Sports Center Anchor for ESPN. My pursuit of that dream took me as far as becoming one of a handful of paid interns with ESPN in Bristol, CT in the summer of 2003. Everything was going great. However, on July 28, I was reading My Utmost for His Highest and one section jumped off the page. It read, “We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God’s purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite.” God used that short devotional passage to cause me to question if I was seeking my dream job in life or His dream job for my life. The question that kept coming to my mind was: How did God want me to use my gifts? So, I went back to college, my senior year, to finish my degree in Communications, and God’s hand was heavy upon me. In my heart I knew that he wanted me to go into Life . I told no one. I was secretly struggling over God’s call for months.Late one night, my roommate told me that he had been ignoring me all day because he felt God was prompting him to tell me to drop broadcasting and go into full-time Life . I jumped out of my bed and stared at him. I was stunned; I hadn’t told a soul! This had confirmed the call. I immediately called home to tell my parents and my mom was in tears. Come to findout, my parents had been praying for twenty years that I would become a preacher of the gospel, but they never told me. They wanted me to know that it was God who called me, not them. With this call came a spirit of conviction, a sense of peace and the start of preaching the gospel.
What is your church/organization doing that is exciting or unique?
Our church’s mission is to “join God in pointing people to the Truth of the Gospel.” The gospel is not just our Christmas and Easter message; it’s our everyday message that we communicate with our lips and with our lives. Every Sunday we hear about who God is for us in Jesus and who we are in Him, and then how to apply that truth to our lives so that it impacts us and the communities we live in. The Apostle Paul called this, “putting on the new self.” This is what makes our Life unique – upholding and applying the gospel in every service and in every way.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is seeing God at work and watching people ‘get it’ and then ‘live it’. There’s no greater joy than watching people come to know who Christ is for them and witnessing the Holy Spirit apply the truth of the gospel to their lives so that it affects the people around them.
What is the most difficult part of your job?
The most difficult part of my job is learning every day that apart from Christ I can do nothing. It’s growing in my awareness that I can’t change people. The only Life that redeems and restores is Christ’s Life from Heaven by the Holy Spirit. And the mind-blowing truth is that Jesus does His work through us.
If you weren’t doing what you’re currently doing, what would you like to be doing?
I can’t imagine not preaching the gospel and pastoring God’s people. I want no other life. However, if I was somehow I was unable to fulfill my calling, I would like to coach and mentor other men to help them fulfill the calling God has on their lives. My seminary years at Knox were very influential to me, so perhaps another avenue I would go would be teaching and equipping up-and-coming pastors and preachers at a seminary or pastor’s college.
Do you have a favorite quote or motto?
I see this quote everyday as I walk out the door of my house. It’s by Jim Eliot who wrote, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” It’s a reminder to me that to give my life daily for the sake of Christ is wisdom, joy and true life.
What is your favorite Bible verse or area of Scripture, and why?
My favorite Bible verse is Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ. It’s no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” This verse teaches me that I cannot live the Christian life. It is Christ who lives the Christian life out in me, all I need to do is continue to believe in Him and apply the gospel to my life. My favorite area of Scripture is the book of Ephesians. We have been going through this book in our church for over a year now. It’s divided up into two sections. Chapters 1-3 are all about who God is for us in Jesus and who we are in Him. Chapters 4-6 are all about how God calls us to live and stand in light of who He is and what He has already done for us. The book of Ephesians shows us that the Christian life is learning how to apply our permanent position to our present practice.
What would you tell a nonbeliever about Jesus?
If they were willing to listen, I would tell them that Jesus is not an ‘add on’ to life. Jesus is life. And this life can only be found in the gospel of Christ. What is the gospel? The gospel is both the bad News and the good News.
Bad News: Our greatest problem is not outside us but inside us. All of us have sinned because all of us are sinners. We’ve committed crimes against God, and we can’t do enough ‘good’ things to make up for these crimes so that God will accept us. Our sins must be punished and the punishment is death, eternal separation from God and all that is good. It’s only when we take seriously that we are lost and hopeless apart from God that the good News become really good News.
Good News: God’s love, when we are at our worst, He gave us His best. God came to this earth in Jesus to solve our problems of sin and death. Jesus lived the sinless and perfect life we couldn’t and then gave His life upon a cross where all our sins were put upon Him and He was punished in our place. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead. He’s alive! God promises that anyone who will turn from his or her sins and trust in Jesus, by faith alone, will receive the forgiveness of sins, the righteousness of Christ, the power to change and a new life of joy in knowing God now and forever.
Besides God, who has been the most influential person in your life?
No one has influenced me more than my parents, Bob and Esther McKeen. They have taught me the love of Christ, the importance of hard work, the courage to take a stand for what I believe in, integrity in all things and a spirit of compassion and generosity for those in need. For this, I am eternally grateful.
What is your favorite way to relax?
My perfect picture of relaxing is sitting down with my wife with a cup of fresh black coffee and a good book.
What encourages you the most/frustrates you the most about Christians in our society?
What encourages me the most is that many leaders from across all types of denominations and backgrounds seem to be getting back to what the Apostle Paul called “of first importance” – the gospel. Organizations like “Together for the Gospel” and “The Gospel Coalition” have done a lot of good work encouraging those in leadership and the body of Christ to hold fast to the truth of the gospel and teaching how to apply that truth to every aspect of life. What frustrates me the most is when Christians believe that they can ‘graduate’ from the gospel. I know many Christians who are not growing because they are not being discipled in the gospel. Many leaders treat the gospel like the ABC’s of the Christian life, instead of the A to Z, they unintentionally disciple people into thinking Christian maturity is getting beyond the gospel instead of growing deeper in the gospel. New principles and practices then become forced ‘add ons’ which either leads to self-despair, when we can’t measure up, or self-righteousness, when we think we do measure up. Contrary to this, the gospel life is not about forced ‘add ons’ rather it is seeing what happens when we abide in Christ and apply what He has done for us in our lives.
What is something that God has been teaching you lately?
God has been teaching me more and more about pride, jealousy and the selfish motives of my heart. I see the pride when I believe I know when and what is best for my life. I see jealousy in how often I make the approval and opinion of man more important than the approval and opinion of God. And, I find myself selfish when I constantly feel like God and others are here for me instead of the other way around. What is my hope for change? Believing and applying the truth of the gospel.
Tell us something about your family and/or something about yourself that most people do not know.
During my freshman year of college, I drove out to California joined by a friend with the goal of getting on the Price is Right. This was when Bob Barker and Rod were still hosting the show. I got on and won a dinette set and a lifetime supply of dawn dish detergent!