RJ Koerper is the new international director of Global Action, who took over from Phil Long earlier this month. I asked RJ to answer a few questions so we could get to know him a bit better. Here’s what he said:
Tell us a bit about where you're from, and your family.
RJ: Ok, here goes….I grew up in Montana, still considered by some in the U.S. as the “Wild West.” I have one brother, an engineer in California, both my parents are with the Lord. My dad was a bridge engineer for the state.
How and when did you become a Christian?
Though I grew up in a mainline church, I did not receive Christ until I was a senior in high school* at my girlfriend’s church. From that moment on, I was committed to serving the Lord in ministry, initially thinking I was headed for the pastorate, but wound up teaching at Colorado Christian University for almost thirty years as head of the youth ministry department, also teaching Bible.
*17-18 years old
What attracted you first to Global Action?
I first started teaching for GLOMOS* in 2011 as a last minute replacement and have been teaching for them ever since, mostly in Latin America, but now in Ukraine as well. I was “all in” from the start, seeing the passion and commitment of our students, seeing how GLOMOS (Global Action leadership training) was not only changing lives, but changing churches and communities. This was frontlines ministry and equipping.
*Global Action’s leadership training, stands for Global Module Studies, or GLOMOS for short.
What do you see as the major needs and challenges in training developing world church leaders?
Poverty, living in cultures of violence and corruption, dealing with significant doctrinal error in some of the denominations (false teaching), first world problems in third world countries, all of these make Christian leaders a significant challenge, but one that is worth taking.
What is your vision for Global Action in the future?
As an educator of Christian leaders, my vision is to continue what the outgoing president, Phil Long, and I did in Honduras in January of this year, to continue to raise up more teachers, to teach GLOMOS in different regions. This is discipleship making. To do that well we need to continue to streamline our curriculum, making it more usable, more transferable and more practical.
What do you do when you're not at work?
When I’m not at work I’m hanging out with my wife Ermie, who is a software analyst for Staples, and I love to run. I just completed the Boston Marathon on April 18th.
What is the funniest or scariest thing that has ever happened to you?
This was certainly the most embarrassing, I had been installed as the new Associate Pastor of our church, and to celebrate, the church fellowshipped at a swim and racquet club. I had been in the pool for a couple hours when I realized I had a five inch tear in my swim suit on my back side. And no one had told me. Just call me the Reverend Moon.
Please pray for RJ, his wife Ermie and his wider family as he takes over the responsibility of leadership for Global Action.