The Gospel Patron Story
Hi, I'm John Rinehart and this is the story of how Gospel Patrons began.
I started my career in business and succeeded very quickly, but at 25 I couldn't answer the question: What was my success for? Was it to buy a bigger house, a faster car, and retire early? There had to be more, but I didn't have vision, so I left business and went to seminary for four years.
Right before graduating, I said to my wife, "Renée, we've been chasing my dreams for four years, what's your dream?" My bold and beautiful bride told me her dream was to travel all the way around the world, to circle the globe. She wanted to become a global Christian and learn to walk by faith. I loved the idea and we began planning for a 132-day adventure. What I didn't know was that God would use this trip to lead me to the vision I had been searching for and change the course of my life.
Renée and I visited some of the world's most iconic sites: the Pyramids of Giza, the Taj Mahal, the Himalayas, the Fjords of Norway, and the Maasai Mara in Kenya. We met locals and connected with believers all along the way. Toward the end of our trip, we found ourselves in Sydney, Australia having coffee with a friend of a friend. He was a British businessman with silver hair and a winsome smile.
During our meeting, he told us the story of a successful cloth merchant in the 1500s who ended up in prison for funding William Tyndale to translate the Bible into English. We also heard about a wealthy aristocrat in the 1700s who sold her jewelry and risked her reputation to partner with George Whitefield in the Great Awakening.
"Behind every great movement of God," he said, "generous business leaders have partnered with those who proclaim the gospel. God raises up people to proclaim the gospel, but he also raises up patrons to support them."
It was there in Scripture. Jesus had Gospel Patrons. Three women quietly funded his ministry and journeyed with him till the end. (Luke 8:1-3)
Renée and I were in awe of these patrons from the past. Their partnerships to advance the gospel were personal and sacrificial. They took risks, walked by faith, and lived with purpose. Their stories lifted our eyes to something greater than the American Dream.
We began to ask, “What if more people lived like this? What might God do through a new generation of Gospel Patrons?”
I took a flying leap of faith and worked without income for the first 9 months, while I learned to become a historian and a writer. God surprised me by providing an amazing Gospel Patron to support me and three years later we launched a blue book into the world called Gospel Patrons.
In the first five months, we sold 5,000 books and had to print more. We sold out of another print run and another. We did the audiobook, paperback, and kindle versions. Leaders in over 20 countries were interested and began writing to me, saying, "This is me! This is my calling!"
I was invited to speak at events and conferences and saw God work powerfully. People were catching a fresh vision for their lives and responding with great generosity.
Gospel Patrons is the vision I didn't have as a young businessman, so God sent me around the world and back into history to get it. Now I can see that God is writing a great story and he has a part for all of us to play. (Ephesians 2:10)
Most of us won't be preachers or missionaries. We won't stand on stage or work for a church. But the vision of Gospel Patrons reminds us that we're not second-class Christians. God has created us to be part of his purposes in our generation. (Acts 13:36)
Our mission is to inspire and empower a generation of Gospel Patrons who will build the church, bless the world, and finish the Great Commission. I invite you to subscribe to our email list and join us for the journey. The best is yet to come!