John Armstrong — Fostering God’s Gift of Creativity

President, Act 3, USA

I think Western leaders need to be far more careful about how they view partnership, and that that really is a partnership, not simply an agreement to provide money and resources, but a real partnership.

Voice Photo

John Armstrong—Ministry

John H. Armstrong is founder and president of ACT 3, a ministry begun in 1991 for equipping leaders for unity in Christ's mission. He is a former pastor and church planter of more than twenty years, and the author/editor of eleven books. His most recent book, Your Church Is Too Small: Why Unity in Christ’s Mission Is Vital to the Future of the Church (Zondervan) gives a theology of what he calls “missional-ecumenism.” It charts a way for the church to pursue Christ’s kingdom in friendships rooted in Christ’s love for the whole church. Armstrong is actively engaged in mentoring leaders and encouraging the ecumenical movement to develop a clearer focus on Christ’s kingdom and mission. He also has made a number of trips to India and South America helping equip leaders for ministry in some of the world's poorest regions.

John Armstrong—Scholarship

Armstrong has authored thousands of magazines, journals, and web-based articles. Besides his writing ministry Dr. Armstrong is an adjunct professor of evangelism and leadership at Wheaton College Graduate School at the Billy Graham Center, teaches in various seminaries and colleges as a guest lecturer, and is a seminar and conference speaker throughout the United States and abroad. 

Armstrong is the author of Your Church is Too Small: Why Unity in Christ's Mission Is Vital to the Future of the Church (Zondervan, 2010), Five Great Evangelists (Christian Focus Publications, 1997), The Catholic Mystery (Harvest House, 1999), True Revival: What Happens When God's Spirit Moves (Harvest House, 2000), and The Stain That Stays: The Church's Response to the Sexual Misconduct of It's Leaders (Christian Focus, 2000). He is the general editor of Understanding Four Views on the Lord's Supper (Zondervan, 2007), Understanding Four Views on Baptism (Zondervan, 2007), Roman Catholicism: Evangelical Protestants Analyze What Unites and Divides Us (Moody Press, 1994), The Coming Evangelical Crisis (Moody Press, 1996), Reforming Pastoral Ministry (Crossway, 2001), The Glory of Christ (Crossway, 2002). He has contributed single chapters, theological and historical introductions, and forewords to more than two dozen volumes, and has been published in Christianity Today, Christian History and numerous other Christian periodicals. He publishes a daily blog at and writes a more substantive weekly article, The ACT 3 Weekly, (1,200 to 1,800 words) available at

John Armstrong—Education and Family

Armstrong was born in Lebanon, Tennessee (March 1, 1949). He attended Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, Tennessee, where he was an ROTC cadet officer and graduated cum honore in 1967. He attended the University of Alabama from 1967-1969, studying journalism and history. In 1969 he transferred to Wheaton College, were he received the B. A. in history (1971) and an M. A. in theology and missions (1973). He did further study at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, and Northern Baptist Seminary, Lombard, Illinois. He earned the D. Min degree (1979) at Luther Rice Seminary, Atlanta, Georgia. Armstrong is an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in America. He is a member of several professional societies for mission and theology and is a member of the Abraham Lincoln Society.

John and Anita, his wife of forty years, have two adult married children and two grandchildren. Anita assists John as an editorial associate to help his ministry. Their son Matthew is engaged in a ministry of evangelism and discipleship. Their daughter Stacy is an administrative assistant for ACT 3.

  • The Power of Freedom and Enterprise

    It has been those who are entrepreneurs who have the freedom, especially in the western context, to dream, to produce, to create jobs, to make money, to turn it around and fund the projects and fund the institutions that will reproduce the— not just the physical financial capital, but the intellectual and spiritual capital that transforms people, societies and churches.

  • Christian Freedom

    One of the most powerful things we can give to Christians, every Christian, is the freedom to dream and to plan, and to think, and to pursue what, in their heart, they want to do for the glory of God. If they dream of making good art, that they can have the freedom to pursue it. If they dream a business idea of producing a product that will help someone or meet a need or produce capital, for whatever reason, that’s honorable and good and just, if they’re free to do that. When you release people to that kind of freedom, I believe that’s Christian freedom.

  • God's Gift of Work

    In the narrative of creation, work is not bad, work is not punishment…. When you read the narrative, you will see that work was the gift of God; that He, God, is a worker. He’s a creator. And he put man on the earth to be the steward to cultivate, to create, to be, as it were, a co-creator, even, with God.

  • Partnerships

    I think Western leaders need to be far more careful about how they view partnership, and that that really is a partnership, not simply an agreement to provide money and resources, but a real partnership.