Meet Amy Jo Garner: Christian Mentor

Amy Jo Garner is a Christian Mentor who specializes in bringing people closer to God through an improved prayer life, spiritual disciplines, and fruitful devotional practices. Christian mentoring, sometimes called spiritual direction, is simply the long-standing practice of one Christian helping another grow in Christ-likeness. It is not counseling or therapy. Amy Jo is a graduate of Northwest Nazarene University with a MA in Religion with a concentration in Pastoral Ministry. Before answering the call to a life of ministry, she graduated from the University of South Carolina with a BA in English and a MA in Journalism. She is a member of Christians for Biblical Equality, the American Academy of Religion, Spiritual Directors International, Christian Women United in Business, and Phi Beta Kappa. 1. Please tell us a little about yourself. I'm a writer, educator and pastor (not necessarily in that order; it depends on the hour and the day!) who advocates living simply and graciously. I've lived in Oklahoma for 20 years and now consider myself a full-fledged Sooner. However, I grew up in South Carolina and still call the Palmetto State “home” since that is where my parents live and where I graduated high school and college. I had a long corporate career before I decided to strike out on my own to explore my passions for ministry and adult education. 2. What is a typical day in the life of Amy Jo? I teach at a local college, so my weekdays vary depending on my teaching schedule. But generally I get up about 7 in the morning and take care of all my critters (dogs, cats, chickens, pigeons) and then settle in for my morning bible study. I'm also apparently one of the few people who actually reads a real newspaper each morning with my coffee! If I'm teaching a day class I'll be in the classroom until 3 p.m. and then head home for another round of critter care, some dinner, and an evening of reading, paper grading, and preparing for the next day. If I'm teaching a night class the day starts the same but I find I have more time for ministry and other business interests before I have to head off to class around 5 p.m. Regardless of my class schedule, I try to allot a percentage of my non-classroom hours each day to each of my interests: ministry, Christian mentoring, web design, and writing. 3. I love hearing people’s testimony! Please share how you came to know the Lord and how important The Great Commission is to a believer. I was raised in a Christian home and really do not remember ever not knowing Jesus. I do remember responding to an altar call when I was 8, and I was baptized at 12. Like many young people I went through some years of doubt and questioning during college, but at my core I always knew there was something bigger than myself and bigger for myself. However, it really was not until I had to deal with a personal crisis in my 30s that I finally said, “That's it, God. You take the helm. I'm all out of ideas.” For me, The Great Commission is more than telling people the Good News of Christ. The Great Commission is a lifestyle. I have always admired the example of St. Francis of Assisi who is often credited with saying “spread the gospel everywhere; use words if necessary.” 4. How many years have you been married and how important has effective communication been in your marriage? I was in an emotionally and verbally abusive marriage and have never remarried. I've been blessedly single for more than 10 years now! I often say I was “unfortunately married.” It was unfortunate because I made a poor choice in mates: and I made a poor choice because I missed many communication signals that should have warned me away. Pretty sad for a young woman who had just graduated from college with a degree in communications. When I work with women and couples today, I stress developing communication skills early on in a relationship. In fact, I believe couples should develop those skills before the wedding. If I'd had that advice and a pre-marriage program that stressed communication, I may have made a different choice. 5. What is your favorite scripture and share what God is communicating to you personally through it. My favorite scripture is Colossians 3:12 - “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” This is the verse that inspires both my life and my ministry. I picture myself getting dressed each day in the beautiful garments my Father has purchased for me at a very great price. In addition, the Spirit nudges me daily to help others dress themselves from the same bountiful closet in my Father's house. 6. You have a unique ministry/business.  How important is effective communication for you as you go about your daily activities? The bulk of my ministry is writing and teaching, so good communication is vital. Each day I respond to requests that come to me via my websites or social media outlets. I also produce a variety of posts, podcasts, video, and conduct live and online seminars. 7. What forms of communication do you use in your ministry/business?  Which one is your favorite and why? I use email, blogging, essays, video, podcasts, videoconferencing, and social media. My favorite right now is video. Although I'm a writer at heart, I recognize that we live in a world where people prefer to learn about things via short and engaging media. 8. What are the challenges in communicating in other ways? For me, the most challenging form of communication is email. Unlike many people I treat email the same as I treat the phone: it's there for my convenience not theirs. Consequently, I respond to emails (and voicemails!) a bit slower than a lot of folks would like. But with the schedule I keep I simply cannot stop and answer emails every hour (or sometimes even every day); if I did, I would never be prepared for class or complete any projects. 9. If you could go back in time and give yourself advice about a misunderstanding you had in the past, what would you tell yourself? Don't marry that guy! 10. How can we learn more about you and your business/ministry? Find me: on the web at or on Twitter on ExpertClick on Facebook 11. Any final thoughts you’d like to leave us with today? I'll leave you with a quote from my personal statement of faith: “Every person is equal in the eyes of God and is uniquely gifted to serve God and others. In this way, our very lives are an act of spiritual worship of the Divine Creator.”     X If you liked this post, make sure to subscribe to our RSS Feed so you don’t miss one and SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter: for even MORE communication fun, FREE gifts, Book of the Month Club and exclusive excerpts and offers we don’t share with ANYONE else but our subscribers! X


  • Carla

    Hello, Amy Jo! Great interview, as usual. :)

  • jojosblog

    I agree, Cindy. I’ve had such a great time reading these and sharing them with my readers. So much wisdom to be shared.

  • Cindy Holman

    This is great Amy Jo! Thanks for sharing – it’s fun to find out more about you!

  • jojosblog

    Thanks for the RT, NW Christian Academy!

  • jojosblog

    Thanks Carla. Amy Jo has so much to share!

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