Bishop Todd Hunter has appointed The Rev. Ger Jones of Vintage Church in Los Angeles to succeed the Very Rev. Michael Swanson as Regional Dean of Southern California, as Michael completes his two-year term. We sat down with Ger before his upcoming installation to talk about his new role, his love for the area, and his vision for the Deanery.
What Is a Regional Dean?
Regional Deans are key to the success of C4SO, sharing in Bishop Todd’s leadership of mission and pastoral care in each of our six Deaneries.
Among the Dean’s responsibilities:
- Working with local clergy to develop a regional vision for ministry and planting
- Helping Bishop Todd with oversight and care for clergy and people of the Deanery
- Raising up new leaders
- Providing supportive and collaborative leadership for mission and ministry in the Deanery
- Convening a Clericus (a monthly gathering of the Deanery’s clergy) as well as other Deanery meetings and events
- Developing a stronger sense of community among clergy and congregations
Q: What made you want to take on this new role of Dean?
Ger Jones: I always want to serve where I am asked and honor Bishop Todd Hunter. If there is any way to serve C4SO, I want to do that. I value his support of Vintage and me as a church planter, and when he needs help, I want to be the first to respond with a yes.
Q: What in your background has equipped and prepared you for this role?
GJ: My desire has always been to raise up leaders and equip them to reach their potential, whether in the church or working with corporate leaders—my vocational background was training. At Vintage Church, we are called to release people into their ministry. My particular passion is to raise up church planters, so I am delighted to be part of the C4SO process to identify, recruit and deploy future leaders.
Q: What do you love about Southern California?
GJ: My family and I love that it’s an international melting pot. We love its global influence. You see, all my children were born in different countries. I’m English, and my wife is Australian, so we really feel at home in SoCal with its diversity. We also love its beauty. My wife is from Sydney and she loves the beach and the weather. I love the mountains that you can see in Malibu, as I was raised in the hills of Yorkshire, England.
In addition, we all just love the SoCal ability to dream and to reach for big things. The people’s tenacity, willingness to sacrifice—we love that. They have confidence, and we are seeing people sow their confidence and call into the gospel, wherever they are.
Q: What’s your vision for the SoCal Deanery?
GJ: My heart is to provide a deanery which is an incubator, nurturer, and equipper for those at the front lines of church planting and pastoring. It is one of the most difficult tasks in ministry, if not in employment generally. If we as a deanery can equip, nurture and encourage each other, let people know they are not alone, and provide them a network that roots for them, prays for them and encourages them, that’s a beautiful thing.
Practically speaking, I’m looking to do a quarterly gathering of clergy and ordinands. It will be all about fellowship, encouragement, prayer and having a significant time of investment. We’ll get input from seasoned church planters and pastors both inside and outside our network. We will bring in leaders who can speak into the various issues our clergy are facing, so they leave our gatherings equipped and ready to do mission.
SoCal Deanery Churches
Christ Our King Anglican Church
Led by the Rev. Dr. Tim Peck
Gold Line Church
Los Angeles, CA
Led by the Revs. Jon and Janna Ziegler
Holy Trinity Church
Costa Mesa, CA
Led by the Rt. Rev. Todd Hunter
In the Vine Anglican Church
Led by the Very Rev. Michael Swanson
San Marcos, CA
Led by the Rev. Matthew Veling
Los Angeles, CA
Led by the Rev. Ger Jones
Q: What are some of the main issues clergy are facing in SoCal?
GJ: Finances. We live in one of the most expensive areas of the country. We’re dealing with engaging a post-Christian culture. And there’s so much loneliness in leadership, not being able to have intimate friends in the church you’re trying to lead. Also, a lot of people didn’t grow up here and don’t have family nearby or a wide circle of friends, so we are very much missionaries in our context. Additionally, we face the challenges of what it means to be an Anglican in a context where that word is unfamiliar.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about being Dean?
GJ: I’m looking forward to building a sense of team and family amongst those in the Deanery, as well as providing them with significant encouragement and training. I’m taking the baton from Michael Swanson, a hero of mine and one of the most profound church planter leaders in our Deanery. He set the pace of how a best-in-class Dean should operate, and I’m only hoping not to mess up the good example he left.
Q: How can we pray for you in this new role?
GJ: Please pray that the responsibilities of Dean flow well alongside my responsibilities as rector, and they don’t overwhelm one another.
The Rev. Ger Jones will be officially installed as Dean of the SoCal Deanery on October 18 at the SoCal Deanery Meeting. All Clergy and ordinands are encouraged to attend.