Jeremy grew up in West Michigan and spent five years in Washington D.C. working on Capitol Hill after graduating college before moving back to his home- town. While on Capitol Hill, he worked for a United States Senator and later pastored among this community of people. Through the Center for Christian Statesmanship, he led bible studies and mentored congressional staffers in the Way of Jesus, and delivered Bibles to and prayed with Members of Congress. This experience and vantage point, coupled with his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Cedarville University, gives him a unique perspective on faith, Church, and the American experience that he hopes will help others live in the tension of faith in Jesus Christ and post-Christian America.
Through his experience in DC he had a crisis of faith that stemmed from his experience ministering among postmodern, post-Christian young adults. Of his theology, doctrine, spirituality, ministry and life, he dropped all preconceived notions, deeply held beliefs and practices in an effort to re-understand his faith in Jesus Christ. In so doing, he entered a period of deconstruction and reconstruction the likes of which he had never experienced in his theology and spirituality. Like many other younger evangelicals, the emerging church conversation was helpful in this deconstructive effort. During this time he became involved in the conversation through blogging, became friends with some leaders, and even attended Brian McLaren’s church.
But then something happened: he returned to his hometown, Grand Rapids, MI, to pursue seminary studies. During this time he came to realize that while Emergent may believe it is believing differently—and consequently believe it is offering the world a different Christianity that is more believable than the current form—in reality the emerging church simply believes otherly; the form of Christianity this version pushes is neither innovative nor different: it is a form of Christianity other-than the versions that currently exist but mirror those that have already existed. In light of his experiences and academic studies, he desires to help a new generation reorient itself around the historic Christian faith, while missionally connecting that faith to our post-Christian world.
For three years, Jeremy helped pastor a Grand Rapids area Evangelical Covenant Church, Fellowship Covenant Church. In May 2010 he received the Master of Divinity at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary (specialization in Church Planting and Development) and was awarded the Nikolai Wiens award for pastoral ministry excellence. Currently. In May 2012 he is received the Master of Theology in Historical Theology from the same institution. He is the pastor of Renovate Church in Muskegon and does freelance writing and editorial work for a major Christian publisher.
His first book, the (un)offensive gospel of Jesus, was released in October 2008, which reminds the Church that we are responsible for the Jesus we show and the Jesus people see, the Story we tell and the Story people hear. In 2012 he launched an innovative, hyperlocal prayer book series for West Michigan, called Prayers for My City. He followed that series the next year with a prayer guide for America, Prayers for My City: A Fixed-Hour Prayer Guide for Hometown, USA. That same year he released his Masters Thesis as a book with preface, afterword, and foreword from Michael Wittmer. It is called Reimagining the Kingdom and traces the historical development of Kingdom grammar through Protestant Liberalism from Frederich Schleiermacher to Brian McLaren. Since then he has released two other books on his work with Emergent Church theology: Reimagining the Christian Faith and The Gospel of Brian McLaren. Currently he is working on a coming-of-age novel series based loosely on his own spiritual journey.
During his free time, you can find him blogging at www.jeremybouma.com, jogging, reading at his favorite local coffeehouse, and enjoying life with his lovely wife, Melinda, and their dog, Zoe.