There is an old proverb that states; “Those who dance appear insane to those who can’t hear the music.” Dan Kreiss generally doesn’t care that others think he is insane (let’s be honest, there is a good chance they are correct) but has spent his life desperately trying to help others hear the music and join him in the dance. There is no way of measuring success in this endeavor, but he has enjoyed both the opportunity to share and the strange looks from unsuspecting passersby.
It is evident that much of the world has not heard or is unable to hear the music God is sharing with them. Dan is convinced that some of the reason lies with the way Christians broadcast that music and hopes to help the Church find more effective ways of sharing those dulcet tones with a hurting world. Rob Bell, in his book ‘Velvet Elvis’, suggests that the work of helping others hear the music; “…is less about the transportation of God from one place to another and more about the identification of a God who is already there.” Thus, encouraging people to hear the music God is sharing is more about helping them identify where God is already in their midst, loving and moving. The music is not bound by a building or ideology but is plainly evident in the relationships shared one with another. Dan’s desire is to be in the midst of those relationships, largely outside traditional areas of ministry to where people live.
Having lived for more the 15 years in the Wellington region of New Zealand (where all his kids were born so he has a quiver full of Kiwis), Dan has developed a unique perspective on mission and ministry particularly regarding how and where it takes place. Currently residing in Bristol, Tennessee, he is the director of the Youth Ministry degree program and Dean of the Catherine Peeke School of Christian Mission at King University where he encourages undergraduate students in their calling to serve God in the world through the pursuit of hurting young people wherever they are found both inside and outside the confines of the Church.
As a father of 4 fantastic, and mostly grown children (Jared, Joel, Danae, & Jason) and husband to the most amazing woman God placed on this good earth (Cindy), he has been blessed with a life far beyond his dreams; one full of laughter and stories, chaos and occasional calm, travel and stillness-the ebb and flow of a life in community. Uncertain of what life might look like with an empty nest he is anticipating opportunities for new challenges, growth and unique ministry settings, as well as a refrigerator that stays full slightly longer.
In an effort to further his reach and impact Dan recently completed his Master of Divinity at Emmanuel Christian Seminary and has since been ordained in the Presbyterian Church USA. This offers him opportunities to journey with people through significant life events such as marriage, baptism, illness, and ultimately death. These are the life events that most readily connect people to the music of God and offer opportunity to help those outside the Church hear for the first time. The culmination of his studies will be completion of a D Min from Portland Seminary in Leadership and Global Perspectives, after which time he intends to take several months off to remain hip deep in a variety of rivers casting a fly to unsuspecting trout and interspersing those times with reading books that he chooses for himself.
When not teaching, studying, or leading students on mission experiences, Dan is an avid outdoor person hiking and fly fishing but who especially loves to clear his head on long, hilly rides on his Scott CR1 road bike, making his heart race both from the effort required and the beauty of the surroundings.