On a trip to Paris to celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary, God called Jenn Williamson and her husband David to move to France. While they had never dreamed of becoming missionaries, Jenn and David embarked upon a journey that would change the course of their lives. After spending two years raising support, they left their beloved home, jobs, and church to move to France with their two teenaged boys.
While her official job description is “church planter,” Jenn believes that French people will plant the best French churches. For that reason, she focuses her attention on equipping and empowering young French believers who have the potential to plant churches. She has also served on two French-led church plant projects and teaches in a French-established church planting training center.
With a Masters in Ministry Leadership, Jenn loves to develop leaders through mentoring and coaching. Those that she mentors often go on to make great contributions to the Kingdom work of God. Jenn believes that a leader is not measured by the size of the fruit that grows on her own tree, but by the fruit that grows on the trees of those she serves. For this reason, Jenn likes to think of herself as a runway—she looks for ways to lay down her life so that others are enabled to take flight.
Recognizing that the demand for mentors exceeds her own capacity, Jenn is also committed to the training and development of French mentors for emerging leaders. To that end, she works with her colleague Alain Stamp to launch mentoring communities all across France. Inspired by Leighton Ford, Jenn seeks to raise up leaders who lead like Jesus, to Jesus, and for Jesus.
Though called to serve the church in France, Jenn also has a heart for her fellow missionaries. Having come to the field late in life, Jenn knows first-hand the challenges that missionaries face in adapting to a new culture and establishing effective ministries. Together with other experienced missionaries and French partners, Jenn has launched an association aimed at helping missionaries transition to the field. This association, called Elan (elanmission.org) is unique in that in invites the participation of French partners into the adaptation process, building trust and collaboration between foreign workers and French nationals from day one on the field.
Those who invite Jenn to preach, teach, or speak at conferences often describe her as having a “prophetic voice.” She has a way of bringing Truth to life, making it both relevant and accessible to those who hear it. Transparent, vulnerable, and honest, Jenn embraces both the challenges and joys of following Jesus while eagerly encouraging others to come along.
Though she loves to travel and meet new people, at the end of the day, her favorite thing to do is curl up on the sofa with her husband, David, her dog, Gemma, and glass of red wine. And if a theology debate happens to break out—all the better!
Jenn is an empty-nester, an avid reader, a reluctant swimmer, a beginning knitter, and lover of Ignatian spirituality. She blogs at therhythmsofgrace.com.