Since 2000, Nigel James has travelled extensively as the road pastor for the iconic Christian rock band Third Day. A self-described “20-year-old kid trapped in a 47-year-old man’s body,” Nigel’s relationship with the band exists on several levels: pastor/mentor, father figure (or “grandfather figure,” as the guys joke) and fan.
A native of Wales, Nigel first encountered Third Day when he was traveling with the Newsboys and Third Day served as the opening act on the same tour. “When I went out and spoke on the Newsboys tour, I was homesick and daunted, and I would stand in the wings of the stage and worship as Third Day would play,” Nigel recalls. “Now, I just enjoy spending time with them. They are a genuine bunch of guys, and their music suits my tastes exactly. I’m a bit of an old rocker, and I still enjoy listening to them over and over.”
A Christian since his teenage years, Nigel holds a degree in sociology and a post-graduate qualification in practical theology. He has spent most of his adult life in youth ministry, evangelism, and discipleship. He is the founder, along with Gary Smith, of the IGNITE discipleship initiative. IGNITE is part of the UK-based ministry called Big Ideas (not to be confused with Big Idea productions in the USA) which Nigel and Gary founded in 1995 after they both worked as part of the national leadership team for a Christian youth organization.
IGNITE challenges young people to discover their purpose in life, to be disciples of Jesus, and to transform their generation. Since 2000, well over 5,000 teenagers have signed the IGNITE discipleship declaration which commits them to a radical life of discipleship. As well as heading up the growing team at IGNITE with Gary, one of Nigel’s main roles in the ministry is to serve as a mentor to an emerging generation of leaders, and he is committed to being a “Paul” in the lives of a number of “Timothys.”
Nigel has been a regular columnist for a variety of Christian publications and has written several books published by Authentic Media including: IGNITE: God’s Purpose for This Generation, SEVEN MYTHS OF YOUTH MINISTRY: How to Re-ignite Your Passion (with Gary Smith), SEVEN WAYS TO IGNITE AN OUTRAGEOUS PRAYER LIFE (with Carl Brettle) and SEVEN WAYS TO IGNITE YOUR LIFE: Lessons from 1 Samuel. His latest book, LESSONS FROM THE ROAD, written from his position as road pastor and including contributions from Third Day, will be published in April.
Through his association with Third Day, Nigel has befriended some of the most beloved personalities in Christian music and ministry. In 2002-2003, he travelled with Third Day, Michael W. Smith and Max Lucado on the highly acclaimed “Come Together and Worship” tour. In January of 2008, Nigel accompanied Third Day on a tour to minister to U.S. troops in Kuwait and Iraq. He is also a regular speaker at colleges in the U.S., and his humanitarian work has taken him to various locations around the world. Because of IGNITE’s partnership with Compassion International, Nigel has travelled to Haiti to see firsthand the organization’s child sponsorship work there. He is also a frequent visitor to India, where the IGNITE ministry has opened a number of IGNITE India Churches and is in the final stages of constructing a school set to open this fall.
Nigel lives in Cardiff, Wales with Gill, his wife of 19 years and their daughter Bethan. Two adult children, Rachel and James, live away from home. Nigel also serves as a pastor at the City Temple Elim Pentecostal Church in Cardiff. Though his greatest passion in life is “encouraging people to follow Jesus,” he is also a cricket enthusiast --- both as a spectator and a participant. Thanks to his downtime on the road with Third Day, he is also an improving golfer.
© Copyright 2017, FaithfulReader.com. All rights reserved.