Seven Questions with J. Ballard – California Southern Baptist Convention
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7 Questions with J. Ballard

J. Ballard
Directof of Missions, Feather River Association
“Fear is just one of the many words I don’t know the meaning of.” Sage words, offered by actor/author John Wayne, is a quote that reflects the way Director of Missions, J. Ballard of the Feather River Association approaches life, and ministry. “I fix a lot of stuff and pay the bills.” Arguably, no truer words from a pastor have ever been spoken! Amen. When Mr. Ballard isn’t tending to those self-described daily responsibilities, he enjoys working on classic cars, a hobby he picked up as a boy with his father who was also a mechanic. Much of his ministry career had him working with youth and in doing so, he and his wife, Nicky, welcomed 12 kids into their home. Never formally adopting but the Ballard’s always had a safe place to foster and instill the gospel into the hearts that passed through their home.

What podcast are you listening to right now?

Right now, I’m listening to podcasts on the theme of money matters and financial stuff. I’m taking a test in the upcoming weeks, to become a Christian Financial Counselor. Some of the specific ones I listen to regularly are “Moneywise,” with Rob West and Steve Moore, and “The Ramsey Show.”

In-N-Out or Chick-fil-A?

You know…I think Chick-fil-A is overrated. I like Raising Canes much better… So, I guess In-N-Out. But that’s a bunch of high cholesterol. You might be able to tell I don’t eat too many burgers.

When you were in high school what career had you imagined you would be in right now?

Even before high school I wanted to be a stunt guy! Getting blown up, jumping off of things, getting thrown around and getting paid for it! Wow! I’d be all for that! My other answer would be to only be the associate pastor instead of the guy that’s in charge of everything!

What has been an evangelistic tactic that has worked best for you?

Most of my evangelistic tactics are happening in kids/children’s ministry. I enjoy teaching the gospel presentation through colors, doing facepainting or bracelet making. Up here, around Portola, where there are community events, I love getting a space and getting to start these kinds of conversations with kids, especially coming from my youth ministry background. Even if the kids are too young to understand, when the parents walk up, I can ask them if they know Jesus.

Tell us something that nobody knows about you.

31 years ago, I had such a hard head, God sent me to the Nevada Department of Prisons. God was like “I’m gonna teach you what you need to know.”

Tell us your best, ministry horror story.

You know there’s not too many I can think of. I’m a pretty easy-going guy, so not too many things bother me. My gum went flying out of my mouth while I was preaching once, I was okay, but my wife was horrified. I also tripped and fell one time while I was preaching but I told the congregation that I had meant to do that. I’m not sure if they believed me or not…

When you think through all the names of Christ, what name resonates with you right now and why?

My Provider. The reason why is that with everything from coming out of the penitentiary to working in construction, He has always provided for me. Who ends up a convict and then goes into ministry? It’s not a super common scenario but that is where the Lord led me and has provided for me.