Greg Austen

Executive Director of Church Outreach and Engagement

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I spent a good part of my career working on our most consequential and damaging social trend, father absence.  I now get to give what is in my hand to equip the church to wisely and effectively address the most urgent moral issue of our time, abortion.  I am honored to help the church lead with gentleness, respect, unity, and love on this issue (2 Tim. 2:24-26; Jn. 17:21), strengthening its ministry to families.  I believe parents are in the most strategic place in the universe to pass on the possibility of friendship with God to their children.  I envision a world where all those that find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy experience the joy of this possibility, rather than having it snuffed out.

What is your favorite Bible verse/book/chapter/section? Why?

My favorite book of the Bible is Ecclesiastes because it calls us to enjoy rather than cheapen an existence God has placed us in.  Although mysterious, fleeting, frustrating, and uncontrollable at times, life is a gift from a good God who we are to glorify and enjoy forever.  He is worthy of everything in our hand.  My favorite verse in this season of life is:

“Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.  Let your garments be always white.  Let not oil be lacking on your head.  Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain [fleeting] life that he has given you under the sun… whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…” (Eccl. 9:7,8,9a,10a- ESV)

Where are you from? Where did you grow up?

I grew up in small town and farming area in southern NJ about forty minutes from the one of my favorite places, Ocean City, NJ.  My dad was a land surveyor and my mom a lover of books.  My dad passed on to me his integrity, love of nature, and work ethic and my mom my heart for God, love for reading, and perseverance and commitment in following Jesus and building His church.

What is something people don't know about you?

I just released a book called How I Became a Christian Despite the Church and I write a weekly blog at . My favorites things are exploring new places with my wife, Pam, spending time with my kids and grandkids, my black lab, Sydney, and a quiet morning with a good book and a cup of fresh, ground coffee!

What are your favorite books (other than the Bible)?

Select spy and mystery thrillers and anything by John Stott, Richard Mouw, or Abraham Kuyper.