I learned that God does extraordinary things through suffering. I’m thankful for His amazing grace and mercy…. –Jon Sanné, Lead Pastor
- Born and raised in Eugene, Oregon.
- Married to Tiffani.
- Father of four children.
- Majored in Education at University of Oregon.
- Wrestled for the “Mighty Ducks.”
- Former Children’s Ministry Pastor and Family Ministry Pastor.
How did you become a Christian? I came to Christ by watching my mother. Her life was transformed before my very eyes while I was still a young boy of about eight or nine years old. Prior to this, she had lived a worldly life, empty of true joy, but full of heartache and shame. Outwardly, she was always the “life of the party,” but inwardly, she was angry, scared, and confused. I remember her suddenly announcing that we were going to move. All at once, it seemed, we were loading our things into a van, and driving out of town. What I didn’t know, at the time, was why. I learned later that she had become a Christian and was leaving her “old life” behind.
So, you started on a new life. Over the next several months, as we became established in a new town, I noticed a number of changes in my mother. She was often reading a book she called the “Bible” and we began attending church every week. I also noticed that she wasn’t so angry. In fact, many of her old habits were being replaced with what I now understand to be the “fruit” of the Spirit. As she continued growing in her new faith, I became more and more curious. One day I finally asked her why she was so different. She explained to me that she had surrendered her life to Christ. She shared with me the story of Jesus and the cross, heaven and hell, and the need to be forgiven for sin.
For the next day or so, I pondered what she told me, and realized that I was guilty of sin and in need of a Savior too, just as she had described. While playing outside in my front yard, I made a decision. I wanted to know Jesus and become a Christian! I prayed a simple prayer of faith, asking Jesus to come into my life and forgive my sin. I remember a great feeling of cleansing relief and joy that came over me, and I had a genuine desire to share what Jesus had done in me.
Was there a significant “turning point” in your life at that time? Though I was, admittedly, still quite young, I would say that my life did take a significant turn when I became a Christian. I recall sharing the gospel and my testimony with several of my friends. Some received it, some didn’t, but since the day I got saved, I’ve had an interest in sharing Christ with anyone who will listen.
What brought you to Calvary Chapel Olympia? In 1991, as newlyweds, Tiffani and I moved here from Eugene, Oregon, the town we grew up in. I was a gymnastics coach beginning a new job as the Program Director for the Olympia Gymnastics Academy. My employer’s daughter happened to attend Calvary, and suggested that we might check it out. After visiting several other churches in the area, we decided to take her up on her invitation. I remember my first impression of that little building downtown. It didn’t look much like a church, but we soon discovered the real church was inside. We had found the “home” we were looking for. We got plugged in teaching Sunday school and leading a home group for young married couples.
What are some highlights of your Christian service? The truth is, I really do love most of what I do as a pastor. Preaching and teaching is a great privilege, but I have to say that the real highlight for any pastor is seeing people respond to the gospel and move forward in their life to faithfully walk in the truth (3 John 4). I do love kids and found my years in Children’s Ministry very rewarding. Any time I have the opportunity to travel around the country or overseas to teach, I really enjoy that as well. One time stands out in my memory. Pastor Chuck Lind, Hans Bailey (C.C. Sequim), and I went to do some ministry over at a church in Gramsh, Albania. While on a hike to a little village in the mountains, I bribed Hans into eating a four-inch long grasshopper! It’s a moment Chuck and I will forever cherish. Brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it…. And yes, I do have pictures!
What is the vision God has put on your heart for your ministry? To see lives transformed by the love, truth, and power of Jesus Christ. This takes place as the Holy Spirit works through the Word of God and the people of God. When people are spiritually well-fed, well-loved, and well-exercised, they grow to be spiritually healthy. My constant prayer is that we would always be increasing in our commitment to preach the gospel, teach truth, and walk in love.
How has God personally stretched you, in areas that you could not have anticipated? I can honestly say that I did not expect to go through cancer (leukemia) at 34 years of age. I learned that God does extraordinary things through suffering. I’m thankful for His amazing grace and mercy, and every lesson that proved His faithfulness. Also, having grown up in a single-parent home, I’m continually amazed at God’s redemptive purposes in my life. Today, as I serve the families of this church, I can only shake my head and say, “What a God!” As I look back on my family life, in some ways, I feel like I am the most unlikely guy to be doing what I do. However, I’ve learned that God never does things the way I would do them – and that is best.
Where is your comfort zone? Definitely being with my family. I love being the blessed husband of Tiffani, and proud father of four terrific kids, all of whom have grown up way too fast! We love doing life together, and continue to grow in our love for Jesus as we serve Him.