Greg Coley: ‘Now I can help CMF team members thrive on the field!’
Former CMF missionary Greg Coley will return to CMF this summer in the position of Assistant Director of Church Catalyst Ministries.
“I’ve known Greg since he and his wife Allison served as REACH interns and kept in close contact ever since,” said David Giles, Director of Church Catalyst Ministries. “His name was one of the first to come to mind for the role because he is a good thinker, relationally astute, effective in ministry and a really fun and funny guy. He knows and loves CMF and our mission, and will be a great co-worker for me, the staff, and for CMF team members.”
Greg is a graduate of the University of North Carolina (1993) and Emmanuel Christian Seminary (1998). He and Allison have three children. If everything goes smoothly, they will move to their new home and ministry in Indianapolis at the end of June. Get to know Greg a little better in the Q&A below.
How did you come to faith and connect with CMF?
“My parents, church ministers, parents of friends and others laid a solid foundation for faith and consistently pointed me toward Christ and His Kingdom. My time in university was when I became much more consistent as a disciple and began to grasp the mission to which Jesus calls us. I first heard of CMF after college when I was serving as an intern at a campus ministry. After that, Allison and I participated in a REACH internship in Kenya in the summer of 1996. We wanted to have that experience so we could explore God’s calling.”
Our partnership with a local Thai church meant so much to our family and ministry. They helped root us in Thai culture and relationships and supported and encouraged us through doubt and loneliness.
Our teammates were a big part of our life and ministry in Bangkok. They helped us make sense of the experience of living in another country and culture for the purpose of ministry. And our relationships with Thai students were central to our experience, especially three young Christian women who helped teach these missionaries how to do their job. Their partnership in Grapevine propelled us beyond what we could have done without them.
You have served as minister to youth and young adults at Grandview Christian Church in Johnson City, Tennessee, since 2011. What have you enjoyed most about that?
I love seeing how they grow. I like to say that young people’s cement hasn’t hardened yet. They grow, taking new shape, so much more quickly than we do once we get older. We all like to joke about young people and how absorbed they are with technology and themselves, but it isn’t true. They have great capacity for reflection, prayer, worship and service for God’s kingdom. And together they push each other toward these goals. This is the power of the church and it is so visible in the lives of young people.
What prompted you to leave a successful ministry to relocate to Indianapolis?
Allison and I didn’t feel that we were finished with international ministry when we left Bangkok 10 years ago. We kept space in our minds and in our plans for continuing service in global missions. I have enjoyed continuing our relationship with CMF since then through coaching recruits through support-raising, mentoring new missionaries on the field and by serving on the board of directors. We are sad to leave Grandview and Johnson City, but we still feel called to participate in God’s global mission.
What excites you most about your new position with CMF?
We valued our relationship with the CMF office so much when we were serving in Bangkok. It helped to know that there was a large group of people who were on our team and on our side as we struggled to figure out how to begin a new ministry. Those struggles changed but didn’t go away as we continued working to invite Thai students into the church. Now I get to be part of the support team that helps CMF missionaries thrive on the field and in their ministries.