About Ian Simkins

I grew up in a crowded little home outside Detroit as the oldest of 7 homeschooled ruffians. I belonged to a beautiful community called Fairlane Alliance Church – a Christian and Missionary Alliance church that was passionate about bringing the Gospel to every corner of the planet. It was here that I began to get a glimpse of what God was doing and stirring all over the world as well as our own backyard. It was also here that I was invited to give my first sermon as a terrified 16 year-old. To this day I’m still sure it is the worst sermon ever uttered, but being given that opportunity planted a seed and a love for ministry deep in my heart that God began to grow.

As a teenager my plan had always been to move to a warmer coast, study music or psychology, and maybe pick up surfing along the way – but God had other plans. After a long and arduous wrestling match with God, I eventually ended up listening to his call and moved to Judson University in Elgin Illinois in 2003 to study Youth Ministry and Adolescent Studies. My time there was both rich and difficult, experiencing the highs and lows of “in the trenches” local church ministry – but God continued to cultivate the seed he had planted years before.

In 2006 I spent the summer serving in the poorest communities of northern India – a trip that would forever change my life in ways I never could have imagined and upon my return I began as the Pastor of Student Ministries at a wonderful community called Poplar Creek Church.

The next few years our church faced some of the greatest difficulty imaginable. In 2010 we were without a Lead Pastor, attendance had plummeted, and our Stewardship Committee predicted six-months to total bankruptcy. It was in the eye of that storm that the leadership asked if I would prayerfully consider taking on the role. Despite my lack of experience (or a decent haircut), God began to cultivate that seed once again and I stepped into the role of Lead Pastor.

The following six years were truly remarkable. We saw God move in ways I had only dreamt of and he has only further grown and cultivated my love for him and people. Our church became a family that deeply cared for others and pursued God with their whole lives. Two years into this role I met a beautiful woman on Sunday named Katie who would become the love of my life.

In 2016 we got married and began new role as Teaching Pastor at Community Christian Church in Chicagoland. Two years later I began hosting a radio show called The Common Good on AM1160 (WYLL).

In 2021, we felt God leading us again and now serve as Lead Pastor of Teaching and Vision at a wonderful church called The Bridge just outside of Nashville, TN.

We also have three amazing young boys, Owen, Redmond, and Ezra. We haven’t slept in 5 years.

Topic Covered by Ian

Destigmatizing Mental Health in the Church

In the creation story of Genesis we’re given a glimpse of a man and woman in perfect relationship with their Creator, until that unanimity is fractured. And what is the first thing they did after? They ran. They hid. And I think many of us have been doing the same ever since.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.



Webinar "How Churches Can Facilitate Access to Mental Health Care"

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Webinar "What I Wish My Pastor Knew About Mental Health"

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