#030: Interview with Jay Passavant



Dr. Jay Passavant has 38 years of experience in leadership and pastoral ministries. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Washington & Lee University and served as Assistant Director ofAdmissions and Dean of Students for one year before being commissioned as an officer in the UnitedStates Marine Corps in 1970.

Jay obtained his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary and was ordained in the United Presbyterian Church in 1974. After seven years of serving within the denomination, Jay and his wife Carol launched North Way Christian Community along with eight other couples in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. That congregation now has grown to an average weekend attendance of over 4,000 people across four different locations.

Most recently, Dr. Jay helped lead a very positive succession process that is now fifteen months post completion. The Church that he founded remains healthy under its new senior leader and has grown over 10% in all metrics in that time.

Other involvements include: Development, production and distribution of 150 television programs with renowned author and speaker, Dr. Kevin Leman; reaching 20 million homes through satellite and cable as ‘Reality Talks’ in 2007.

Empowering over 100 volunteers to consistently mentor and tutor Inner-City School children in collaboration with Pittsburgh City Schools and Family Guidance.

Establishment and leadership of Pastors Fellowships in the north region of our city that united churches and leadership for The Kingdom.

For his accomplishments in helping lead efforts of care and commitment in the greater community, Dr. Passavant was honored to receive a Doctor of Divinity degree from Grove City College in May of 2010, one of only a few such degrees awarded by the college in recent years.

Jay enjoys working with churches and other non-profits at all levels of development including strategic thinking, team building, and multi-generational ministry to help them become a culturally relevant voice to their community; raising the hope of Jesus’ love as the only pathway to restoration and reconciliation.

Connect with Jay  


  • Tell us about yourself, your family, your passions!
  • Walk us through your leadership journey.
  • Did you always aspire to be a leader wherever you were?
  • How did you learn leadership?
  • What are you doing and what have you done to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
  • What books have you read that have made a great impact on you that you would recommend?
  • What authors would you recommend?
  • How do you structure your days and your life so that you are as productive as possible?
  • How do you balance ministry with your family life?
  • Could you talk about one or two of your greatest leadership failures? What did you learn from them?
  • How do you deal with and process pain as a leader?
  • How can we serve you?

Some Key Takeaways

  • Always ask yourself: Am I walking with integrity? Does my walk match my talk?
  • A leader is only effective as they are aligned to God’s purpose in their lives.
  • Leaders do get depleted. You need to find a way to replenish.
  • Always be leading something. Leadership is like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it will become.
  • You can waste a lot of time reading the wrong books.
  • Time is a limited commodity.
  • Begin everyday alone with God.
  • What good is it if you win the world, but lose your family?
  • Be in your daughters lives when they are teenagers and you’ll save yourself and them a ton of heart ache!
  • Your spouse always needs to be the most cared for person in your life.
  • The role of parenting never stops.
  • Failure is inevitable.
  • Failure is an opportunity to learn to trust God in a new way.
  • There will be seasons of pain in your life.
  • Acknowledge to God that you’re feeling pain.
  • Find someone to share the pain/failure with.
  • Realize that pain will. God has a plan and a purpose to use you pain!

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