Episode #65: John Stanko: Finding and Pursuing Your Purpose

Welcome to Episode #65 of the Learning to Lead podcast. This podcast episode comes from our breakfast series. At our last breakfast, Dr. John Stanko spoke on finding and pursuing your purpose. It was one of the best messages on purpose that I have heard. I’m really excited for you to listen to it.

I met John through a co-worker who told me he was an excellent teacher on the topic of  purpose. I set-up a meeting with him and interviewed him for Episode #45 of the Learning to Lead podcast. After the interview, I took him to coffee and he asked me a lot of questions about my purpose. Through our discussion, John made me realize that fear was holding me back from pursuing my purpose. He helped me gain the courage to overcome fear and act on my dreams. Not long after our time together, we launched Learning to Lead. I am so grateful for John’s influence in my life.
My prayer is that when you listen to this message, you will become excited and intentional about pursuing your purpose and stop letting fear hold you back from pursuing it. Enjoy the lesson.
Episode #65: Dr. John Stanko on Finding and Pursuing Your Purpose 
John’s Bio: John Stanko was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduating from St. Basil’s Prep School in Stamford, Connecticut, he attended Duquesne University where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics in 1972 and 1974 respectively. In 1973, he had a life-changing spiritual experience that radically changed his life course and purpose.

Since then, John has served as an administrator, teacher, consultant, author, and pastor in his professional career. He holds a second master’s degree in pastoral ministries, and earned his doctorate in pastoral ministries from Liberty Theological Seminary in Houston, Texas in 1995. He recently completed a Doctor of Ministry degree at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh.

As executive director of Worship International from 1993-1995, John planned and organized worship conferences for Integrity Music around the world, and later became a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), the highest distinction awarded in the conference management industry. In the process, he has taught extensively on the topics of time management, life purpose and organization, and has conducted leadership and purpose training sessions throughout the United States and in 25 countries.

Recently his clients have included Integrity Music, Kabul University in Afghanistan, Lippo Bank and Lippo Land in Indonesia, Regent University in Virginia Beach, DHL in southern Africa, Kingdom Bank in Zimbabwe, the South African Regional Poverty Network in Pretoria, Catholic Relief Services in Kenya, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, Celebration Ministries International in Zimbabwe and many other churches and nonprofit organizations in the United States and abroad.

John is also certified to administer the DISC and other related personality assessments as well as the Natural Church Development profile for churches. Recently, he earned the privilege to facilitate for The Pacific Institute of Seattle, a leadership and personal development program, and for The Leadership Circle, a provider of cultural and executive 360-degree profiles.

He has authored fifteen books and has written for many publications around the world. John maintains a weekly email update called The Monday Memo and regular Bible studies and a daily devotional on his blog. His website contains many resources and programs devoted to help people find their life purpose.

John founded a personal and leadership development company, called PurposeQuest, in 2001 and today travels the world to speak, consult and inspire leaders and people everywhere. From 2001 to 2008, he spent seven months a year in Africa and still enjoys working on that continent, while maintaining teaching and administrative duties at The Center for Urban Biblical Ministry in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. John also serves as an administrative pastor at Allegheny Center Alliance Church on the North Side of Pittsburgh. John has been married for 39 years to Kathryn Scimone Stanko. Their two adult children are pursuing purpose in Arlington, Virginia and Pittsburgh.

Connect with John: 

Links I talked about in the show:


  • Small Groups – We have small groups that meet the 2nd & 4th Wednesday of every month.  E-mail Doug at  dougsmithlive@gmail.com if you are interested.

How You can help our Podcast: 

If this post helped you and you believe it could help others, please recommend it on Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon, and the other social media sites listed below. Also, I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Leave a comment below! Thank you!

I would also encourage you to subscribe to this blog via RSS feed or e-mail! You can sign-up for e-mail by typing your e-mail address in the box on the left hand side of this site that says “E-mail updates”.