IS501: Practices of Worship at Fuller Seminary – Worship Autobiography (Jeff McLain)

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Jeff McLain is the Lead Pastor at East Petersburg Mennonite Church, a role he has been serving in since 2017. Prior, he served as Associate Pastor since 2013. He volunteers with the East Petersburg Events Committee and facilitates the ministerium of East Petersburg. In the past, Jeff has been involved with missional communities and church plants.

Jeff is currently enrolled at Fuller Seminary in a Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry program. Previously, he graduated with a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry at Eastern Mennonite University; as well as with a Certificate in Biblical Leadership and a Certificate in Biblical Studies from the Vineyard Institute. He also completed smaller studies with the Ockenga Institute of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and South African Theological Seminary. Lastly, he also slowly continues through courses with the New York School of Photography.

Though Jeff has a heart for discipleship, coaching, worship, paradigm-shifting, and missional experimentation, you will also quickly notice his endless pop culture references, curiosity, creativity, and crazy stories from hitchhiking and traveling; as well as his desire for a good laugh that usually ends in the wrongly timed joke or prank. Jeff spent years as a concert promoter, roadie, spiritual seeker and general vagabond. It makes sense that Jeff sees being normal as overrated when you understand his personality is a Type 8 (Enneagram) and an ENFP (Myers-Briggs). He’s interested in being fully himself in his vocation and life, but that is only because all of the other good options were taken.

Jeff was born and raised in the Lancaster area but has lived all over. He and his wife, Katie McLain, have been married for over 12 years after a chance meeting in a local diner. Together, they have three crazy daughters, a hodgepodge of pets, and an unending quest for adventure. After disillusionment with the church in his teens, Jeff spent several years outside the church until God led him back through the Vineyard Church Movement. In many ways, Jeff is still deeply influenced by the praxis and theology of the Vineyard. However, he also deeply loves the community and simple layers of Anabaptist theology. Despite the fact that he was born to run, his quest is to be a simple man that is willing to give peace a chance.

Jeff self-admittingly drinks a lot of coffee, but you may also catch him reading, taking in a concert, avidly cheering for the Philadelphia Phillies, taking an impromptu road trip or daydreaming about the beach, bay or some other backwater. Afterall, reality can ruin life with all its tasks. He also hoards way too many CDs, vinyl records, and mp3s. The way to Jeff’s heart is paved with Italian Subs, General Tso Chicken, and Marshmallow Peeps. He is convinced that he could live off these three things as long as he had some coffee to wash it down with.

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