Bill Lohnes believes every ministry needs to start with a troubled heart. His passion for discipleship is based on two current statistics from the Barna Group, a leading faith and culture research organization:
- Less than 1 in 10 Christians walk like authentic Christians
- 75% of Christian youth who attend college fall away from Christianity prior to graduating
“If we become lukewarm in our faith, how can we expect our children to have a foundation for their behavior or their witness?” Bill asks.
A Midwesterner raised in the Lutheran church, Bill moved to Atlanta in 1992, with his wife, Paula, and two children, to pursue a job opportunity in his field of finance. Occasionally attending a neighborhood church with his family, Bill preferred to sleep in on Sundays and watch his favorite bass fishing show. But, his 13-year-old daughter, Holly, quickly made friends at church and began to attend regularly, eventually becoming involved in a youth discipleship program.
In 1998, a series of events, including a devastating job loss and Holly’s witness to him at the foot of his bed, led Bill to attend a Bible study in a couple’s home. Four years later, after being faithfully mentored by Christian discipler, John Musselman, Bill surrendered his life to Christ and committed himself to discipleship.
Bill and Paula joined Mount Pisgah UMC in January 2003. During the same year, Bill left a highly successful career with a series of high profile investment firms to rededicate himself to his family and start his own financial planning business focused on using biblical principles. At the same time, he began forging a path for Narrow Gate, with the goal of giving away as much information on Christian discipleship to as many people as possible.