About the Professionals Ministry
Some great examples are Henry and Jill Jay, who have been equally successful in both their personal and professional lives. Since being married 15 years ago, they have become successful entrepreneurs, educators and parents of a teen studying the bible to become a Christian. Their story began in the Professionals’ Ministry here in the Bay Area Christian Church.
The Jay Story – Inspiring Bay Area Professionals
“All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Henry Jay entered the Silicon Valley scene at a time when technology was ramping up, and the Internet had yet to become the essential and accessible tool it is today. After graduating with a degree in computer science at Cal Poly SLO, Henry arrived in Cupertino to work for Rolm Corp as an engineer. It wasn’t long before he progressed in his career, arriving at IBM and then Siemens in the late nineties.
Jill Jay (then Jill Bjorndahl), also new to the Valley with a background in Organizational Behavior (now a PhD with a focus in entrepreneurship), took over Nutritional Services, Inc. (NSI). It was a failing company that was in desperate need of a turnaround, and she was up to the task.
Henry and Jill met through mutual friends after Russ Ewell, a friend of Henry, had asked him to help lead in the Professionals’ Ministry in Silicon Valley. They began dating at the Christmas concert in ’95, and were engaged the following June.
Their relationship was aided in a big way by a number of different relationships, both single and married. Joel and Marissa Yang, as well as Stephen and Betty Poe, were dating couples at the same time that Jill and Henry were dating; these friends helped steer them in the right direction as they navigated new waters in their dating relationships. Henry also recalls numerous conversations with good single friends Greg Bodzioch and Jeff Payne that kept him God centered. While other married couples helped Henry and Jill progress in their relationship as they juggled challenging schedules and multiple obligations.
Finding Purpose in Balance
Both Henry and Jill became Christians and eventually met and started dating as Bay Area professionals as a result of being surrounded by a circle of supportive friends who were committed to keeping each other engaged. “I think the best part of being a single in our ministry is the fact that no one ever feels isolated,” says Henry. “Even though Jill and I were in different cities when we started dating, we didn’t feel too far apart.”
Presently, the Jays continue to excel in both the private sector and in education. Jill is still acting CEO of NSI, and manages to find time to teach classes at Notre Dame de Namur (she completed her doctorate two years ago). Henry managed to transform from an engineer to a scientist and is currently and entrepreneur. The life lessons learned in the BACC Professionals’ Ministry is helping them teach their teenage daughter how to balance the pursuit of academic and athletic success while keeping a heart for God.
Henry and Jill met each other during transformative times in their lives. Both were discovering their paths in the working world, and both found help through friends who were going through similar experiences.
Henry and Jill’s story is just one of many that embody our Professionals’ Ministry. With faithful Christians making an impact daily at corporate campuses such as Google, Apple, and HP, as well as in various startups and medical practices, one can be assured that the balance between professional and personal life success is indeed attainable.
The power of an Acts 2 church is the ability to stay friends amidst challenging times; it gives us the ability to keep each other focused on God so that we don’t get lost in any of the thousands of challenges that face us on a regular basis. If you are finding it hard to master the balance between work life and spiritual and relational life, consider the Jay’s story. You’ll never regret the decision to find purpose and friendships when life doesn’t exactly make it easy for you.