Jeff Eckart: Jesus follower, truth seeker, and motorcycle adventurer.
He lives in Grand Rapids, MI with his wife Arianna and together they have three lovely hazel-eyed daughters that look just like their mother.
Born and raised in Indianapolis, IN, he earned a Bachelor's degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and a Master's degree from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He is an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church.
ABOUT HIS WORK
Never The Same began humbly at the start of the "Great Recession" with Jeff as the sole staff member, along with a homemade desk, a gifted laptop, and a borrowed office. Jeff’s previous entrepreneurial endeavors of NTS Camp (which Jeff founded in 2000) and Claim Your Campus (which he founded in 2003) were brought together under the umbrella of the organization and it quickly began to grow. Creative efforts like the Grand Rapids Mud Run (founded in 2010) and Soul Exercises helped Never The Same expand its influence across the nation as it become an almost exclusively self-funded nonprofit organization. With a growing staff and ministry, Never The Same focuses on changing students' lives with biblical discipleship and spiritual disciplines using theology, community, and technology.
Jeff is active nationally in efforts to help middle and high school students emerge as a generation who know the love of God and understand the timeless truth of Scripture. He dreams of 1 million students meeting weekly for prayer at middle and high schools across America. Currently Jeff is pursuing a God-given vision of a national gathering of 100,000 students from 10,000 schools on July 4th, 2020. This event is called Claim Your Campus 2020.
Jeff is on the Executive Board for the National Day of Prayer. He speaks locally, regionally, nationally and internationally to audiences of all types, sizes, and ages. He hosts a weekly podcast with a listenership of 200,000 called the Thought Factory that explores understanding and helping students based on the current research that he and the staff team at Never The Same are doing. Jeff is the author of Soul Exercises, a Bible engagement platform used throughout the world that equips churches to engage their students in the Bible and spiritual disciplines.
Jeff is an adventurist and enjoys trips on his 2005 BMW R1150 GS Adventure dual sport motorcycle. He enjoys being outside and many of his hobbies include outdoor activities. He is an amateur land sailer, mountain biker, runner, has hiked Isle Royale National Park, bungee jumped in New Zealand and jumped out of an airplane. Since beginning his own lawn mowing service at age 16 out of the trunk of his ’75 Buick LeSabre, Jeff has had a lot of crazy jobs in his life, from veterinary assistant, book factory worker, morgue assistant, office cleaner, professor, national youth ministry director, and strategic prankist while in college (some of his "work" was referenced in the history book of his college alma mater, but that is a whole other story).
So what does it mean that Jeff is a "truth seeker"? In a world where truth and trust are harder to come by, Jeff is committed to finding truth regardless of where it may lead him. From matters of his Christian faith to issues that face our world today, Jeff has dedicated himself to the search for the Truth.
Jeff is driven by his love for God and his passion for change and people.