About Jim Renke

MY BLOG NAME:  Onward & Upward

Philippians 3:14 says, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ.”  Jesus calls us “onward and upward” toward him.  His presence, His power, His redemption, His glory is the goal of faith.  I hope to use my gifts and opportunities to spur you to a closer walk with Christ and leave a grace-filled imprint on the life of those around you.


I’m Jim Renke.  I am the son of Marvin and Betty.  I am married to Kris.  I am the father of 4 sons and the father-in-law to 2 great daughters-in-law.  I’m grandpa.  I am a Regional Minister.  So, I spend my time, encouraging and resourcing pastors and congregations to live on God’s mission.  I love encouraging, teaching, motivating and equipping people.  I get a thrill out of God’s Word.  I really enjoy long motorcycle rides.  I look at my life as ministry.  Each of these roles give me an opportunity to share the love and grace of God to others.


I am committed to posting Monday morning encouragements and other times the Spirit leads.  And I would really love your feedback.  Comments are encouraged even if we disagree.

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE…  This will let you know when I’ve posted without having to check on the blog daily.


You can email me at jimrenke@comcast.net


I am currently the Regional Minsiter for the Upper Mississippi Region of North American Baptist Churches.  I live in the greater Chicago area and serve churches in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.  I have served as Pastor in 4 churches:  George, Iowa; Aplington, Iowa; Modesto, California and in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.  I love Christ and His church.  My favorite activity is engaging the Word of God through study and preaching.  Away from the study and from ministry, I really enjoy riding my motorcycle.  Long trips are a favorite. Someone once said, “If you don’t ride, you won’t understand.  If you do ride, I don’t have to explain.”

I’ve studied at Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, IL; Sioux Falls Seminary, Sioux Falls, SD; and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; South Hamilton, MA.  I received my D.Min. in 2004.  My project was on the Effectiveness of Preaching as a Tool for Leading Corporate Change.

I married my best friend and confidant, Kris Prim, in 1985 and we have four sons and 2 beautiful daughters-in-law and Grandpa to two awesome kids.  Andrew (and Cassie) is working in healthcare.  Michael keeps the rubber on the road by working on his cars and motorcycles.  Philip is finding his niche in the healthcare industry.  Jonathan (and Shannon) is working at WMBI as “Young Thunder” on air.

Disclaimer:  Onward and Upward is a personal blog.  The opinions expressed are solely my own.  They do not represent the Upper Mississippi Region, the North American Baptist Conference, or any other organization with which I am affiliated or employed.

5 thoughts on “About Jim Renke

  • Love your application of the dream, Jim. I love hearing from the men – we women talk enough. The Church needs the men to riSE and proclaim! I sat in on a class at Gordon-C years back, and took classes at Westminster in PA while I taught GATE in the public schools. I would be honored, for your training and knowledge and faith, if you would take a moment for these thoughts on suffering:




  • Hello Jim, I ran across your site when I woke up the other morning and was wondering what to search for on my device, when the Spirit of God directed me to type in spiritual complacency, and it lead me to you, I’m familiar with the Moody church because because they have a radio program that I listen to here in St.Louis. Hope I could ask you some important and hard questions sometimes.


  • Question, I’m wondering, as I study my bible, I read where the Lord tells us to do certain things and we don’t do them, and then He tells us not to do certain things and we do them, I know I can only speak for myself, but why is that?


    • Thank you Robert. It seems to me that, as Jesus said, all of God’s laws are a fulfillment of the two loves God commands. The first and greatest command is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and the second is to love our neighbors as ourselves. When we steal, or when we lie, we violate love for God – by loving our own ways more – and love for the other – whom we violated. We’ve all done this and that is why we need the forgiveness of the cross of Christ, who came and perfectly loved. We need his sacrifice for our failure. And by faith in Him, we receive that and are restored into a relationship of grace and love.


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