Gailyn Van Rheenen 

Gailyn and his wife Becky launched Mission Alive in 2004 with a vision for planting churches in North America.  Now in retirement, he continues to partner with Mission Alive to cultivate leaders, lead Discipleship Cohorts and write.  

Contact Gailyn: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 972.754.9663

Spouse: Becky Van Rheenen

Favorite Things to Do on a Saturday afternoon:

Walk or exercise with my wife Becky

Call our grandchildren

Favorite Bible Verse: Exodus 15:11 - After the exodus of the Israelites from Egyptian captivity, Moses praised God, saying,

"Who among the gods is like you, O LORD ?
Who is like you—
majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory,
working wonders?”

When asked how his role with Mission Alive emanates from or fulfills his calling, Gailyn says, “I have been called and used by God as an apostolic church planter and eventually as a trainer of other church planters..”


Dr. Gailyn Van Rheenen served as a church-planting missionary to East Africa for 14 years, taught Missions and Evangelism at Abilene Christian University for 17 ½ years, and is the founder and 1st Executive Director of Mission Alive (2004-2014).  He focuses on equipping church planters and church leaders, leading Discipleship Cohorts, helping prospective church planters to discern their journey on God’s mission, and writing on discipleship, mission, and community formation. His blog at interacts with chapters of the second edition of his book Missions: Biblical Foundations and Contemporary Strategies.  Other publications include Communicating Christ in Animistic Contexts (William Carey Library) and The Changing Face of World Missions (Baker Academic; authored with Michael Pocock and Doug McConnell).  His Missiology Homepage ( provides "resources for missions education" for local church leaders, field missionaries, and teachers of missions.  

Gailyn and Becky have four children, Jonathan (deceased); Rebecca Gail, Deborah, and David and grandchildren, Anjali, Meghana, Eli, and Eva.


Paradigm-Forming Authors and Books:

Multiple Authors by the leading of the Holy Spirit – The Bible

  • David J. Bosch – Transforming Mission:  Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission
  • Leslie Newbigin – The Gospel in a Pluralist Society
  • Darrell L. Guder, editor – Missional Church:  A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America
  • Mike Breen – Building a Discipling Culture and Multiplying Missional Leaders
  • Hugh Halter and Matt Smay – The Tangible Kingdom and The Tangible Kingdom Primer
  • Alan Hirsch – The Forgotten Ways and The Forgotten Ways Handbook
  • Stuart Murray – Church Planting: Laying Foundations
  • Margorie J. Thompson – Soul Feast:  An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life
  • Richard Foster – Celebration of Disciplines:  The Path to Spiritual Growth
  • N.T. Wright – The Challenge of Jesus:  Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is
  • Dietrich Bonheoffer – Life Together:  The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

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Mission Alive is in partnership with churches and church plantings across North America.

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