James MacDonald: Bio, Quotes and Books

James Macdonald is a very well-known pastor from the Chicago area.  He is well respected for his achievements academically and for his unapologetic outlook on preaching the Word of God.  He has a heart for church planting and for preaching.  If you live near Chicago, you can attend the church he is Senior Pastor at in Rolling Meadows, IL.

Here is a look into his life, quotes and books.  Enjoy!


Growing up, James lived in Ontario, Canada and even married his high school sweetheart, Kathy, from there.  “James Macdonald received his BA from London Baptist Bible College in Ontario, his MA in 1988 from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois and his D. Min. from Phoenix Seminary in 1996.” (moodypublishers.com)  He, along with others, planted Harvest Bible Chapel in 1988.  Since then it has spread out into 6 additional sister churches hosting 13,000 people weekly.  In 1997 he launched his broadcast ministry, Walk In The Word.  This ministry currently reaches 3 million people on a daily basis through different media outlets including radio, articles and Facebook.  On his webpage, jamesmacdonald.com, you find that he has planted 90 churches and that his “vision is for God to use him to plant 1,000 churches in his lifetime.”  What an amazing goal to accomplish!

James MacDonald Quotes

“God brings tests into your life because your faith in Him--your belief that He is in control and that He is good--can be proved only in times when life is hard.”

How about it?  The book of Job from the Bible definitely revolves around this.  Job went through painful trials and in the end he never stopped believing in God.  If you haven’t read it, try it out!

“Let God, Himself, be the main attraction at church again, and let us be tireless in our insistence that church is for God, about God, through God, and to the glory of His great Son.” 

Can I get an Amen!  Our worship pastor at my church always says, “Don’t come to church to worship, but bring your worship to church!”

“The biggest obstacle to making Christ magnificent is the refusal to make yourself small.” 

How many things distract us daily?  Anything that distracts us from God diminishes the light that He is shining on us.  Not that His light is diminishing, but our sight of that light is off track.

“Where Jesus Christ is at work, things are happening that cannot be explained by rational categories. We understand them rationally, but cannot elucidate their means or replicate them ourselves.”

“While you can't keep fear from visiting, you can slam the door in its face. With God's promise in your hand, that's exactly what you are able to do.”


James has written many books about different topics dealing with: the church, family, the Bible and others.  Here are three of his more popular books and a description of each.

Lord, Change My Attitude

The title speaks for itself.  This book focuses on you and your attitude towards life circumstances.  While you can’t change the things that happen to you, you can decide how you will think and act in those times.  Just because bad things happen doesn’t mean you have to be negative about it.  You can think positively and experience joy in the hard times.

Vertical Church What Every Heart Longs for. What Every Church Can Be.

This book focuses on how a church should be.  We need to stop thinking horizontally (the people) and start thinking vertically (God).  It’s easy to be complacent and think “this is what I’m supposed to do for my brothers and sisters.”  But when we have our focus on God, complacency is destroyed.  Then we can think “Yes Lord!  It is an honor to serve You and show Your love to this hurting world!”

When Life is Hard

This is one of his best books!  It seems that trials come at us from all over and we are in this place of wondering “Why?”  James focuses on 5 key questions that arise in trials and gives a wonderful response as to how we should receive our trials and how we should act in them.  This is a must read for anyone who is a Christian because there will be a day when you think a trial is too much for you.


James Macdonald is definitely a man to look up to.  He is on fire for God and his wisdom comes from God.  If you get a chance, check out his “Walk In The Word” broadcasts.  He is a gifted speaker and funny too.  God bless you all!

Related Reading: 20 Well-Known Pastors or Preachers of Today