Hands to the Plow works with leaders in local churches. We produce teaching materials designed to help church leaders know God’s word and to teach his word to others. When possible, we provide on-site training for church leaders—especially leaders in places where theological training is difficult to access. Our work goes beyond providing biblical training for pastors and leaders. Physical needs often accompany theological needs. We also, in conjunction with local churches, provide physical care for those in need.
Statement of Faith
Hands to the Plow’s board members, staff members, those involved in translation, and those traveling with Hands to the Plow in any ministry capacity joyfully affirm the following:
- We believe in one God, eternally manifested in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- We believe the Bible is the inspired word of God and is absolutely without error in its original manuscripts. We accept the Bible as our final authority on all matters of faith and conduct.
- We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, was buried, was resurrected, ascended into heaven, and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father.
- We believe Jesus Christ is true God and true human.
- We believe Adam’s sin brought sin and spiritual death to all people.
- We believe Jesus Christ lived a blameless life, perfectly fulfilling the will of God the Father in thought, word, and deed.
- We believe Jesus Christ shed his blood as the perfect sacrifice to restore people to God.
- We believe the only way to receive the gift of eternal life purchased by Jesus Christ’s perfect life and atoning death is to confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead.
- We believe Christian baptism is an ordinance established by the Lord Jesus. Baptism marks the believer’s entry into the local church.
- We believe the Lord’s Supper is an ordinance established by the Lord Jesus. The Lord’s Supper marks the believer’s continued remembrance of, acceptance of, and participation in the new covenant instituted by the death and resurrection of Christ.
- We believe Christians should, when possible, join and gladly participate in a local church. Believers should, in obedience to the Scriptures, submit to their leaders in the local church.
- We believe Christians are called to live a life of holiness, exhibiting purity in thought and in action.
- We believe Christians are called to minister the life of Jesus to all nations by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- We believe in the resurrection of the dead, the eternal happiness of the believer, and the eternal punishment of the lost.
- We believe in the soon coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In addition to the above statement of faith, Hands to the Plow’s board members and staff members affirm the following three statements:
Our mission is to carefully teach God’s truths to church leaders in easily understandable ways and to provide physical care for those in need.
Many different people are involved in writing, illustrating, translating, and producing these materials. All of our team members affirm the importance of the local church and are themselves part of a local church. We work with many denominations. Our team is not affiliated with one Christian denomination. All of the people working with Hands to the Plow joyfully affirm our statement of faith.
Welcome to our website! My name is Tom Kelby. I serve as president of Hands to the Plow Ministries. I am married to Sarah. We live in the United States in northwest Wisconsin’s beautiful lake country. We have three children and three grandchildren. It is our joy to work alongside pastors and leaders for the sake of Christ’s church.
We started Hands to the Plow in 1997. At that time, I worked as a copywriter in advertising. This is when I first met Mark Yaeger (Hands to the Plow’s creative director). Mark and I began developing materials for teaching and evangelism. We’re still doing this together today! One of my favorite things is when Mark and I are talking about how to present something in a clearer way and he says, “I have an idea!” You will see many of those ideas in our materials.
I met Jason DeRouchie (Hands to the Plow’s global trainer and content developer) in Hebrew class—he was my professor at University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minnesota. Jason and I developed a great friendship. Soon, Jason and I began hosting retreats for pastors and leaders in northwest Wisconsin.
I am grateful for my years in advertising. The Lord used advertising to help me learn to write. He used pastoral work to help me understand the church. I certainly had—and still have—a lot to learn. For eight years, I pastored Cornerstone Christian Church in Spooner, Wisconsin, the church my wife and I still joyfully attend.
In our spare time, Sarah and I enjoy outdoor activities with our growing family in Wisconsin’s amazing lake country. I also spend a lot of time reading because I am currently pursuing a PhD in Biblical Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. This means, once again, Jason DeRouchie is my professor. I’m a fortunate man!
I didn’t always love or appreciate learning. After a rocky start at the University of Minnesota, I transferred to Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. God graciously rescued me from my own laziness! A desire to know Hebrew and Greek led me to pursue a master’s degree with an emphasis in original languages from University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minnesota. I have a particular interest in the interpretation of the Psalms. That is why I am pursuing further studies in Kansas City. I am so thankful for the opportunity to learn more about our Lord, the Scriptures, and the church. But learning isn’t enough. Learning must lead to obedience. Our Lord is worthy of our very best. I pray this website helps you in your understanding of and obedience to our Savior.
Hi! My name is Jason DeRouchie, and I serve as Research Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and as global trainer and content developer at Hands to the Plow Ministries. I am also an active member at The Master’s Community Church in Kansas City, Kansas.
My passion is to exalt Christ through whole-Bible theology and to help train the next generation of church leaders here and abroad how to faithfully interpret and appropriate their Hebrew Old Testaments as Christian Scripture. My heart longs for the nations to know Christ, and I seek to mobilize men and women to study, practice, and teach God’s word faithfully both here and abroad.
I treasure my wife Teresa, to whom I have been married since 1994. The Lord has blessed us with a table full of children, three of whom came from Ethiopia, a land that I love. As a family, we delight in academic and church ministry and are delighted to be a part of both Midwestern Seminary and Hands to the Plow Ministries.
Our previous years of service and local church involvement have helped us cherish the gospel and love the nations. I now have so many from other cultures whose names and stories I know and whom I love and long to see celebrating Christ in eternity.
As a family, we enjoy camping, hiking, canoeing, and moose-watching, and our favorite place to get away is the north shore of Lake Superior. Whenever possible, I love to return to Ethiopia to help the church train its leaders, care for the poor, and evangelize the lost, including the unreached. Along with leading teaching and service teams through Hands to the Plow, I also help develop resources for training those in under-developed areas.
Before coming to Kansas City, I served as Associate Professor and then Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Theology at Bethlehem College & Seminary (2009–2019), and prior to that I was Assistant Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at University of Northwestern––St. Paul (2005–2009). From 2005–2019 we were active members of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN, where I served as an adult Sunday School teacher and teaching elder. In the past, I also served as an associate pastor of Oak Park Baptist Church in Jeffersonville, IN (2001–2005), and as an instructor of biblical Hebrew and Greek at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Gordon College (1997–2000). Whether operating as teacher, mentor, or writer, I seek to lead in worship of our glorious God and to mobilize men and women for greater service for the sake of Christ. I hope that the time you spend on this site will move you to exalt our risen and reigning Savior.
Hello, my name is Mark Yaeger and I serve as Creative Director for Hands to the Plow Ministries. I am married to my best friend, Kelley. And, aside from the incomparable gift of salvation, Kelley is the best thing in my life. Kelley and I have two sons, Luke and Jack and, by way of marriage to Luke, we now have a beautiful daughter named Taomi. Praise God - they are all walking with the Lord and growing in their faith. Kelley and I live in Minnesota, Unites States. Our youngest son lives in Arizona, United States and our oldest son and daughter-in-law live in England, UK.
I started working in the advertising industry back in 1989 when I came out of college - and I still work in this field to this day. Early on I met and worked with Tom Kelby on some freelance marketing projects. Our friendship and brotherhood grew from that point. Soon after God opened doors for the two of us to collaborate on a ministry project, which also coincided with the beginning of Hands to the Plow Ministries. I’ve been blessed and humbled over the many years to be allowed to apply my God-given talents and skill sets to help develop materials that have been used for His glory.
Along with my duties for Hands to the Plow, I am a partner and creative lead at DKY, a marketing agency in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I am extremely blessed to have 3 Jesus-loving business partners - all with a heart to serve Christian ministries to further the gospel message and to assist the needy. The partnership between DKY and HTTP is amazing - and, God willing, will be in place until Jesus returns.
Please explore, use, and print the materials found here. We also invite you to explore getting involved in other ways, whether this involves requesting training for your area, hosting a teaching seminar, translating materials, or giving.
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