About Us.


Gateway Leadership Initiative launched 18 years ago with a vision to mobilize thousands of “come as you are” leaders to lead “come as you are” churches. Our efforts are focused on:

  • Inspiring leaders to start, grow and multiply new churches that help people move from lost to leading and serving in the Church.
  • Discovering leaders with the ability and experience needed for church planting.
  • Equipping leaders for starting new “come as you are” churches formed from people far from God.
  • And Multiplying new churches as part of the reproducing movement.


  • Leaders are the key to healthy churches that effectively reach those distant from God.
  • New churches must be formed by gathering those far from God.
  • Church multiplication is a core principle of Kingdom growth.
  • Collaboration allows us to do more than we can do separately.
  • Our efforts must be true to the Scripture under the direction of the Holy Spirit.


jburke imageJohn Burke – President & Founder 
John is the author of New York Times Bestseller Imagine Heaven: Near-Death Experiences, God’s Promises, and the Exhilarating Future that Awaits YouNo Perfect People AllowedSoul Revolution and Unshockable Love (Mud and the Masterpiece), all written to help people go from lost to leading.  He and his wife, Kathy, planted Gateway Church in Austin, Texas. Gateway started with one small group that grew to a Network of groups reaching their friends and neighbors. Since 1998, Gateway has grown to over 4,500 people, made up mostly of unchurched people who began actively following Christ at Gateway.

John has spoken in 24 countries to over 300,000 church leaders and Christians about reaching a postmodern, post-Christian culture. Before Gateway, John served as an Executive Pastor and missionary in the U.S. and Russia. He and Kathy have been married twenty-nine years and currently reside in Austin, Texas, with their two children, Ashley and Justin.

Blog: johnburkeonline.com 
Facebook: facebook.com/J0hnBurke Twitter: twitter.com/J0hnBurke Email: john@gatewaychurch.com


rick dunnRick Dunn – Executive Director
 Pastor Rick Dunn comes to Gateway Leadership Initiative with 28 years of missions and leadership experience in church & parachurch ministries. An expert in training and deploying leaders to fulfill their calling and advance the Great Commission, Rick served with Campus Crusade, Coast Hills Community Church and most recently the Rock Church in San Diego, California.


Rick is also the founder of Global Frontiers Project, fulfilling his passion to see the Nations know the name of Jesus Christ, and planting churches where there were previously none. He also serves as the Associate Director of the “Finishing the Task” Movement seeking to enlist churches to take the responsibility for 631 Unengaged, Unreached People Groups throughout the world. Rick and his wife Mary-Beth, reside in Point Loma, California.


They have three sons Tucker, Ty & Trey.
Connect with Rick: Blog | Twitter

Email: Rick@gatewayleaders.com

Jason Neese M.A., M.Th., MFT – Client Relationship & Assessment Catalyst  Pastor Jason Neese has 15 years working in ministry and is dedicated to developing pastors. Jason received his Master’s in both Theology & Marriage, Family and Child Therapy from Fresno Pacific University.  He brings many years of experience both within the walls of the church and outside in the public/private practice, schools, county mental health and college campuses.  He has worked extensively with assessments and a wide range of other clinical issues.

Jason has always had a heart for pastors and church planting and most recently as partnered with Gateway Leadership Initiative.  Jason will be focusing on expanding the GLI family, both new and old, being a master coach and will lead the development team for our One Day Assessment Center.

Jason and his late wife, Britton (who he is still crazy about), have four kids Meran, Jameson, Sutton, and Bellan (who are crazy about their dad) and live in Bonsall, California.


Email: Jason@gatewayleaders.com


The Bible
We believe the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are given by God’s inspiration, and in the original writings they are without error. We believe the Scriptures were written by God through people and therefore speak with the authority of God while reflecting the backgrounds, styles, and vocabularies of the human authors. They are the unique and final authority on all matters of Christian faith and practice.

We believe in one God, creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. We believe he was raised from the dead, ascended into heaven, and now acts as the only mediator between God and people.

The Holy Spirit
We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit, as the third person of the Trinity, is to apply the saving work of Christ. He does this by bringing conviction of a person’s need for the forgiveness of Christ. He regenerates their heart and then permanently indwells them when they believe. His ongoing work is to guide, instruct, and empower the believer for godly living and service.

We believe that people were created in the image of God for a loving relationship with God. However, people have rebelled against God, actively or passively choosing to go their own independent way. As a result, we’re separated from God and suffer the corruption of our nature because of our sin. The effects of this fall from our intended relationship with God can be reversed through faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins.

We believe that Jesus Christ died as the substitution for the death penalty we owed. No amount of good works or human effort can restore us from our state of eternal alienation from God. It is only by God’s free grace that we are saved from this state of alienation, and this grace is appropriated by a change of heart toward God’s leadership in our lives and by faith in Jesus to forgive our sins.

The Church
We believe that there is only one true Church universal composed of all people who have asked Jesus Christ for forgiveness and made Him leader of their lives. The diversity of all believers working together, using their gifts to build up one another, form the parts of the body of Christ, the Church. The scripture commands believers to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, the teaching of God’s Word, using our gifts to build up one another, outreach, communion, and baptism. Wherever God’s people meet in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the church. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church, and that every local church has the right under Christ to decide and govern its own affairs.

Spiritual Growth
We believe that transformation, growth and life change are evidence of a person’s connection to God. As we continue to pursue a real relationship with God He will continue to change us to become more like Christ. But it requires our willingness and intentionality.