Shari Thomas

Shari is mom to three birth children as well as many others who have wiled their way into her heart. Although she raised children abroad, wrestled through an intense marriage and survived a rare form of cancer, she claims church planting as her most difficult life experience. However, through an understanding of the gospel story and its intersection with her story, she’s discovered a freedom and joy she didn’t know was possible.  She is passionate about inviting others to this same freedom and the explosive power of the gospel. 

She has been partnering with her husband, John, in church planting and the pastorate for 34 years. Shari researched and helped develop the church planter spouse profile, which is used in church leader assessments in a variety of denominations. After completing further research on the stress and satisfaction levels of church planting spouses in the PCA, she joined Mission to North America’s senior staff as founder and director of Parakaleo, a ministry that comes alongside church planting spouses, couples, and movements.

Shari and her husband live in Manhattan where John is the Director of Global Training for Redeemer City to City and she directs Parakaleo.

Books by Shari Thomas

Articles By Shari Thomas

Is It Finished for Our Relationships?

Saturday December 20, 2014


I love Christmas in the City! That is, until I begin to think of where everyone is going to sleep. This isn’t the hardest part of apartment living though. It’s the clutter, the small spaces, the noise and lack of privacy. Combining these with the typical familial dynamics most of us experience during the holidays, it could be a recipe for disaster.

Finding Your Place in God’s Cosmic Story

Monday August 11, 2014

In this series of blog posts, I’ve been exploring the myths of story, the value of sharing our stories, and the importance of seeing our stories in light of God’s cosmic Story—the story of redemption.

Speaking of Story…

Thursday July 10, 2014


Earlier this month I was in Tacoma, Washington, my mother’s birthplace. Little did I know I was about to run headlong into my past and experience a stream of redemption washing back into history, my history.

God’s Story, My Story

Monday June 30, 2014

christian life

I GREW UP IN A FAMILY OF STORYTELLERS, and many of the stories told were from the Bible. I heard about two undisciplined sons who died for their folly and their fat, priestly father who obviously fathered poorly and did not care well for his people. Upon learning of his sons’ death, he fell over dead. I thought, “Les­son One: Don’t be foolish! Lesson Two: When I have kids, I better teach them well, or else! Lesson Three: Don’t get fat!”

What Drives Us to Live the Way We Live?

Friday May 30, 2014


I used to love May with its increasing warmer weather, greening grass and signs of summer right around the corner. I could hardly stick with bedtime routines, wanting the kids to enjoy the lengthening nights, fireflies and the first sounds of crickets.

Mothers, Snake Handlers and Christ figures

Friday May 9, 2014


I was hoping for five minutes. Just five minutes alone in the shower. The thought of showering without interruptions, without cries for help or utter silence indicating something was amiss, was my most luxurious wish in those early years of mothering.