And behind all of the amazing leaders that I’ve spent the last week telling you about stands an amazing man. Our lead pastor is a phenomenal man. I have the privilege of sharing my life with him, so I know him well.
Mark was a youth pastor for over a dozen years, which took us on an incredibe journey that molded and shaped our lives into who we are now. For at least ten of those years Mark never dreamed of starting a church. In fact, I’m pretty sure that would have been the job that he wanted the least…ironically it has become his greatest joy in ministry.
Several years ago, Mark knew his days in youth ministry were coming to a close. It was bittersweet because we both really loved that era of our lives. However, when God begins to tug at your heart, you are never quite comfortable. After much research, prayer, and counsel, his path was obvious. He would join the ranks of those who have sacrificed and stepped out in faith to start a church from scratch.
Mark is dripping with optimism and faith. I’m not sure the thought ever crossed his mind that this might not work. I believe that is because God whispers to a pastor’s heart differently than the rest of us. The mantle of ministry is a heavy one…one that I would not wish for on anybody. I think God is gracious to those that have a pastor’s heart. A common thread for those in ministry is a strong determination mixed with a sensitivity that can easily break a man.
Mark is a leader that allows other people to be their best. He is so deeply confident in who God made him that he has no problem letting others be better in the giftings that God has given to them. He is an enabler in ministry. He will use people far before they are “perfect” and “ready” because he so deeply believes in the using the gifts God has given us…at the level that they currently are.
He strives for excellence in everything he does and suffers deeply when he lets someone down. He has an insane attention to detail, which is famous for being labeled as “intense”. We are blessed to be following a man of integrity. What you see is what you get. He has no ability to be guarded or pretentious.
Mark loves to laugh, which is probably his favorite part of being a dad. He enjoys the small moments of life. He lives for your stories of changed lives and bursts with excitement when you grow in your life. His intentions are pure and his reason for being a leader has nothing to do with titles and egos. He is called by God to preach the Word and that humbles him daily. It’s what I admire about him the most.