I surrendered to the pastoral ministry at youth camp the summer before my senior year of High School. Jim Mitchell, my youth pastor, was never shy to (proverbially) throw people into the deep end and so the Sunday night following camp I preached my first sermon. I sure that sermon was…um…brilliant. Or at least brilliantly short.

Seminary followed college and taught me approximately 2 things – I am not called to youth ministry and I had a long way to go before leading a church.

The summer after graduating from seminary, Tommy Teague and Danny Roberts offered me a job as missions pastor at NRHBC. It was either NRHBC or more seminary, so I am confident that I made the right choice.

NRHBC is a wonderfully healthy church. A great place for a thick skull to learn.

After 3 years at NRHBC, a reckoning had to occur. My calling is to be a pastor – a preaching pastor – and around 2008, I felt the pull towards shepherding a church.

At the same time, I realized that I wasn’t satisfied with the direction the American Church was headed. It seemed too cute, too plastic-y; looked too much like American culture and not enough like Jesus. In thinking about this disconnect, between the Church and Jesus, I started to read. One common theme in the books I read was some type of connection between the authors and Fuller Theological Seminary.

Fuller is an evangelical school in Pasadena, California that is on the leading edge of combining missions and church leadership. Fuller’s professors write the books that professors at other seminaries assign to their students. Therefore, I enrolled in Fuller’s Doctor of Ministry program in the spring of 2009.

In my mind, enrolling in the DMin program included a commitment to stability. At the same time, Janet and I started a family, which expanded rather quickly, and I had no interest in adding a new ministry location to the stresses of new kid(s) and new school.

I targeted January of 2013 as a time to start looking for a position as lead pastor of a church. This time frame wasn’t a secret – I told Pastor Tommy and Danny in 2011 and Pastor Scott when he arrived in June of 2012.

In January, I started to work on those things I would need to find a job, resume, blog, networking, etc. and started to circulate my resume.

In February, Pastor Scott asked me to be the campus pastor of NRHBC’s prospective new satellite. This request was a great honor. After a few weeks of discussing details with Scott and Danny, of getting advice from family & friends, and most importantly in prayer, Janet and I felt like this is what God was leading us to do.

Starting this fall, I will transition from Minister of Missions/Awesomeness/Couples/Discipleship to Campus Pastor. The goal is to launch on Easter Sunday (April 20) 2014.

We are blessed and excited.

For more information on NRHBC’s endeavor, which is entitled Better Together, go to http://www.nrhbc.org/together Below is a video explaining my role as Campus Pastor.

We covet your prayers.

Mark

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