In November I am starting a new chapter of ministry in Oklahoma as the Director of Pastoral Development & Regional Ministry Partner for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. For those who want to know a little bit more, keep reading. 

LifeWay 


Five years ago LifeWay’s CEO Thom Rainer asked me to start a new department for pastors, and I really had no idea what was on the other side of that “yes.” If I had known, then I would not have taken a whole month to pray about it! In those five years, I have had the privilege of encouraging roughly 20,000 pastors, spouses, and seminarians at roughly 150 events. 

That. Is. Crazy!

Perhaps the best part was that Janet was by my side for half of those events. I am so proud of how God used her authentic, encouraging voice to cheer on pastors’ wives at 70+ date nights and conferences.

I look forward to seeing how LifeWay will serve pastors in fresh, new ways under the leadership of new CEO Ben Mandrell. He is an experienced church planting-pastor, and I’m optimistic about his emerging vision and LifeWay’s future.

Oklahoma Baptists


This post does not adequately capture my excitement about my new ministry to Oklahoma pastors and churches alongside new teammates Drs. Dilbeck, Ligon, Swain, Selby, and many others. In addition to my statewide assignment, I will live and serve in the northeast region of Oklahoma. We hope to move to metro Tulsa sometime around the end of the year. 

Additionally, Oklahoma Baptists’ Executive Director, Dr. Hance Dilbeck has unselfishly encouraged me to continue speaking outside of Oklahoma, which I/we are happy to do, within reason. For example, Janet and I have several events already scheduled with other state conventions, associations, seminaries, and of course–LifeWay. 

An article and podcast about my new role came out yesterday in the Oklahoma Baptist Messenger.

Those who know me well, realize what a great fit this is going to be, but I saved the best part for last…

FAMILY


One of our biggest blessings in moving to Oklahoma is that we will be moving much closer to our family who lives in Arkansas, Texas, and New Mexico. Holly, Brad, and Brandon (son-in-law) live in Arkansas, and my parents and siblings live in Texas. Janet’s parents will move to Tulsa also, which cuts the trip in half for their other daughter in New Mexico. 

Oh, and I’m on a hunting lease in Kansas 2.5 hours north of Tulsa. What?!

Thank you for being interested enough to read all the way to the end!

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Press on!

mark