Family Christian: We are excited about your new book “If”. The idea of using your worries as a springboard to a new future is an intriguing idea. What was your inspiration for this book?
Mark: Everybody has a favorite chapter in the Bible. Romans 8 is mine. It’s got everything! It starts with no condemnation in Christ. It ends with nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. And right in the middle it says all things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose! But the key verse to me is Romans 8:31—If God is for us, who can be against us. That’s the game-changer! There are 1,784 ifs in the Bible, but that’s my favorite.
Family Christian: “If” is filled with great content, but if you could condense this down to one primary thought for readers to take away what would it be?
Mark: God is for you every day, in every way!
Family Christian: Same question Mark, but this time for Pastors. What do you hope Pastors, or those serving in ministry will take away from “If”?
Mark: Pastors set the tone, set the standard. When you create a culture where people actually believe that God is for them, the church turns into a faith-filled atmosphere where anything can happen!
Family Christian: Speaking of pastors, this is Clergy Appreciation Month. Do you have a suggestion for how lay people can show appreciation for their pastors/ministry leaders?
Mark: I love gift cards! It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
Family Christian: Could you share with us one encouraging verses for Pastors to focus on during Clergy Appreciation month?
Mark: Jesus said, “I will build my church.” Emphasis on I and my. It’s His church, not ours. And if we can stay out of the way of what God wants to do, some amazing things can happen! We say it this way at NCC: if you stay humble and stay hungry, there is nothing God cannot do in you or through you.
Family Christian: We know you are a talented author, so we have to ask…what are YOU reading right now?
Mark: I had a little sabbatical this summer, first one in nineteen years of pastoring. So I had the chance to do lots of reading! I love biographies—helps me put my story in perspective. So I read biographies on George Washington, the Wright Brothers, and Andrew Jackson to name a few. I’m also at a place where I’m really trying to manage priorities and establish boundaries that are healthy and holy. I loved Essentialism by Greg McKeown and the classic book by Henry Cloud and John Townsend, Boundaries.
Family Christian: Finally, we’d love to know how we can be praying for you and your family Mark.
Mark: I have the joy and privilege of pastoring a church in the nation’s capital. Frankly, we’re praying for revival to start here. Why not? As we head into a presidential election year, I know all eyes will be on DC. I also know that our hope is not in the government, but in the King of Kings.