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7 Questions with Mark Glenn
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Mark Glenn
Name: Mark Glenn
Current title: Pastor & Assessment Coordinator (Australia/NZ & Church in Hard Places)
Current organisation: The Fields Church & Acts 29
I have been married to Katherine for the entirety of this century and have three children. God made it clear to the us that he wanted them to plant a church in the Highlands while spending three months as part of The Fields in Carlsbad, CA. With the blessing of The Fields Church Carlsbad and its elders we returned home and The Fields Church - Australia started in our living room during March 2011. I balance my responsibilities at The Fields alongside running his own building design business, serving as the Assessment Coordinator for Acts 29 in Australia & New Zealand, serving on the leadership of the Rural Collective and filling the role of Assessment Support for Church in Hard Places.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
Balance. I have been bi-vocational since we planted and that at times has involved 3-4 jobs. So, the difficulty is balance between the responsibilities, family and trying to rest.
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
It's a really long story. My wife would say "If we didn't plant (step up to lead) then we would have been swallowed by a big fish and spat up doing it anyway." Basically, we were trying to be equipped to help lead our existing church and during that process, which involved an internship in California for 3 months God made it clear we were to plant a church in our hometown, becoming a leader in that plant.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
It varies greatly. It depends on what is needing to be done and for what area I am working in and what time during the night I have been in online meetings. But each day involves reading my bible, prayer, always something with my kids. Now that may mean a coffee and chat but I catch up with them in some way each day. I have gotten better over the years at going to bed at a somewhat reasonable time and making sure I sit with my wife at some point during the day, either lunch time or before bed.
4. What's one book apart from the Bible that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
The Pastor's Justification by Jared C. Wilson
I read this book at a very difficult time in my ministry. I actually thought that I was doing things all wrong, which no doubt I was, but it reminded me that firstly I was not alone and secondly the gospel and the work of Christ needed to be applied to my heart before I was able to lead others.
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
I am not everyone's parent. My role as a pastor is not to be a parent figure but a shepherd. There is a difference and if you mix it up you will feel the burden of a parent whose children don't listen to you compared to guiding people and pointing them to Jesus.
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
Remembering where you came from when you were given opportunities and responsibility rather than expecting perfection that doesn't even meet your current level of leadership.
Keep communication at the front and understand that people have different capacities and gifting. See who is doing the job, or trying to do fulfil the role before you sick them into it.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a church leader so far?
We have seen the core group of our church plants kid go from enthusiastic little ones to now steering the church. Seeing them take ownership and call it their church, not in some way that defines where they go on a Sunday but ownership that they take responsibility, serve and steer what the church is now. They are the most committed and involved of our members and they have been there from the start.