Praying for our new West Seattle Expression Pastor, Mark Smith, and his family.
In early October, our elders announced that God had led them to an internal candidate to prayerfully pursue as our West Seattle Expression Pastor. They took 30 days to hear from and discuss with our faith family our new pastoral nominee. After that time and with much affirmation from The Hallows members, we felt it was good and right to move forward. So it is with great excitement that we celebrate an evidence of God’s grace in the life of our faith family by providing a Pastor for our West Seattle Expression in our friend and brother, Mark Smith.
We celebrated this moment in the life of The Hallows Church in a commissioning service on November 21. We gathered to worship our shared Savior, speak words of affirmation over Mark and his family, and pray for him as he steps into this new role.
Mark has served our faith family for the past two years as the Minister of Kids and Families. He’s been faithful in that role, and will actually continue to provide visionary leadership and oversight for this vital area of ministry.
When presenting Mark as the candidate to the West Seattle Expression, Pastor Bryant Jones interviewed him to allow the disciples there the opportunity to get to know him better. This is a summary of that conversation to enable the rest of our faith family the chance to better know Mark as he serves our church in this new capacity:
Bryant: Mark, not everyone here knows this, but you and Amy were a part of The Hallows Church family in the very early days, when there was only the Fremont Expression. What was your role in the life of the church (e.g. were you even in ministry then), and what did Jesus call you to from that season?
Mark: We joined just a few months after the church was planted in Fremont. We immediately jumped into the college and worship ministries. At that time God gave me a passion and love for serving in his church. In 2013, I felt God was calling me to serve in vocational ministry in Guam. We talked with Andrew, and that desire was affirmed and encouraged. God used our three years in Guam to grow me spiritually, mature me personally, and affirm that pastoral ministry is where he was eventually leading me.
Bryant: So Mark, it’s been almost 2 years that you and your family have been back in Seattle. Share with us a little bit of what God was doing in your life that drew you back, and particularly to The Hallows Church.
Mark: We went to Guam with an open-handed perspective that God was going to keep us there for however long he wanted us. But both Amy and I had a love for this church and the city of Seattle. We believed God knit us to be city people, and hoped that one day he might bring us back. There is no other community in Seattle like The Hallows. We have always loved the church’s vision and values, along with its missional focus to magnify and multiply the gospel.
Then God brought us back, and I was able to serve the church the same way I did on Guam, through Kids and Family ministry. However, one of the great things about our staff team is how we work very collaboratively, so I’ve been able to help in more ways than just in that one area of ministry.
Bryant: With moving back, of all the places in the area that you could have landed, you landed in West Seattle. What about this area of the city resonated with your hearts in moving here?
Mark: We immediately felt drawn to this area for the church’s community, cultural diversity, and the opportunities to share the gospel with our neighbors.
Bryant: I remember you sharing with me early on having a particular affection for the people of our West Seattle Expression. Can you talk a little about that?
Mark: As I have been able to minister here, I have felt a burden towards this expression’s need for more localized pastoral leadership. I see how loving and kind everyone is and how anyone would be grateful for God to place them here.
Bryant: And so, here we are today, presenting you as the candidate for the Expression Pastor position. Would you share a little of the journey that brought us here?
Mark: To me, it feels like this has been 6 years in-the-making – God’s sharpening, strengthening, and equipping me. But my prayer is that I would serve the church by following Christ’s example, leading us in proclaiming the Gospel together in our corner of the city, and making His name great.
Feel free to email Mark for more info about him or his tips on excellent white elephant gifts, crazy socks, snazzy blazers, good coffee, great reads and of course, how the gospel applies to life and ministry.