I’m the Pastor of Communities at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, Nevada.
I’m also the founder of SmallGroupResources.net, offering consulting and coaching services that help churches across North America launch, build and sustain healthy small group ministries.
With over 25 years in ministry, I’ve served in a number of roles. In addition to planting a church, I’ve also served as an Associate Pastor on several teams and Small Group Pastor at Woodlands Church, Lake Avenue Church and Parkview Christian Church. With four years on the consulting staff at Lifetogether and 8 more on my own, I’ve had the privilege of jump-starting, overhauling and fine-tuning ministries around the country. As a host and teacher for several 40 Days of Purpose Campaign Coaching initiatives with Purpose Driven I’ve had the opportunity to guide hundreds of churches through the church-wide campaign process.
I’m also a writer, contributing to the Pastor’s Ministry Toolbox, SmallGroups.com, Small Group Trader and ChurchCentral.com and blogging regularly at MarkHowellLive.com and StrategyCentral.org on a variety of topics including church growth, strategic development, leadership, alignment, and innovation.
While I love what I get to do…it’s not the most important thing to me. I’ve been married to my wife Debbie for 27 years. We have three children and 6 grandchildren. We’re also raising Taylor, an energetic Yorkie.
In my free time I enjoy writing, reading, working in our garden and being outside, and listening to all kinds of music. I’m a student of Aaron Franklin and hope to one day have my own BBQ food truck. I’m a native Californian, a graduate of San Diego State University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
I’ve been blogging since 2005 on a number of different sites. I started out Xanga and pretty quickly figured out that was not the place for me. Switched over to Typepad in June of 2005 and named my blog StrategyCentral (where strategy and mission collide). I still blog there (I’ve written over 1100 articles) and the big idea is that churches and organizations with a mission can draw a lot of insight from best-selling authors like Jim Collins, Gary Hamel, Peter Drucker and Patrick Lencioni. You can sign up to get my updates right here.
MarkHowellLive actually began in February of 2008 (originally on Typepad and moved to WordPress in early 2009). This blog is 100% focused on how to launch, build and sustain an effective small group ministry. Although there are skill training ideas for small group leaders, the content is directed toward small group pastors and directors, senior pastors and executive pastors (i.e., the folks that have to make decisions about what system or model to launch, how to connect people, how to reach their community, etc.). There are two ways to sign up to get the update. You can find out how right here.
Just-in-Time Coaching for Small Group Ministries is a twice monthly email newsletter that I send out to almost 2000 small group pastors and directors around the world. If you’re trying to consolidate your reading and pare down your inbox…this is a great option. It features the most popular articles each month (and includes a timely article from the archives). You can find out more about this free resource, take a look at a sample, and even sign up right here.
If you are new to my blogs, here are some of my most popular posts:
- How to Launch Groups Using a Small Group Connection
- 5 Keys to Sustaining New Groups
- What’s the Best Way to Launch New Small Groups?
- The Exponential Power of a Church-Wide Campaign
- The Difference Between a Cell Group and a Small Group
- Top 10 Reasons Saddleback Has Connected Over 130% in Groups
- How to Choose a Small Group System or Strategy
- Quote: Nothing is Impossible
- IDEO’s Brainstorming Rules
- Purpose First, Strategy Second, Structure Third