It was February 21st, 2000...exactly 10 years ago today...that Mark Waltz joined the staff at Granger. And I think it was one of the best decisions we've ever made. Mark has contributed to the team in unbelievable ways and helped grow the church into a thriving impact on the community.
I've been thinking the past few days about this decade of ministry he has just completed on the team. Here are a few of my thoughts or memories:
- I remember getting to know Mark during the interview process and literally changing the job description because of his giftedness. We saw an opportunity to capitalize on Mark's retail management background to take Granger miles in making our guests feel welcome. And what an amazing job he has done! Fast forward ten years, and now he's the guy who wrote the book (literally!) on guest services in the church.
- Prior to interviewing Mark, he was just an acquaintance to me. He had been in the church as a volunteer for about three years, and I knew who he was, but we didn't hang out. I'm not sure when Mark and I became friends...but it didn't take long. And today I count him as one of my best friends. We relate to each other on so many levels and there are few people I would miss more if he wasn't around.
- Few people are better at building teams of volunteers than Mark Waltz. When he started he began with 40 or 50 volunteers...now he leads teams with more than 700 volunteers. He is consistently able to infuse his teams with vision--and I am often challenged by his skillful leadership.
- Mark is a great dad to Olivia and husband to Laura. I am awed by his commitment to his family and the way that he refuses to let anything or anyone take priority over them.
So a huge congratulations to you, Mark Waltz. Because you have given your life for a decade...Granger is a better place. Thousands of church leaders around the world are better leaders. And I am a better person.