Like many Pentecostals, I woke up to the news this morning that Dr. Mark Walker, pastor of Mount Paran Church of God in Atlanta was joining the staff of Lee University to head up ministerial training. What does this mean and how could change things for future Pentecostal preachers?
Let me stay clearly that Mark Walker has been an amazing pastor and he has lead a large church that believes in the baptism of the Holy Spirit and has been a voice of Pentecost to another generation. There is no questioning that.
He also has been regularly found on major committees within the Church of God including the International Executive Council of Church of God. To say that he is well respected and valued by other pastors in the movement goes without saying.
What will Mark Walker be doing?
A lot of questions are still be asking but it seems that he will over seeing ministry training and give leadership to Department of Christian Ministries. He will continue to serve on the Board of Trustees and President’s cabinet.
The positive thing about this is that he will be mentoring people from a position of how to grow a church. So many professors in bible colleges have no experience in how to plant or grow a church. They have either never been a pastor or only led smaller churches.
A criticism that might be legit is that most Church of God congregations are less than 200 people so how does Walker mentor small church pastors? I actually would like to see that trend that most churches are small change. We need to see more mega-churches than more struggling neighborhood churches. America has a changing culture and how they view spirituality is changed with them.
Concerns about Mark Walker leading Ministerial training?
As a revivalist and evangelist, I am concerned that he will focus too much on pastoral care and doing the ministry from that perspective. For what reason, revival is not something that is a core value of Church of God training anymore. I believe this part of the reason that they do not see the outpourings happen in their churches like other Pentecostal movements do.
The other challenge that I see is that he has no real experience with evangelists. While he could lean from the perspective of a traveling pastor; he has never been an evangelist. Hopefully, they will ask someone like Perry Stone to help fill this void.
At the end of the day, I wish Mark Walker the best in this role and I think anything they do at Lee University is an improvement.