Mid-Year Update from Mark Conner

Hi there. I haven’t blogged for a while so I thought it was time for a mid-year update.

Can you believe we are into the second half of 2019!? Time sure flies, and more so as you get a little older. I turn 58 years old in a few months time and I often wonder where the years went. It seems like yesterday I was only 20 years old! With more of my life behind me, it definitely makes me consider what is important and what has meaning for me. Simply being ‘busy’ or accumulating more stuff or becoming more ‘popular’ quickly looses its significance. Family and friendships become more meaningful. So does reflection and contemplation. How easy it is to be living in the ‘fast lane’ without ever thinking about your life and its overall direction. Doing work that makes a genuine difference in the lives of people also matters more.

What about you? Have you paused to think about your own life lately, what you are learning and where you are heading? The clock tends to dominate our world – “what time is it and how much have I got done today?” In contrast, the compass is an important measurement instrument that so often gets neglected. It is more about direction than speed and it prioritises purpose over mere progress.

In the last 12 months …

My dad and step-mum, Kevin and Rene Conner, both passed away. They lived full lives and influenced a lot of people. I miss them both but I’m very thankful for their input and encouragement to me over the years. I’ve been putting quite a bit of time into ensuring my dad’s legacy lives on through his teachings. His web site has information about all of his books, a new podcast of his teaching through the years, and two new online video courses, which were his original ‘Key of Knowledge’ seminar that equipped hundreds of people around the world to study and interpret the Bible for themselves.

Nicole and I relocated to Melbourne last May after 18 months living in the Sunshine Coast. We loved our time in Queensland. It was a time to refresh, refuel, and re-calibrate after many decades of crazy-busy ministry leading a large, growing church. However, we missed Melbourne (even the rain … and the four season in one day!) and especially our family. In the end, for us, relationships trumped geography. After renting in the Blairgowrie area on the Mornington Peninsula for a year, we are now renting in Elwood – near the city and the Bay. What a beautiful part of our city.

Nicole and I recently celebrated 33 years of married life. Nicole is engaged in a variety of things at the moment, including teaching part time at Eastern College for their history subjects as one of their adjunct lecturers and she has also recently launched her own narrative therapy practice.

Personally, I am enjoying being part of the teaching team at Bayside Church for Rob and Christie Buckingham where I speak about once a month as well as speaking at other churches (including a few churches in Perth that I am assisting) and training events (see my schedule) and providing personal coaching to quite a few church leaders around Australia. I am thoroughly enjoying this new season of life and ministry. I sure don’t miss the constant pressure and burden of leading a large, complex organisation. For me, it’s all about a “a slower pace, a simpler life, and a smaller world”, which was why I decided to make a significant vocational change back in early 2017 (see “Time to Say Goodbye“).

Last year, I wrote three new books. I have another three books all ready to write but just need to allocate some time to do so. Hopefully, I’ll get started in the next few months. My new podcast is starting to gain more interest too (also available on Apple iTunes).

Well, that’s all from me with this mid-year update.

I’ll finish with a prayer for you from the apostle Paul … which I will be speaking on at Bayside this coming weekend as part of a message entitled ‘Finding Hope’.

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