|written by: Mark Prater, Executive Director for SGM
It’s been about three months since I started serving in my new role with Sovereign Grace. During that time, I’ve been asked dozens of times, “Hey, what’s it like to be the Executive Director?” Honestly, I don’t really know yet. I’ll let you know once I figure that out. But here is what I do know: Sovereign Grace exists because of Jesus Christ, and we exist to make Him known.
It’s a common occurrence—usually several times a week—that when I think about our churches, the pastors who lead them, and the members who fill them, I remember that every pastor and every member in our churches is purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. One of my favorite verses in Scripture, Acts 20:28, emphasizes this truth. Paul is speaking to the elders from Ephesus and he says to them, “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.”
Every member in each of our churches is obtained by the precious blood of Jesus. Because Jesus shed his precious blood, every pastor and member in our churches is precious in God’s sight! Even though I’m still figuring this Executive Director thing out, I do know this: if you are precious in God’s sight, then that truth affects everything I do.
I remind myself of this truth almost daily because it helps me remember not only what I’m called to do, which is to serve you and our churches, but also it reminds me why Sovereign Grace even exists. We are truly a family of churches who only exist because Christ obtained us with His precious blood, and in response to that staggering truth, our mission as a family of churches is to make Jesus known. It’s that simple, and yet it’s that profound. Simple in the sense that we exist only because of Jesus; profound in the sense that we get to participate in something far grander and greater than us—the mission of proclaiming the good news of Jesus to every tribe, tongue, and nation.
As we move forward, taking with us the lessons learned from the last couple of years, as we implement our new polity, as we refine our Book of Church Order, let us not lose site of why we really exist. We exist to tell others about the sin-washing, wrath-removing, life-giving blood that was shed by our Savior Jesus Christ.
In that same conversation that Paul had with the Ephesian elders in Acts 20, he said something that captures our future together: “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).
Let us, Sovereign Grace, finish our course by devoting our lives, resources, and church planting efforts to testifying to the gospel of the grace of God. Let’s pray that God would give us grace to play our small part in making Jesus known to those who have yet been redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb.
Mark Prater is the executive director of Sovereign Grace, leading us in our mission to plant and build churches with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Mark has served as an elder at Covenant Fellowship Church since 2002. In 1996, he led a church-planting team to Pittsburgh in order to begin Providence Church. Mark has also served as the director for the Sovereign Grace Church Planting Group and regional representative overseeing the Northeast region of churches in the United States.