Rev. Mark Garrett

Current Ministry Role

Lead Pastor at College Park Church of the Nazarene
College Park, MD

Years in Ministry

16-24 Years

Areas of Passion

Preaching, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Direction


Short-term (1-3 months) or Episodic

Why Mentoring?

When I graduated from seminary I was appointed a mentor pastor that was not helpful for me due to many different factors - The number one issue was, he could not relate to a younger minister and I was not a good listener. I was forced to search out and find ministers on my district (Mid-Atlantic) that could identify where I was coming from and were passionate about community ministry as I am. I would hope that I could be a good listener and guide to someone starting out in pastoral ministry.

Impactful Books

Henri Nouwen. In the Name of Jesus. Nouwen bases this book on three temptations that every minister faces in Christian ministry, which run parallel to Jesus' temptations in the wilderness. I have read this book almost every year since I have pastored fulltime to help me be reminded and drawn back to what actually matters in ministry - To be loved by God and serve in God by serving others in humility and love.

Richard Foster. Celebration of Discipline. Foster has a timeless way of introducing followers of Christ to the spiritual disciplines, which the early fathers and mothers of our faith depended upon for their foundation of spiritual development. I have read and used this book as a resource for teaching many times.

Jurgen Moltmann. The Crucified God. Moltmann has a masterful way of pointing out the many pitfalls the Church can step into, but then draws primary attention to the suffering and risen Jesus Christ as the one to place our faith upon. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Moltmann in my under-grade and then to read his basic words for a series of lectures he gave at seminary. Until I read Moltmann, I had a difficult time understanding the great love, which could lead the incarnate God not only to suffer and die for humanity, but also to live and be present with humanity.

Brian McLaren. A New Kind of Christianity. When I read this book, it revolutionized my view of Christianity. I had been raised in a legalistic home and my view of God had certainly expanded through my theological training at Olivet and then NTS, but I still viewed many aspects of my faith in only black and white terms. This book helped to broaden my view of God as the loving and living God who desires relationship more than anything else.

Rob Bell. Velvet Elvis. I loved this book when it first came out. Bell has a gift of dusting off and reclaiming our Christian faith by showing how it has been built upon its Jewish foundation. His word studies and interest in how the Jewish faith points to Jesus Christ's fulfilment as Messiah is masterful and refreshing. I realize that he went forward and wrote Love Wins, which was hotly debated as him dismissing the possibility of Hell. However, I think his primary conclusion and point was not to dismiss hell, but to without question focus upon God's love in Jesus the Christ.

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