Marcus Bieschke’s Resume
My Core Conviction
The Apostle Paul wasn’t kidding when he said, “Now YOU are the Body of Christ” (1 Co 12:27). My steely resolve is to energetically apply my gifts to build the Church… the way God intended.
The Body of Christ is intended to be a living, dynamic movement, not a monument; a revolution, not an institution; a people, not a place; a refuge for the world, not from the world; a change catalyst, not a change cadaver. In other words, it is supposed to be… different from what most people experience today.
In our disconnected postmodern world—a world of unprecedented spiritual receptivity where people have rejected the Church but not Christ—we have a unique opportunity to represent the exquisite power and hope of Christ through synergized, connected, incarnational ministry and partnerships that more accurately reflect God’s very nature.
I’m a grateful trophy of God’s grace. I’m also a full-out addict to His guidance. Because of that, I’m devoting my life to leading, feeding and nurturing a team of leaders in the pursuit of re-architecting the Body of Christ to be the revolutionary, redemptive, life-changing and world- transforming force it was intended to be.
It’s this God-given dream of a truly biblical community that causes sleepless nights and a holy discontent… one I’m confident God will fulfill in our lifetime. And we haven’t a moment to lose.
My unique perspective of the church
Ecclesiology matters. When it comes to the Church, I have a unique perspective grounded in bold theology.
Great churches COME and GO—literally. They are attractional and incarnational. They gather and scatter.
Most often that’s because great leaders hear Jesus’ profound proclamation of “As the Father sent Me, so I send you” (John 20:21) and realize that Jesus’ incarnational model (John 1:14) is nothing short of our incarnational mandate (1 Co 12:27). They recognize and respond to the purposeful dance as seen in the Book of Acts to both “Come & See” and “Go & Be.”
Not learning and leading from this framework is, frankly, why the church in the Northern and Western Hemispheres is generally in sharp decline, but the Church in the Southern and Eastern Hemispheres is experiencing dramatic growth. When the model of the local church becomes excessively institutional, mechanical, hierarchical, and inward-focused, its impact inevitably withers and its legacy fades. Such churches become morgues with steeples on top.
But when bold leaders ensure the proper balance or, better yet, the proper harmony between coming and going, they ensure the relentless perpetuation of God’s grand, real, and robust, life-giving redemptive movement—the Body of Christ.
To help you, your leadership team, and your church embody this holy reality–for Christ’s sake–is my heart’s desire.
My Leadership Verse
“David shepherded them with integrity of heart;
with skillfulness of hands he led them.”
— Psalm 78:72
My earnest prayer is to be a pastoral leader of upstanding character and outstanding competence.
DISC: High D with a secondary High I
Enneagram: 8 with a 7 Wing
StrengthsFinder 2.0: Futuristic, Input, Relator, Learner, Belief
Lominger Top Competencies: Action-Oriented, Command Skills, Conflict Management, Intellectual Horsepower, Managerial Courage, Motivating Others, Presentation Skills, Drive for Results, Self- Development, Strategic Agility, Building Effective Teams, Managing Vision & Purpose
I function most effectively within a relationally- rich, spiritual gifts- and team-based approach to ministry in a church culture that is more interested in strategic momentum than status quo maintenance. Helping Spirit-empowered people work together in Christ-centered community to achieve a world-transforming, God-given, shared vision electrifies me.
The goal of my preaching/teaching is not to simply transfer information but to inspire transformation through clear, creative, and compelling exposition and application of God’s Truth to everyday life. Life-changing preaching will always be Text-Centered (authoritative) and Audience-Focused (relevant).
After studying and utilizing well over a dozen different strategic planning methods and tools, my go-to is Tom Paterson’s StratOp model. This is a highly collaborative, team-based strategy-formation system that emphasizes perspective to help leaders first understand where they are and how they got there to then best shape future plans with the sharpest of collective insights.
Personal Core Values
Incarnational Ministry Movement
“Carpe Mañana: How Strong Leadership Can Seize the Future Today” in Leadership Advance Online (Jan, 2005)
“What’s In(novative) with Preaching? Revolutionary Innovations in Proclaiming Truth” in Leadership Advance Online (May, 2005)
“Dancing & Dust: Five Values of Effective Succession Planning” in Leadership Advance Online, Winter 2006.
Israel-Palestine & Jordan
Israel & Jordan Biblical Study Program (2001)
Israel Bible Extension Institute, Jerusalem.
Middle East Conflict Peacemaking Team (Sept, 2012 and June 2014) with WCCC leaders, elders, & staff with The Telos Group.
San Salvador, El Salvador (Sept, 2015)
Leadership development of pastors as well as family-oriented evangelism training.
Yei, Sudan & Nairobi, Kenya (Sept, 2005)
Leadership development of pastors as well as evangelism training and church planting.
Brussels, Belgium (April, 2004)
Church Planting Scouting Team coordinating partnerships with existing churches, ministries, and leaders in planting The Well.
Cameroon, West Africa (May 2000)
Church Planting Team member, Speaker at Regional Pastors’ Leadership Conference, and Preacher at Yaoundé Outreach Crusade.
Harvard Business School
Program for Leadership Development
(AKA “Rapid-Fire MBA”) (2019)
Leading Product Innovation (2017)
Launching New Ventures (2016)
Competitive Decision-Making (2015)
Strategic Negotiations (2014)
Crisis Management Alumni Program (2020)
*HBS Alumnus as of Feb 2019
SCHOOL OF GLOBAL LEADERSHIP & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Doctor of Strategic Leadership
Summa Cum Laude (2005)
Award for Leadership Excellence (2006)
Final Project: “The Church in Emerging Culture”
A seminar series equipping leaders of established, multigenerational local churches to navigate the worldview transition from modernity to post-modernity by analyzing what organizational structures, ministry strategies, and leadership styles are needed in such a whitewater culture of rapid change.
Dallas Theological Seminary
Masters of Theology
Magna Cum Laude (2001)
Emphasis: Pastoral Leadership & Expository Preaching
J. Ellwood Evans Award for Pastoral Leadership
H.A. Ironside Award for Expository Preaching
Transformational Leadership Coaching
(2007-2008) An intensive year-long certification program training executive leaders to coach others toward their highest potential and optimal performance.
FOUNDER & PRESIDENT (Apr 2020 to present)
Serving church & non-profit teams by helping them strategically pivot in our new mid- & post- pandemic reality with innovational leadership. For more detail, see neosparksconsulting.com.
WILLOW CREEK COMMUNITY CHURCH
EXECUTIVE TEAM (Dec, 2018 to Dec 2019)
Provided point leadership to the whole of Willow Creek through overall strategic and directional decision-making, including rearchitecting the culture and systems following Bill Hybels’ sudden resignation and the ensuing crisis.
WILLOW CRYSTAL LAKE
LEAD PASTOR (June, 2008 to Dec 2019)
The lion’s-share of my energies at this family- centric church went to setting overall ministry strategy and direction, teaching, maximizing staff health and engagement, donor discipleship, and leading WCL’s staff, key volunteers, and core to be a redemptive force for and with Christ in our community where the home is the epicenter of spiritual formation (Dt 6:5-9). Since the beginning of my tenure, WCL more than doubled in size requiring us to grow our staff, start new services, plant another church, and, ultimately, oversee the acquisition of a 200k sq. ft. permanent home on a 25-acre property, including point-leading an $18 million campaign and design-build process.
LAUNCH PASTOR (Sept, 2010 to Jan, 2012)
Architecting and overseeing the launch of Willow’s 1st grandchild in Huntley, IL included raising funds, locating venue, hiring staff, building core, recruiting volunteer teams, developing donor base, and, ultimately, finding, training and transitioning senior leadership to WH’s new Lead Pastor in Jan, 2012.
CATALYST OF McHENRY COUNTY
LEADERSHIP TEAM (June, 2008 to 2014)
Led a highly collaborative group of local churches to display the powerful unity of the Body of Christ through coordinated, synergistic relationships and efforts to have a deep and lasting impact in our communities for the sake of Christ.
VIRGINIA BEACH COMMUNITY CHAPEL
LEAD PASTOR (May, 2005 to June, 2008)
In addition to weekly preaching, vision-casting, and mentoring, I channeled my gifting to cultivate an outward-focused but spiritually-rich culture of learning, leadership development, volunteerism, and missional community. Providing oversight to the Pastoral Team during an organizational refocusing process toward greater spiritual transformation, we designed and launched Operation NextGen (a leadership development program for potential elders) and Operation Due Diligence (for existing elders), streamlined staff hiring processes, initiated a team-based small groups-driven incarnational outreach ministry called Inside-Out, and strengthened the process and participation of membership.
VIRGINIA BEACH COMMUNITY CHAPEL
PASTOR OF STRATEGY & DISCIPLESHIP
(June, 2002 to May, 2005)
During my first 3 years of service at VBCC, I led the Elder Leadership Team through values and mission discovery, visioneering, strategic planning via scenario-building, vision casting via team preaching with the Senior Pastor, supervising the Pastoral Staff, elder and staff evaluation, catalyzing organizational revitalization (including staff restructuring), and developing a new team-based small groups ministry.
REGENT UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF GLOBAL LEADERSHIP & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
GUEST PROFESSOR (Sept, 2006)
Taught an interactive seminar on Creativity, Innovation & Futuring during the DSL Doctoral Residency.
THE RADLER FAMILY FOUNDATION
BOARD MEMBER & STRATEGY DIRECTOR
(2004 to 2008)
Working closely with the founders of this non-for-profit board based in Fort Worth, TX, my duties included formulating the Foundation’s values, mission, vision, and strategy, assessing grant proposals from numerous international ministries, connecting God’s resources to God’s people doing God’s work, and seeking to network ministries whose need, resources, and vision intersected.
THE MALPHURS GROUP
EAST COAST CONSULTANT (2001 to 2005)
As a member of this strategic planning team led by Aubrey Malphurs of DTS, I equipped leaders through seminars and consultation on Leadership Development, Church in Emerging Culture Issues, Team Building, Futuring, Creativity and Innovation, Church Planting, Church Revitalization, Church Growth, Core Values, Mission, Vision, and Strategy.
VIRGINIA CHURCH CONSORTIUM
CONSORTIUM TEAM LEADER (2004 to 2005)
Helping to lead the synergistic efforts of 9 sister churches in VA’s Hampton Roads area, my contributions as part of this multi-church leadership team included values discovery, mission and vision development, leadership conference planning, and coordinating partnerships in leadership development, world missions, church planting, and local outreach.
WEST HAMPTON BAPTIST CHURCH
PASTOR OF DISCIPLESHIP & ADMIN
(2000 to 2002)
My contributions in this Hampton, VA church involved creating and managing various ministries such as evangelism, discipleship, small groups, young marrieds, guest connection, and a progressive worship service which included service planning and weekly preaching. When the Senior Pastor resigned months after my arrival, I also became the Acting Senior Pastor and was given other responsibilities: pastoral counseling, hospital visitation, strategic planning, and supervision of all practical and pastoral staff.
After the Senior Pastor’s departure, I initiated a conflict resolution process using Peacemaker Ministry methodologies to deal decisively and biblically with division lasting well over 2 decades. While the process was messy and uncomfortable, it worked to restore unity to the congregation and taught me crucial and invaluable lessons around the importance of unity in the Body of Christ.
NORTHWESTERN HOSPITAL (Chicago)
HOSPITAL CHAPLAIN (1995 to 1996)
BAYLOR HOSPITAL (Dallas)
ER & ICU HOSPITAL CHAPLAIN (1999 to 2000)
NeoSparks Innovation Blog
I created NeoSparks to be a different kind of blog on innovation. It’s intended to throw off conversational sparks that will lead to something new, deeper, richer, and more impactful for the One who deserves our best thinking and strongest strategies to impact the world around us with His transforming love and hope. It’s a safe space that allows our core problems to collide with our freshest thoughts. It’s a place to light the fuse of urgency around Kingdom innovation and to fan the flames under the status quo of church-as-usual. It’s a virtual treasure chest of new ideas that will help us to shape a theology of innovation that we can then execute on with relentless momentum to the glory of God and the for the good of all.