Vision Revision – What Are You Doing with What You Have? Pastor Mark Cowart

Vision Revision – What Are You Doing with What You Have?
Pastor Mark Cowart

Pastor Mark Cowart has been in full-time ministry for over 26 years.  His call to serve the body of Christ results in his total commitment to prayer, the Word of God, the local church, and reaching the nations. 

With a ceaseless energy to advance the kingdom of God, Pastor Mark has sought to fulfill Mark 11:17, “…and my house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations” in his own life as well as in those he has been commissioned to lead.

He is the senior pastor of Church For All Nations, a thriving, non-denominational, multi-cultural church with two campuses in Colorado Springs, Colorado and other satellite campuses to include Liberal, Kansas, and Littleton, Colorado.

With the mission of empowering locally, sending globally, and reaping eternally, Church For All Nations is diligent in its pursuit to produce kingdom leaders who are kingdom minded. 

Pastor Mark is also a founding member of a Global Network of pastors and leaders currently reaching as far as India. The network includes over 800 pastors and churches who are aligned with the mission and vision of Church For All Nations.  This network is committed to coach, teach, train and mentor every leader called to impact their world. The global network is positioned to accomplish the Great Commission globally.

Pastor Mark is the husband of Linda Cowart and father to three sons, David, Stephen and Wesley who serve with them in the ministry.

For more information about Pastor Mark, you may visit

Several years ago I taught a series to our church entitled “The Power of Vision.” I went into great detail about the importance of having a clear and concise vision for every aspect of life and committing it to writing. I explained that after your vision has been written, there would be times that you would need to do a vision revision. This is simply a time for reviewing what you have written and a time for taking a fresh look at where you are in relation to your vision, so that necessary adjustments can be made.

Revisiting my vision is always an enjoyable time for me.  To see how I have changed, the accomplishments that have been, and how circumstances have changed is always exciting. It is also a time to consider what has NOT happened and how to make course corrections. There are things I had written that did not come to pass as I thought they would, but it was very important for me to have written them down to learn from my successes and mistakes.

In this article, I want to focus on the topics of relationship, stewardship, and leadership that come directly from our CFAN vision statement. More specifically, I want to look at the power of right relationships.

The word relationship can evoke various feelings and meaning within all of us, creating a multitude of emotions and thoughts. For instance, some people might remember a bad relationship that makes them want to quickly think of something or someone else. For another, the thought of relationship might speak to an affiliation that needs to be mended or strengthened. Others recall very special relationships that have enriched their lives immensely. Regardless of what may surface when you hear the word relationship, it is one of the most important words you will ever encounter, because everything God does in our lives, He does through relationships. Consequently, everything the devil does in our lives is also through relationships. It is of utmost importance that we guard our relationships and are careful to choose the relationships God has for us.

Relationship has been defined as a “significant connection or similarity between two or more things, or the state of being related to something else.” This is especially meaningful in light of the fact that we are the body of Christ. The way the apostle Paul used the analogy of the human body in 1 Corinthians 12 to better understand the body of Christ, helps us see that it is very important to be in right relationship.

Because everything God does in our lives is through relationship, it is very important that we understand this vital subject. In our vision statement we have recognized and defined the following about relationship:

Life is influenced and directed through our relationships; therefore, we recognize the value of developing healthy, functional relationships to include our intrapersonal relationship, our relationship with God, family and others.

When we came into this world we had no choice in our relationships. We could not choose our parents or siblings early in life. Some of us were born into blessed circumstances, while others were not.  As we grew older we developed the capacity to make decisions, and it became extremely important that we made the decision to have right relationships. Let’s consider a few examples of right and wrong choices in relationships.

Wrong Relationships
I remember watching a documentary on a tragic high-profile murder case that happened several years ago. It was heartbreaking and gut-wrenching to listen to a young man sitting in a prison cell being interviewed by one of the major television network reporters. He wept as he told how sorry he was for what had happened and how he never wanted to be a part of what had taken place, but he became fearful and did not have the courage to say no to the two accomplices. His connection to those he was with, which in this case, were not good people, cost him his freedom for the rest of his life.

Because of his relationship with the two men who were the driving force behind the murder, he was guilty by association. Through many tears, this young man explained how he was now going to spend the rest of his life in prison knowing he foolishly participated in something he will regret for the rest of his life. In addition to that, his wrong choices caused pain to the victim’s family. Wrong relationships can affect others around us.

If he simply had the courage to choose better relationships, his life would be different today. The Word of God contains the right advice for him. “My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them! They may say, ‘Come and join us. Let’s hide and kill someone! Just for fun, let’s ambush the innocent!’” (Proverbs 1:10-11 NLT)

Right Relationships

The year was 1934, and there were revival meetings, led by Evangelist Mordecai Ham, that were going strong.  Scores of people were being saved.  A young man was invited to attend the meetings at the urging of a friend. The young man who was invited was denied membership into a local church youth group because he was “too worldly.” One account tells that the big revival tent was so packed that the young invitee almost went back home, but an attentive usher saw the two friends and said he would find them a seat. That night the young man received Jesus as Lord and was saved. His name is Billy Graham.

It has been written about him that he has shared the gospel with more people in person than any human who has ever lived. Even as far back as 1993, more than 2.5 million people have stepped forward to make decisions for the Lord because of Brother Graham and his crusades. Volumes of articles have been written about his positive impact in this world for the gospel, yet it all began with a right relationship. Only eternity will reveal the power of this right relationship.

How I’ve Counseled Our Church Members

As a pastor, I have watched the power of right relationships and the destructive impact of wrong ones. The question is: How do you develop the right relationships and avoid the wrong ones? Here are three points to consider. They may sound simple, but these are things I have observed among our church family that have had the greatest impact.

1. Seek to know people after the spirit and not the flesh. Too often we evaluate people strictly after the flesh, what we see naturally, and not after the spirit, what we see when our spiritual eyes are open. I am referring to both the positive and the negative. Just because something glitters does not mean it is gold. As a pastor, it is rewarding to see believers begin to walk in wisdom when choosing their relationships. It takes someone who is skilled to recognize a diamond in the rough; genuine diamonds never come out of the ground polished, and neither do people. The Word tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:16 that from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. We must learn to be led by the Spirit of God in choosing our relationships.

2. Learn and live the Five Healthy Functions of Relationships. Based on the book, The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, we at CFAN constantly seek to learn and develop healthy interpersonal relationships. I think we all know of relationships we have had that were not healthy. Without a simple understanding of the five healthy functions of relationships, even God-ordained relationships can go sour and possibly become destructive. I have noticed that it takes great effort to work on making all of our relationships healthy.

3. Commit to a CFAN Life Group. Life Groups consist of leadership teams, management teams, and small groups. Until there is commitment, we never really make any progress in life. If you don’t commit to regular exercise, you will never get in shape. If you don’t commit to study, you will never increase in wisdom and knowledge. If you don’t commit to your marriage or walk with the Lord, you will never see the best God has for your life.  I have found that if you do not commit to godly relationships with others, you will never really grow as the Lord has intended.  CFAN life groups are a great way to connect and commit to healthy relationships.

It is wise to seek out those relationships God has ordained for us and to be careful to avoid those He has not. Commit to obtaining and developing right relationships and pray for wisdom concerning those relationships. God will work through them in ways you never thought possible!