Posts Tagged ‘Mark Harris’

18th May
2009
written by JHiggins

I met Mark Harris on my journey of trying to make sense of how Tucson got to this dysfunctional place.  During the months of endless meetings I ran across Mark. I was immediately taken by his passion and vision for creating a better Tucson. We were on parallel paths working for the same goal. I invited him to events and value his input.  For Mark, getting our community back on track is a mission, both religious and personal.

I relate to Mark’s business acumen (he’s the owner of two Intelligent Office locations in Pima County and Institute For Better Edcuation) I relate to Mark’s passion to make this community a better place and I relate to the uphill battle we are both facing. Meeting after meeting and group after group, Mark is there. He shows up, adds intelligent points and quietly leaves and keeps working in his own special way to call for change, point out where we’ve derailed and roll up his sleeves to do something about it.

A CHURCH THAT IS TRULY BUILT ON EVANGELISM

By Glenn Smith

This article is a reprint from October 2003.        

One of our early church plants was the Oasis Church in Tucson, led by pastor Mark Harris.  In December 1993 Mark, his wife Debbie, and their 3 children (the youngest just born) left Houston to plant in a fast growing, eclectic and extremely unchurched city.  Mark’s vision was not to be the “biggest” church in town but to be a “reproducing, sending” church, one that would multiply itself many times over!  He also had a vision to not only see individual transformation but to also see his city transformed.  Mark is the GlocalNet lead pastor for Tucson, Arizona.  This weekend I had the privilege to be with him at the Oasis Church – what I saw was incredible.

The Oasis Church has 2 Sunday services meeting in an elementary school.  Before the first service I talked to numerous people and asked about their stories.  I was overwhelmed by what I heard!  Almost every person I spoke with shared how they had come to know Jesus through the ministry of this church – one this past year, some 3 years ago, some 5 years ago, and some from the very first year of the church!  I don’t recall speaking to a single person who was a “transfer” from another church.

After a very worshipful experience in the 1st service I went out to talk to more people.  Again, it was just one story after another of not only conversions & transformation, but also unique ministry and service!  As I worshipped again in the 2nd service I was in awe of what God had done through this young church!  Practically every person was a relatively new Christian and was engaged in ministry!  Three of the businessmen that I met were preparing to plant new churches themselves!  In fact, in the past 9 years the Oasis Church has planted 17 churches and sent out over 200 “missionaries” from their congregation to other parts of the city!  Another man that I met was the chairman of the Old Pueblo Foundation, which Mark created to meet social needs and to help transform the city!  Their congregation was truly an eclectic, indigenous church!

As I sit here on a plane flying back to Houston I can’t help but reflect on what I experienced today!  I have the priviege of being in some great churches on a regular basis.  But tears fill my eyes and emotion overwhelms me as I write this article (I hope no one on the plane sees me!)  The Oasis Church may never be one of the largest churches in America, but I can’t help but think that this church may be more like the New Testament church than any U.S. church I’ve ever seen!  I know God is smiling because their impact for the Kingdom is beyond measure!

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