Mark van Straaten – Navigating Change, Spirituality, Leadership

Mark van Straaten:

I want to help people strategize the next seasons of life and business. I am currently working with leaders who need to “off-load” in a safe space with the prime interest in their well-being and leaving them with an expansive and hopeful mindset.

After 40 years of working with people, my passion is help people to grow while creating a future for the next generation. Specifically, the parenting of adult children, moving from the high pace of a successful career into the “semi-retired, retired, new opportunity space”.

I am 64 years old, living in the small sea-side, surfing village of uMdloti. uMdloti is a few kilometres north of the city of Durban, South Africa. Christine and I have been married for 43 years. We have 3 adult children, Jess (38) married to Tom, Shani (36) married to (big) Will and Nicola (32). Jess and Tom have provided Christine and I with 2 magnificent grandsons (little) Will (10) and Luke (8). Shani and Will have given us our third grandson, Solomon (5months).

Since completing our Theological studies in the United Sates, Christine and I have started 2 churches. The latter being a large church with 4 different campuses. In pre-Covid times several thousand people attended our church every Sunday.

Around 2016, we started succession talks. And in August 2019 I stood down as the Co-Senior Pastor to play a different role. On the 30 January 2022 I left our church to launch a Non-Profit Company (NPC) called, The Generative Way. The Generative Way is a project to produce fresh ideas, generate new outcomes, build generative relationships that create new capabilities and helps others to see opportunity in their actions. It’s about creating “space for life”.

I surf at least 2-3 times a week and ride an adventure motor bike as much as possible.

Expertise & Qualifications:

Spent the equivalent of 2 years in the military as an Infantry Lieutenant.

Studied for an Associate Degree in Practical Theology – CFNI Dallas Texas.

Started the Empangeni Christian Centre and led it for 10 years.

During this time, started the Empangeni Christian School which is now 40 years old

Started Grace Family Church and left it to launch a Non-Profit, The Generative Way after 30 years of pastoral leadership.



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