john-cox-watermark-executive-pastorFollower of Jesus, husband to Jeanie, father to four girls and one boy, youth soccer and lacrosse coach, former athlete (I’m still coming to grips with this one). These are some of the words that describe me.

For the last seven years, I’ve also been the executive pastor at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, TX. In my role, I help provide leadership for the church and work to make everything Watermark does better. I also occasionally speak at various events around Watermark. If you ever have insomnia, you can watch or listen to those messages at www.watermark.org.

I am passionate about leadership, ministry, books, technology, and leading my family well. I plan to write about all of those things in this blog. I aim to do that in four ways:

  • By writing about lessons I’ve learned—many of them the hard way—in 25 years of business and ministry.
  • By providing notes on books that I’ve read. I love to read. In the blog, I’ll share some of my favorite books, as well as my notes on those books.
  • By providing you with tools and frameworks that have helped me be a more effective leader.
  • By occasionally posting short videos that focus on key leadership lessons that I am teaching the leaders here at Watermark.

My background

I came to Christ at a youth camp when I was 16. Since that time, my life has been a series of adventures, twists, and turns that I never would have predicted—from college to church planter to business school to management consultant to hedge fund employee and now to my current role at Watermark. Here are some of the highlights along the way:

  • I grew up as the oldest of three brothers in a Navy family in Annapolis, MD.
  • I went to Stanford University, where I played lacrosse and tried to keep my head above water academically
  • After Stanford, I got a M.Div. degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA
  • I spent a year as a pastoral intern at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL. I am so grateful to Willow Creek for what they taught me about leadership and ministry
  • I started a church, Cedar Run Community Church, in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. This was one of the best—and most difficult—things I’ve ever done. If you want to learn a lot of lessons the hard way, starting a church might just be for you.
  • After Cedar Run, I got an MBA at Harvard. I think the only reason Harvard let me in was that I was a great diversity candidate. I was the only former pastor in the business school.
  • I spent the next nine-and-a-half years working in the business world, first as a management consultant with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), then as the head of the strategic planning group for a global hedge fund called HBK Investments, LP.
  • In the fall of 2006, Watermark approached me about joining the staff as the executive pastor. Shortly thereafter, I found myself back in vocational ministry. I’ve been there ever since.

In my spare time, I try to stay in shape (my goal is to walk all four of my girls down the aisle at their weddings). I also coach youth soccer and lacrosse teams. I often think that if I led the people at Watermark the same way I coached my kids’ teams, I would be a much better leader.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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