My Retirement Plan

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By Mark A. Taylor

Yesterday’s announcement of Jerry Harris as the new publisher for Christian Standard Media includes news of my retirement. I’d like to use my space this week to add a little background.

I told Standard Publishing management about 20 months ago, in July of 2015, that I planned to retire after the North American Christian Convention in Anaheim in 2016. But when most of Standard Publishing (but not the magazines) was sold to David C. Cook in December 2015, I changed my plan. We assumed that some new owner would also eventually acquire CHRISTIAN STANDARD and The Lookout, and I felt certain we would not be able to recruit a worthy new editor while the magazines’ fate was in limbo. So I promised to stay on the job until the next transition.

The Lookout editor Kelly Carr and I paused to pose at the Christian Standard Media booth during the International Conference on Missions in Lexington last November.

That transition is now nearly complete.

In January of this year, when Doug Crozier was exploring the possibility of The Solomon Foundation’s acquisition of the magazines, I explained my retirement thinking with him. In February, just before the sale was final, I expressed my wish to retire no later than immediately after this summer’s NACC in Kansas City. He graciously has granted my request and allowed me to move on to the next chapter in my life.

As I do so, I couldn’t be more grateful for all the personal blessings that have been heaped upon me in more than four decades of service at Standard Publishing and then Christian Standard Media.

I’ll use this space again later this year to say more about my gratitude to so many who have selflessly served God with me through the work of Standard Publishing (now Christian Standard Media) and CHRISTIAN STANDARD.

“I think this will be harder for you than you think,” Doug Crozier said to me last week as we were discussing my retirement. Maybe. But I’ve known for some time that the time is right for new leadership here. The challenges and opportunities are great, requiring fresh eyes and energy to seize the possibilities.

So now we’re praying for God to be glorified by the future of CHRISTIAN STANDARD and The Lookout, even beyond how his name has been lifted up throughout their rich history. We’re hoping many readers will join us in that prayer.

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10 Comments

  1. Mark, my friend, thank you for serving the brotherhood so faithfully and effectively for all the years through Standard in its’ various forms and your leadership. And thank you for all you have given into my life through example, encouragement and teaching. I will always love you, Evelyn and your family. Remember you have about fifteen more years to serve our Lord in His kingdom. I pray for you often and will continue to do so. Are you moving to New York?

  2. Hi, Mark. Thanks for all the encouragement for my writing I received from you over the years. I’ll be praying for the new leadership at Christian Standard and LOOKOUT.

  3. Thank you, Mark, for your faithful years of service in so many areas of life, including but not limited to Christian Standard. Your leadership brought what many thought was a staid publisher into the 21st century with careful thought and yet challenge. You and Evelyn will always be considered faithful servants, far more concerned with the kingdom of God than your own little corner of the world. May the peace and joy of God be with you this next season of ministry.

  4. Congrats on many years of service! Many blessings on the days ahead and years to come.

  5. Mark, You are such a dear friend and wonderful supporter as well as an encourager. My life is better because of our relationship. You are a leader among leaders. Thanks for assuring the future of Christian Standard through Solomon. You will love the new venture. For sure God is not finished with you yet. Can’t wait to see you. Guthrie

  6. Mark,

    I have always respected you and enjoyed the results of your editorship of The Christian Standard. May the Lord guide you on the path as you move toward retiring from being the editor. I know that you will find other ways to utilize your wisdom and talents for the Lord. May you experience the Lord’s blessings, and there is nothing better.

  7. Mark-
    You have walked in a trail previously trod by giants of the faith, never faltering, never getting diverted. You’ve had the courage to risk offending the overly sensitive and to stifle the overly unbridled. You have never blocked off an area of discussion, but you have called upon each diverse voice to be accountable. Thank you mentoring and molding a generation of writer/churchpersons.

  8. Thanks for going the extra mile (year), Mark. I’m so grateful.

  9. Mark,

    From one ink-stained wretch to another, congratulations on your retirement as editor of Christian Standard. I can remember when you were also the editor of The Lookout. Thank you for your service to the Lord and thank you for publishing some of my writings in both journals, the solicited and the unsolicited. Best wishes to you in whatever the next area of service will prove to be in the ever upward call of God!

    Victor Knowles
    Editor, One Body Magazine

  10. Mark,
    Thank you for your good writing at Christian Standard. I always read your column with anticipation.
    As one who has retired twice now, keep busy doing what you enjoy, and I know you will be serving the Lord!
    The stature of Christian Standard has risen significantly under your leadership. Thank you and God Bless!
    Henry Pratt

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