191: Mark Batterson on Dreams, Writing Books, Parenting, Leadership, and more!

By April 25, 2018Podcast

In this episode of the L3 Leadership podcast, you will hear our interview with Mark Batterson, Lead Pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC. In the interview, you’ll hear us talk about dreams, writing books, the importance of empowering other, parenting, and so much more.

To view a transcription of this interview, go here!

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Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church (www.theaterchurch.com) in Washington, DC.  One church with eight locations.  NCC is focused on reaching emerging generations and meets in theaters throughout the DC metro area.  NCC also owns and operates the largest coffeehouse on Capitol Hill.  Mark holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Regent University and is the New York Times bestselling author of 11 books, including The Circle MakerIn a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Wild Goose Chase and has recently released Whisper and Play the Man.  Mark is married to Lora and they live on Capitol Hill with their three children: Parker, Summer, and Josiah.




  • You overestimate what you can do in a year or two, you underestimate what God can do in ten or twenty!
  • God is good at laying a foundation.
  • The cure for the fear of failure is not success, but failure in small enough doses that you build up immunity to it.
  • Unless the Lord builds the house, they who labor, labor in vain
  • Without the Holy Spirit’s help, I’m below average!
  • If you stay humble and hungry, there is nothing that God can’t do in you or through you!
  • Don’t under-spiritualize dreams. The byproduct of being filled with the Spirit is dreaming!
  • Dreaming is a form of praying and praying is a form of dreaming.
  • The more I pray, the bigger I dream, and the more I dream, the more I have to pray!
  • A God-sized dream is above your ability and above your resources.
  • God loves for us to accomplish His dreams because we can’t take credit for them!
  • Dream beyond your ability and resources
  • Long obedience in the same direction. -Eugene Peterson
  • A lot of people dream big, but they don’t think long. The bigger the dream, the longer it will take!
  • I read 3,000 books before I wrote one.
  • Everyone has a book in them.
  • “Every life is comprised of a few themes.” – C.S. Lewis
  • If you don’t give yourself a deadline, you’ll be working on your first book until the Lord returns
  • Establish a writing schedule.
  • I think celebrity culture has invaded the church to an unhealthy degree
  • Success is just doing the best you can with what you have where you are
  • Surround yourself with people who are better than you are.
  • The true test of spiritual maturity is rejoicing when others rejoice, finding as much joy in others success as your own
  • I want to be famous in my family
  • You’ll never be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying parent. Prayer turns parents into prophets who shape their children’s destiny.
  • If faith is being sure of what we hope for, then it seems to me that goals are pretty important. In fact, you won’t accomplish any of the goals you don’t set.
  • The blessings of God will complicate your life. Sin will complicate it in a way that it shouldn’t be complicated, but blessings will complicate your life in a way that it should be complicated.
  • The blessings of God will complicate your life. Sin will complicate it in a way that it shouldn’t be complicated, but blessings will complicate your life in a way that it should be complicated.


  • Mark, give us a brief overview of who you are and what you do.
  • What do you wish people knew about your journey that they may not know?
  • Most people know you for everything you’re doing today, but they may not realize that you tried to plant a church prior to NCC…
  • What have you learned about dreams that don’t go the way you want them to (real or perceived) and the journey God has for you through that experience?
  • Did you learn anything about your identity during that time?
  • What advice do you have for leaders who may be going through necessary endings?
  • You’ve written several books, Chase the Lion and IAPWLOSD, ongoing after a God-sized Dream…. Can you just encourage people listening to this about dreaming?
  • You’re constantly dreaming… what are you dreaming about now?
  • What encouragement do you have for people who feel like they’ve lost sight of their dream?
  • Can you talk about the power of having a bucket list? I love yours, in fact, I’ve stolen 90% of it! Haha! Why should someone have one and what have you learned from having one?
  • You’ve spoken and written a ton about writing… so I’ll just make this short and sweet: What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
  • What advice do you have for published authors?
  • Your most recent book is Whisper, which is how to hear from God.
  • Why did you write this book? What will people get out of it?
  • Why is it important for Christian leaders to hear from God?
  • From what I understand, you have someone else speak 26 weekends a year and at one point were only taking 10 speaking engagements outside of DC a year… Why have you set your lifeupthis way?
  • What have you had to do to train, equip, and empower leaders to enable you to trust them with those responsibilities?
  • What would you tell the leaders who are afraid to let go and empower others? How can they start to do that?
  • You’ve been through all of the seasons of parenting… Can you talk about what you’ve learned about parenting?
  • If you could sit down with someone like me who is just starting off their parental journey, what would you tell them?

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