I’ve had people ask me how our adoption is going, what’s up next, how fundraising is going, why we are still raising funds and many other questions so I wanted to put all those thoughts in one spot and give an adoption update to our friends and family.

The process is going quickly and very smooth. It helps when you have been through it all before. Things like writing a 12 page narrative on questions about your family, upbringing and parenting make more sense the second time and the task is not as daunting. As far as a checklist goes, we submitted our application to our agency, had our background checks and fingerprints done, did our online education classes, had a fire inspection of our home, and have done round one of our in-home study with a social worker. We have one more visit with the social worker and we should be completely done with our end of the preparation. Even though we are only 95% done with this portion we are already in the cue of people who are contacted about potential matches.

The total needed for our adoption is $21,000 and we hope to raise $15,000 of that. We did a gofundme campaign for $10,000 of that and that was successful and came together very quickly. God showed himself in some big ways through friends, family, acquaintances, and even some people we have never met. We are blessed to have people around us who believe in our heart for adoption and want to help us add to our family.

We are still raising funds, because we hope to raise another $5,000 so we can put as little burden on our finances as possible. Last time we only raised $7,000 of $19,000 (the price has gone up) and while we saved and did our part we would like to avoid dipping into savings since we will have a family of 6 and the ongoing needs on the other side of this adoption.

I believed we could raise 10k with gofundme but I didn’t want to just ask for handouts and put all our eggs in one basket. We had some friends recommend that we do a 5k and we thought it would be a great way to give people a fun event that they could bring friends, family, and co-workers to, that might not even know us and also give them some return on investment. On October 25th we are sponsoring the Heart 4 Adoption 5k in Hilliard at YMCA. You can click on that link to sign up and get all the info. We have contracted a legit racing company so you will have a first class racing experience, be timed, and we have awards and prizes too.
We have had tons of people say they are going to do it, but I haven’t wanted to shamelessly promote it like I probably should and sign ups are slow. If you are interested or already know you are going to participate, can I ask you to sign up today? This is my nice way of asking if you are going to start the wheels in motion so that this thing can snowball. Planning is easier knowing some numbers and there is a deadline for the free t-shirt that comes with registration.

This event should be the thing that takes us across the finish line of the fundraising process and gets us one step closer to hopefully having a baby in the next 6 months. Go sign up right now….please. Spread the word, spread the urgency and if you are planning on joining us put your name down and commit to what we are trying to do.

Thanks for loving our family and helping us walk this journey.



We are asking anyone who wants to invest in us as a family to donate to our adoption fund. Our goal is to raise $10,000 (of the $21,000 total) as soon as possible so that we can be matched with a baby this fall. If every Facebook friend gives $5 we will meet our goal.


4 years ago we wrote this blog entry outlining our heart for adoption and our plan to start the process. We believe that God has a HEART FOR ADOPTION and we want our family to express His heart. With the help of our friends, family, and network of people we were gifted $7,000 that helped us adopt Mercy.

Here is the entry of Mercy’s adoption story and how God brought that day together. You can also read Kristin’s account of the finances and details here. If you haven’t seen a picture of Mercy yet, you clearly don’t follow me on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram.

I always believed we would adopt again but we wanted to be patient and take it one child at a time and make sure we had clarity as our family changed. In the last two years we have moved, changed jobs, and planted a church. As life has settled down and Mercy has gotten older we have started to have the conversations and pray about this and seek the counsel of close friends and mentors. We know that God wants to add to our family one more time through adoption.


We will again be working with the same organization – Adoption Link. We have already sent in our money and initiated the first phase of background checks and being re-approved. This will take a few months while our books are simultaneously shown to birth moms.


Please pray for us. We knew this before the last time and we know it even more now, adoption is a road with many twists and turns and we want to trust God as he writes this story.

The second major way our friends and family can be involved is in the fundraising process. Even after the thousands of dollars we have already invested this year, the remaining costs are estimated around $19,000.

We thought it would be neat to again leverage our personal network in the most common way it exists: Social Media. Our idea is to ask all of our Facebook/Twitter/Instagram friends to personally donate $5 to our adoption fund. We are also continuing to save our own money and put into this account every month. You may be reading this and not have Facebook, or you may want to give more than $5 and that’s ok too. We just think it will be great to see God use our friends and family who want to invest in a very practical, tangible way.

We are collecting the money through a gofundme page that we have set up. You can access the site here and even donate with a credit card.


Thanks for taking the time to read this and hear our dream. Thank you to those who walked with us as our family grew through adoption last time. If you have any other questions, or want to contact us personally, we would love to talk more and share our hearts.


Mark, Kristin, Malachi, Canaan, and Mercy Artrip



If you hang out with me for more than one hour I will probably tell you that you or someone close by remind me of someone. It might be someone famous, or it might just be another friend of mine.

Through the years this has lead me to do a few different “people I know who look like celebrities” (or not so famous people too) posts on the ole blog here.   So here goes the fourth edition. Check out these links to the first, second, and third edition.

Don’t be offended, just humor me.



It’s been a while. The only way I can get back in the game is with a good ole fashioned Mind Dump.

  • Someone asked me how life was the other day and I was telling them how you just kind of go into survival mode when you add a family member.  We have gotten better each time, but its weird knowing that I am not as good of a husband, dad, or pastor, or friend as I was a few weeks ago. The even better part is we love our daughter so the adjustment is totally worth it.
  • I am someone who tries to remember the moments that God answers prayers and I have a long list in my life. I will not forget God blessing us with Mercy in his timing and growing us through the journey of adoption that he put on our hearts.
  • I feel like I am an even bigger fan of adoption than before if that is possible. I have so many friends and family in process to adopt right now and have had so many conversations in the last few weeks. I pray for them all constantly.
  • Things at Movement Church are so great right now. I would be lying if I said we weren’t still in the honeymoon phase, but that doesn’t mean I should appreciate all the good stuff.
  • So proud of our coaches. We had a meeting the other night and I am looking around the table at people who could and should be on staff at big churches getting paid to do what they do.  We have a great team of people who I know are doing to build teams and develop people.
  • Spent some time talking with the team about influence.  It’s the definition of leadership and I want them to use it in a great way to accomplish our vision in their teams.
  • I’m not sure why, but I have been asked to speak at more things in the last 4 months than my almost my entire ministry career combined. I’m excited to continue to develop as a speaker and be in front of new groups of people.
  • Speaking of speaking, I am really getting addicted to teaching at Movement. We have been laying so many foundational bricks and I just now feel like I can put my head up and see where we are going. I am almost hyper to teach on December 2nd and 9th.
  • I am excited to get some new clothes for Christmas. I know that is very American and shallow, but it’s the truth. When you go from established church to church planting your wardrobe changes and I need to play catch up.  I don’t have enough trendy shirts with eagles and crosses on the shouldersJ
  • I stumbled into No shave November and I guess I am participating? I don’t want to commit so in case I shave I am not a quitter, but an over-achiever no one expected anything from.



Mercy Marie Artrip born 10-28-2012 8:02pm

Wow, I cannot believe that I am sitting here in our hospital room writing this blog entry! This day has been a whirlwind and here is the story…

Today is Monday October 29, 2012. It is Mark’s day off and we did our normal routine of going to the Y in the morning. We came home and made lunch and the boys played around the house. I had this crazy desire to reorganize the boys’ toy room and clean the whole house.  So, that’s what I did. The boys went down for nap and I was checking my email and it was 3:30. My phone rang and I saw that it was our adoption agency calling. So, I answered and the conversation went something like this… “Hi Kristin are you and Mark still interested in pursuing adoption with us?” I said “yes, we are just waiting for the call” and she said “this is your call. Your daughter was born last night at 8pm. The birth mom just went through the profile books and picked you. I need you to come to Dayton right now to pick up your baby girl! She is 6lbs 13oz healthy and beautiful”.

So we kind of of went into crazy mode and woke the boys up from nap, and threw together three overnight bags, gathered the insurance papers, and got in the car and headed for Dayton at 4:30.  The great thing is that my parents live in Dayton so my mom was able to meet us at the hospital to pick up the boys. We met the birth mom very briefly and then within minutes of that we went to the nursery and they said, “here is your room and here is your daughter”.

So, wow I am in sitting here and Mercy is such a sweet baby. She is very calm and hasn’t cried at all. She is a great eater and is coming through all her test with flying colors! She is with us here at the hospital in our room and we will go home tomorrow. We are amazed at the moment and know that God knew all of this was going to happen even though we didn’t have a clue! Thank you for all the prayers and financial support over the last year as we raised money in anticipation of this day! We will do our best to keep facebook/twitter/instagram updated so you can all share in this with us!

Lots of love,

Mark, Kristin, Malachi, Canaan and Mercy


The most common question I get the last couple months is “So how’s the church plant going?”  The other day I was sharing with a friend what our calling, transition, and first few months in church planting have looked like. As I verbalized it to him, I realized it was a blog post in the making and actually proclaimed to him “I have to blog about this”.

One of my biggest lessons in life that others have invested in me is that people need to continually do things that make us depend on God and require faith, because when we do we are forced to see and depend on Him in new ways and that grows us. 

I often bring this concept up when people ask me questions about what they should do or what decision is the best. When I was a student pastor I would always tell students they should go on one of our summer ministry training trips for this reason. Sometimes it was freshmen going away from home for the first time and other times it was juniors and seniors going away for a month or more on other trips and taking intentional steps to trust God more.  The process is the same for adults venturing into ministry for the first time or pushing their leadership and comfort.

What I have appreciated about the journey of my family over the last year is the necessity of faith for what we are doing right now. I wish I could say that I always live by faith and I trust God in all I do. It would sound awesome to say I don’t get comfortable but that isn’t reality. I think this has been a great season of depending on God continually because the situations and circumstances continually require it in one way or another.

For some faith can be a discipline while for others they may need to put themselves in a situation that makes it a necessity. That is where we are right now and I am loving it.


The digital era is great because you can expand your platform for influence, ministry, friendship, and impact in so many avenues. Between websites (blogs), Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and countless others you can communicate as much or little as you want to.  I’ve heard it said before that the trap in this is still being authentic. We all want to put our best foot forward, but at what point are we being fake and not admitting our humanity?  You use the best pictures of yourself and throw away the rest; you put only your good ideas on your blog, you tweet and Instagram moments when you are a good dad and husband leaving out the rest.

I admit I am as guilty as anyone at this. It got me thinking, I should make a list of areas that I have messed up or need some work in.  Might be a little weird, but I figure it’s at least a step towards balance and provides a look at the real me.

  1. I AM NOT GOOD AT CONFRONTING PEOPLE. I have gotten better at this the older I have gotten as it becomes more and more necessary, but it does not and will not ever come naturally for me. I like people to like me and if that means letting them tell me what to do or hijack my vision I have been known to let that happen. I still remember this whole concept being so foreign to me when I first encountered it in a memorable way on Operation Barnabas as a 17 year old.  Its not always easy or comfortable, but sometimes the most loving thing, best thing you can do is to confront someone.
  2. I AM STILL LEARNING TO MANAGE PEOPLE –  I like to delegate but after that as it relates to working with people, bringing out the best in them and pushing them to be great, I don’t know that I have it figured out yet. I think in my years in ministry I have put people on an island with some food and water and said “good luck” without coming back to check or teaching them to make a fire.
  3. I HAVE ELEVATED PEOPLE TO LEADERSHIP TO QUICKLY – Normally I am intuitive but there have been times I have put people in positions they didn’t need to be in just yet. It might be because there was a need and the spot had to be filled, or it could have been that I wanted to believe the best in them.  If I am being honest sometimes elevating someone you have worked with can even validate your own ministry and impact for those looking on.  Whatever the reason I haven’t fallen victim to this a time or too.

I am not trying to throw a pity party and I am not looking for you affirm me in all the areas I just named. I just think it is healthy to be self-aware so you can get better at what you do. So lets be honest, what are you not too hot at or still working on in your leadership?



If you hang out with me for more than one hour I will probably tell you that you or someone close by remind me of someone. It might be someone famous, or it might just be another friend of mine..

Through the years this has lead me to do a few different “people I know who look like celebrities” (or not so famous people too) posts on the ole blog here.   So here goes the third edition. You can check out the first one here and the second one here.

Don’t be offended, just humor me.



Well this has been an exciting year so far for the Artrip family. We announced a few weeks ago that we are transitioning this summer to plant a church in Hilliard,Ohio. Hilliard is a west side suburb of Columbus. We are looking forward to all that this year will bring on the ministry front!

Last fall we did a “Facebook Fundraiser” for our adoption, and God answered our prayers and our goal was met! We are so thankful to all our friends and family from all around the world would gave in support. So now people are asking “Where’s the baby”? Or “Do you know when it will happen”? Those are great questions and we wanted to update you with our status on the adoption front. We had many leads in the fall and winter and pursued all of them. In every case the birthmothers choose the raise the babies themselves. We have not given up and continue to have patience for the right situation to come along and we will continue to pursue every lead we get.

We are aiming to do an Independent Adoption. This means that we are not going through a public agency to be paired up with a child. We simply rely on people who may know of a situation where a baby or child may be placed for adoption. We have a private lawyer who will handle all the legal aspects of the adoption. So here is where WE NEED YOU.


If you know of someone who is considering placing an infant or young child (two or under) with an adoptive family please give us a call, email or facebook us! If you talk to someone who knows someone, who knows someone…please help us network get in touch with us. We would welcome the chance to talk or give our family profile if there is interest. It just takes one person to make the connection!


Thank you all again for your support and continue to pray as we look to make lots of changes this year as a family and I hope one day soon we will have adoption news.


THANK YOU with much love,


Mark, Kristin, Malachi and Canaan

Markartrip(at)gmail.com kristinartrip(at)hotmail.com



This past week has been the public communication of something that has been happening in our hearts for years and now even behind the scenes for months.  The communication timeline has had me tell our My lead pastor, our church administrator, our pastoral staff, our Elder’s, our student leaders, Student Ministry volunteers, my small group, and finally our students and parents this last Wednesday.  It’s a bittersweet time for us that has been tiring to navigate, but I am excited to finish well and look forward to what God has called us to. The letter below is the best way I could consolidate and communicate all the information about our transition. It won’t answer every question, so I’ll do my best to tie up any other loose ends at the bottom




Friends, Family, and Grace Church,


I recently notified the Pastors, Staff, elders, and adult volunteers that this will be my last school year on staff at Grace Church.  This summer Kristin and I are transitioning to plant a church in Hilliard, Ohio.  This is not a rushed decision or one that we take lightly, but rather the public announcement of something God has been doing in our hearts for years.

We moved to Powell seven years ago and have been blessed to minister among a truly great church family and staff.  We have made wonderful friends and a home that existed only in our dreams.  Grace Church has treated our family with the utmost honor and we will always view on our time here with fondness. You have cared for us as individuals, a couple, and a family more than we deserved and you are to be commended for it. Professionally, personally, and financially we could have made this our home forever, were it not for the Holy Discontent God has stirred in our hearts.

Since I was in middle school I have felt a strong draw to church planting.  Before I started dating Kristin at age 17 I told her that I intended to be in full time ministry first as a student pastor and then as a church planter to make sure we were passionate about the same direction.  We first met with Grace Brethren church planting coaches when we were in our second year of college to educate ourselves on the process.

It has been a blessing to be in an environment where church planting was always talked about.  We haven’t had to hide it. As I interviewed at Grace Church I shared with Pastor Rick and the staff that I was excited about ministering with them and also expected to someday plant a church. It has been exciting to be in a context where other churches have been planted and to watch that process give birth.  Over the years we have talked through this with the staff and Pastor Rick has even mentioned it to the elders.

Those closest to us know that this has always been on our hearts, and we now see God’s confirmation to take action.  It wasn’t one specific event, but just the culmination of prayer, time in the Word, blogs, books, conferences, and conversations.  Everywhere we have looked we have seen God calling us to plant a church.

The first question people will ask is where this leaves our student ministry, so I want you to know a few things from me personally. We are not a student ministry of one person. We have multiple programs and ministries that happen consistently without me every week and they will not skip a beat with faithful servant leaders involved. Our church has always had a strong youth ministry before me and will continue to have one after me because it is the heart and vision of our pastor and leadership.  I also want you to know that I care very much about our student ministry and I intend to work alongside the group that has been named to find my replacement and give input into the process.  I am very confident in the direction that our student ministries are headed and know that with the right hire, things are positioned for growth and breakthrough

I will remain on staff until August 1st or earlier in the summer if the elders find my replacement, but in the coming months we will be moving and transitioning to Hilliard so that we can begin to build relationships.  We want to selfishly ask for your prayers. This is an exciting, joyful time one minute and a terrifying faith walk the next.  We need the support and encouragement of our church body to do this.  We know this will come as a surprise or letdown to some, but we want our lives to be about what God has called us to, so we hope people will see that and celebrate it with us.

Many will ask what the next steps in this process are, so let me outline the months ahead.  I will remain fully engaged in ministry at Grace Church until the transition date this summer.  We will not start meeting with our launch team until next fall and hope to publically launch as a church on Easter in 2013.

We are in the process of putting together the foundation of our new church.  Our mother church and accountability through this process will be Encounter Church and its elders. We will gather a launch team of people who are passionate about reaching Hilliard with the gospel and seeing a church birthed. This will be done by living in and building relationships in the community.  We are also raising one time startup funds and monthly commitments from organizations, partner churches (one of which is Grace Church) and individuals.  Those things along with administration (documents, tax free status, websites, PO Box) and continuing in student ministry here will fill my days and weeks.

If you want to talk more and/or stay connected with us, we would love to sit down and share what God is doing in our hearts.  As always, you can do that through my blog markartrip.com, facebook, and twitter (@markartrip).  I could never begin to tell or show you this side of heaven what Grace Church has meant to the Artrip family, so I hope you know the love and sincerity behind my THANK YOU. We love you.




God Bless,

Mark, Kristin, Malachi, and Canaan Artrip







1) How did you pick Hilliard?

I will elaborate on this more later and will publish our proposal we will be presenting to people, but the short story is that we see great need there and have research showing that Hilliard is spiritually hungry and ripe for the church we intend to be.


2) Who will take my job? Where does that leave Grace Church’s student ministry (THE ZONE and HSM)?

I answered that above but the short version is that I have spoken into that process with a very capable search committee and they are already contacting, meeting with, and looking for the next person. The job description is posted here if you or someone you know might be a fit.


3) What has God been up to in the last couple months?

I can’t even tell you how we have seen God affirm this since we finally stepped out on faith.


August – We were assessed as church planters in but didn’t know the when or where. We just prayed that God would open doors and make it obvious.


September – We were approached by Encounter Church with a timeline that was the ideal one Kristin and I had privately dreamed of. That was the first sign that God was waiting on our obedience.

Two days after deciding to do this we were given a substantial financial gift toward our new church.


January – We put our house on the market knowing that we wanted to move and it would take a while in this economy to sell a home. We sold our house in 8 days and it only took that long because the couple was traveling and wanted to walk through a few times. The couple who bought it walked through the first day and told us they would buy it.

We have found another great home in Hilliard which will make a great house to plant a church out of and we can see God’s fingerprints guiding both transactions. We will sell/buy on February 17th.


4) Who is overseeing this and sending you?

Encounter Church is a church that Grace Church planted in 2008.  That have a hyper Canadian-American pastor named Sean Spoelstra. Encounter has had a goal to plant another church since they started. We will be that church that they have wanted to reproduce themselves in and invest their DNA into. Grace Church will be involved relationally, prayerfully, and financially as well as other churches and organizations and individuals.


5) What is the name of your church? The name will be Movement Church.  Our vision is to be a movement of people finding their way back to God. I love the word movement and the double meaning of a person taking steps toward God and also a group of people acting out contagious, intentional action.  I will put much more up later in the proposal I already alluded to and will link to our website and all the social media stuff, but today is just about the transition….more to come.

Please pray for our family, Grace Church, and the many pieces of our new church still coming together.