For more than 40 years, Mark Vasché worked as a journalist and newspaper executive. Being a Christian in the media wasn’t always easy – not that it’s supposed to be – but Mark knew that God had placed him there for a reason: To be salt and light in a very secular profession, and to cover faith as the important part of many people’s lives that it is.
Even as he experienced success – from being editor and senior vice-president at The Modesto Bee for 15 years to serving two terms as president of the California Society of Newspaper Editors to his paper winning more than 100 journalism awards – Mark became increasingly troubled by the rapid decline of society as chronicled in his paper on an almost daily basis. And he became convinced that Christian leaders and organizations needed to mobilize to turn the tide.
That led Mark to join Pinnacle Forum’s Modesto Chapter in 2007, and to become its executive director in 2012 after retiring from a 43-year journalism career. Since then he has expanded the Chapter to some 90 men and women in nine Forums, and has assisted in starting Forums in the greater San Francisco and Sacramento areas. He recently opened an office in Modesto, and is bringing other like-minded organizations into the “Suite 2:10” community-transforming ministry center.
“For us to truly impact our city and culture for the cause of Christ, we must work together,” he said. “We have much to offer these ministries in terms of high-impact leaders eager to serve, and they have much to offer us in terms of unlimited opportunities to execute on our God-inspired callings.”
Mark explains Pinnacle Forum’s “great impact on my life and on what I’m doing today”:
“When I was editor, I was living out the saying, ‘It’s lonely at the top.’ Not lonely in that there weren’t people around, but lonely in the sense of being somewhat isolated. I had lots of people I could talk to but not many with whom I could share deeper things: my heartaches, fears, failures, faith and concerns about the future. And if I did find someone, usually he couldn’t really relate to what I faced as a leader.
“When I was invited to join Pinnacle Forum, I was told of its mission to build a network of leaders committed to personal and cultural transformation centered on the values of Jesus. I liked the sound of that, and decided to give it a try. It turned out to be the most life-enriching, life-challenging, life-changing men’s group I had ever experienced.
“Being with Christian leaders from government, business, education, arts and entertainment, religion, family and, yes, even the media, was something new for me. The studies shined new light on career and calling, and on the meaning of godly leadership. The exercises in identifying my passions, gifts, strengths and calling were eye opening. And the relationships built through sharing and prayer were and still are unbelievably special.
“God definitely used Pinnacle Forum to draw me closer to Him, to give me a sharper focus of His calling in my life and to make me a better husband, father, friend, leader and man. I would love for that to happen to every person in every Forum.”
Mark has been married for nearly 44 years to Pam, and they have three adult children and three grandchildren, with a fourth on the way. He is active in leadership at his church and at Redwood Christian Park, a year-round camp and conference center in the Santa Cruz Mountains.