The Earlier Years
I was born in Central Queensland and spent the majority of my life here, with a stint in several other places.
After high school I completed half of a teaching course, and partly because I didn’t enjoy starving, I had to give it up. I’ve always loved children, which naturally led me into children’s ministry after I became a Christian in 1986. I continued that for over a decade. In 2007, I became a foster carer for six years which I loved, but eventually had to cease, due to health issues.
In my late 20s I spent a year at Kingsley Bible College, Melbourne and obtained a Diploma of Christian Studies
I moved to Gladstone in 1994, and recognised the need for social outings for single Christians in the area so I developed Christian Solos, a social group which I co-ordinated for fifteen years. We had members of all ages, who formed great friendships and enjoyed a variety of social outings. Many found acceptance and personal connection in the group which some found missing in their own churches, particularly those churches whose focus was on married couples and families.
I also presented a radio program called ‘Nunsense’ on Rhema FM in Gladstone (now Fresh FM) as a volunteer on Saturday mornings for eight years. I then cut back my hours of paid employment and became their very first weekday breakfast announcer for three years, as a volunteer.
In my limited spare time I’ve been writing some books I hope to publish, and create graphic designs for my online shops (www.missterrywoman.com).
Most of my life I’ve worked in administrative positions, even gaining experience in community relations. Due to ongoing health issues, in 2010 I found myself on a disability pension. My changed and rather dire financial situation forced me to sell up and move further south in late 2013, where my home repayments were much easier to manage on my pension.
So it was in 2014/2015 that I found myself at a loose-end, living several hours away from family and friends, no longer able to work in paid employment, no longer able to do foster-care or even children’s ministry and feeling rather confused about what God wanted me to do, or even how God could still use me.
After sharing my confusion with a pastor who works with Christian singles, someone I’ve known for a number of years, he spent time in prayer, and later came back to me with the suggestion:
- develop a magazine for Christian singles
He recognised that we didn’t this ministry in Australia, and he thought my skills and experience would be highly suited to this role.
His suggestion struck a chord in me, and it was as if God lifted the blinkers off my eyes. I recognised that my various skills and experience, and my passion to work with Christian singles, would make this an ideal fit for me.
That was how SPAG Magazine began. How exciting too that all of those skills I’d gained over the years had been specifically planned by God so that I could take on this new role and ministry.
SPAG stands for ‘Single Person Approved by God.’ It was named to encourage all Christians to recognise that God has a purpose for single people, and to encourage singles to positively embrace their singleness. Hopefully too, we could encourage church leaders and married people to recognise that God has a very real purpose for all singles, which may require them to remain single for a shorter time or a life-time.
Since then, SPAG Magazine has gone from strength to strength, and although initially it focused on singles, our articles are suitable for all adults and include at least one article for singles in each issue. Our subscribers include both married and single people, and we have a growing overseas audience.
The SPAG Team
Our terrific small team provide various articles, and I particularly love that they each have different life experiences which they can share in their writing.
Additionally we have regular contributors from individuals and organisations from outside our team such as Christian Today, whose writers share insights on a diverse range of subjects.
We sometimes share articles on more sensitive topics that are rarely if ever discussed within the church. We hope to encourage people to be willing to recognise if they have these challenges in their own lives, and to raise these as topics for discussion with friends, in small groups, or with a pastor or church leader, and also to seek God’s guidance.
Our wonderful writers and contributors, help SPAG Magazine with its goals to encourage, challenge and inspire Christian adults in their walk, and to honour and exalt God.
We’re keen to grow our team of volunteer writers and contributors, and are also seeking assistance from other passionate volunteers who could undertake duties such as book-keeping, social media tasks, assistant-editing and more.
This has been such a wonderful, and challenging learning experience for me and while at times my health issues can impact on my ability to complete my role, I look forward to seeing God’s hand upon this ministry in the years to come, particularly in growing our team, and reaching out to more of our brothers and sisters in Christ and helping them on their journey.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html