Mark Matlock

  • Executive Director At Youth Specialties
  • Founder of WisdomWorks Ministries
  • Author of Real World Parents


Mark Matlock has been working with youth pastors, students, and parents for two decades. As a student at Biola University in California, he parlayed his skills as a magician and his passion for sharing God’s word into a local speaking ministry. His ministry eventually piqued the interest of Dawson McAllister, who invited Matlock to join him as he travelled the nation speaking to students. Matlock toured with McAllister’s Shepherd Ministries for four years before starting Wisdom Works, a non-profit organization that seeks to help teenagers accelerate biblical wisdom in their lives  Through WisdomWorks, Matlock speaks to hundreds of thousands of students around the world each year and presents biblical truths in ways that motivate people to change. Mark is also the vice president of event content at Youth Specialties. His PlanetWisdom Student Conferences have become trusted resources for youth groups across the country. Matlock is the author of several books including the Wisdom On – series, Living a Life That Matters, Don’t Buy The Lie, Freshman, and Smart Faith.

Matlock’s newest book, Real World Parentsbrings his trademark wisdom-based, rational teaching to the often emotionally charged topic of parenting. “This is not a book about taking your kids to church, saving them from the world, or producing good behavior,” Matlock says. “We are focusing on the idea of ministering to kids holistically and asking some important questions: How do they think about money? How do they interact with people? How do they use their words? The most important question is for us, as their parents: How do we serve this generation and empower them to be what God’s called to be at this point in history?”Real World Parents is also the source for the parenting seminars of the same name, which will be presented beginning in the spring of 2010 by seasoned youth workers around the country. Matlock’s vision is to empower churches (who he calls “the people doing the real ministry”) to spread this emerging parenting model on a local level.

As a parent himself, Matlock is always looking for opportunities to engage his kids in worldview-shaping conversations. This approach rarely embodies the “dos” and “don’ts” of behavior modification or even the well-intentioned spirituality of the daily devotion, though those things are still valuable.

Matlock is a certified Life Planner by the Patterson Foundation and also serves as a board member for Wycliffe’s The Seed Company and MercyMe’s Imagine a Cure Foundation (supporting ethical research and helping families with type 1 diabetes). He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He also promotes the cause of Compassion International. An ordained minister, when he is not travelling, Matlock volunteers in his church youth ministry. Matlock and his family live in Texas.


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