Friday, November 21, 2008

What can we learn from Mars Hill?

No, not the Mars Hill in Athens, in the Book of Acts--Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA USA.


Early Days
Mars Hill Church began in 1996. At the age of twenty-five, Mark Driscoll gathered a core group of twelve people in the living room of the Wallingford rental house where he and his wife, Grace, lived. For the next seven years, Mars Hill met in various locations throughout the city until, in 2003, the church (one thousand strong) (emphasis added) moved into a renovated hardware store between Fremont and Ballard. Within three years, however, the church had outgrown its new home.

Multi Campus
In early 2006, Mars Hill became a multi-campus church with the opening of the Shoreline Campus. The concept of meeting in separate locations was nothing new. Throughout its history, size and other factors compelled Mars Hill to hold services in various places throughout Seattle [That's not in the church-friendly Bible Belt, but in the unchurched Northwest]. And hundreds of Community Groups (small Bible studies) gather weekly throughout the entire Puget Sound region. As a people, Mars Hill Church was used to spreading out.

Video Venue
The difference this time around, however, was the implementation of video sermons and other resources that made the strategy more efficient and sustainable. Later in 2006, Mars Hill acquired two new properties, in West Seattle and Lake City, further facilitating a growth that has yet to stop—including the more recent expansion to Bellevue, Downtown Seattle, and Olympia.

On Sundays, Mars Hill gathers in several locations and multiple times, and during the week they meet in homes all over the regions surrounding each campus. Mars Hill Church lives for Jesus as a city within the city—knowing culture, loving people, and seeing lives transformed to live for Jesus.

Here's proof you don't have to compromise biblical truth (in fact, the more you teach it, the better). You can be relevant—even hip, cool, whatever—without selling out to the culture.

Anglicans might want to learn from this. Liberals might want to look at this and repent.

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