Come New Year’s Day, 13 churches will go their separate ways or shut down.
Mars Hill Church will dissolve Mark Driscoll’s empire and let each of its remaining 13 churches go their own way.
Founded in 1996, the Seattle-based megachurch planted 15 satellite sites across five states, its passion for creating new churches further evidenced by former lead pastor Mark Driscoll founding the Acts 29 network. By New Year’s Day, the multisite organization will be no more.
“Rather than remaining a centralized multi-site church with video-led teaching distributed to multiple locations, the best future for each of our existing local churches is for them to become autonomous self-governed entities,” wrote Dave Bruskas, primary teaching pastor, in a letter today to the Mars Hill family. “This means that each of our locations has an opportunity to become a new church, rooted in the best of what Mars Hill has been in the past, and independently led and run by its own local elder teams.”
The lead pastor of each current site has three options to choose from by January 1:
(1) becoming an independent, self-governed church
(2) merging with an existing church to create one independent, self-governed church
(3) disbanding as a church and shepherding current members to find other local church homes
Meanwhile, Mars Hill as an organization will dissolve in four steps:
(1) All of Mars Hill’s existing church properties will either be sold, or the loans on the individual properties will be assumed by the independent churches, subject to approval by the lender
(2) all central staff will be compensated for their work, and then released from their employment
(3) if any funds remain after the winding down and satisfaction of Mars Hill business affairs, they will be gifted as seed money to the newly independent churches
(4) the existing Mars Hill Church organization will be dissolved
“Ultimately, the success of this plan, and the future viability of each of these new local churches,” wrote Bruskas, “rest solely on all of us continuing to be faithful in supporting Jesus’ mission through our attendance and continued giving.”
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SOURCE: Christianity Today