The events that have transpired at Mars Hill Church over the last few months have been dramatic and to some extent, unprecedented.
For me personally, they’re still heartbreaking as I’m a huge believer in the mission and potential of the local church.
After the resignation of Pastor Mark Driscoll October 14th, it was recently announced that Mars Hill is dissolving from one centralized multi-site, video teaching church into local, independent churches.
At this point, it’s not clear if all local campuses will survive. The properties will be sold, the centralized support staff released, and each church will have the autonomy to decide its future. As this post acknowledges, the economics of Mars Hill moving forward are tenuous. (You can read the announcement from Mars Hill itself here and a summary of events here from Christianity Today.)
I am in no place to stand in judgment over anything that transpired at Mars Hill and as I said in this piece written after Mark Driscoll stepped down, I don’t know Mark Driscoll or the leadership personally.
Even as I pray for Mars Hill and the Driscoll family (as I hope you do too), I realize I don’t pray with clean hands. You don’t. I don’t. No one does. Everyone comes to this conversation with sins of their own.
Yet it’s also important to learn. And while it will take months to sort out the details of what happened and years to figure out what it means, there are a few lessons that leaders can glean even now that can help you and I lead more effectively in our churches
Some of them might challenge you deeply. At least they challenge me.
Many commentators will focus on the negatives of Mars Hill, but don’t miss the positives. There are more than a few.
So in the spirit of learning from the good and the not-quite-as-good, here are 5 early lessons from the events and the legacy of Mars Hill:
Carey Nieuwhof is Lead Pastor of Connexus Church north of Toronto, Canada, blogs at http://www.careynieuwhof.com and is host of The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast available for free on iTunes.