When Mark Driscoll announced he was leaving Mars Hill, the church collective he created and turned into a multi-million dollar empire, I said there were two possibilities: They’d find another pastor and go on or the whole thing would blow up. Looks like they chose what’s behind door #2.
Marking its own Reformation Day of sorts, Mars Hill Church will dissolve Mark Driscoll’s multisite network 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 Driscoll founding the Acts 29 network. By New Year’s Day, the multisite organization and the Mars Hill name 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,” Dave Bruskas, primary teaching pastor, announced 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.”
Let me make another prediction: After some interval of time, a couple years at the most, Driscoll will emerge from his self-imposed exile, declare himself a New Man in Christ and open another church that will once again turn into a megachurch. Because P.T. Barnum was understating the case.