Mars Hill Church Closing For Good…

Mars Hill Church Closing For Good… November 1, 2014

Halloween night here in Princeton and I was just trying to hand out candy, watch netflix, and eat take out, but a few hours ago my phone started to blow up about Mars Hill Church closing.

Yup, it’s true. Mars Hill Church has decided to completely “dissolve itself.” Pastor Dave Bruskas stated their main website:

Following much prayer and lengthy discussion with Mars Hill’s leadership, the board of Mars Hill has concluded that 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.

Pastor Bruskas went on to clarify what they mean by “dissolve” by breaking it down into four different options their various satellite campus’ can take:

  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

I think this will be good and I don’t mean this in the “Screw-Mars-Hill” type manner, but as I’ve said before many many times before, in order to change a system you sometimes have to take down [deconstruct] the institution. Previously before today’s announcement they made it known that they were closing two campus’ and selling off their main site in downtown Bellevue due to a major decline in attendance.

This closing feels symbolic to an extent in that it represents a new age and a new type of Church that is here and growing in the US. The infamous “American Church” is falling, and as the Westernized Church at large is sinking, it seems as if this is a signaling to many who were once in denial of this reality that it’s time to disband, pull the plug, jump ship, and begin to prepare for what is next.

There is once again a sadness that comes along side this announcement. Formerly coming out of “conservative evangelicalism” and having been impacted by Mars Hill Church and Mark Driscoll in my early twenties, to a much larger extent than I tend to admit [both positively and negatively] there is an overwhelming and surprising sense of “mourning” what once was that is going on within me. Knowing that many were hurt, and that too many are still on board losing their jobs to what they’ve dedicated their life to.

But, there is a sense of positivity and excitement as this signals what is, in my opinion, not yet to come but is already here. I’m excited to know that with death there will be a resurrection.

For more information on Mars Hill Church closing, you can go to Mars Hill website where the statement is posted here.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Mike Bell

    People need to be careful not to make more of this than they should. Yes, ports are closing, and some will re-open. This does not necessarily herald a paradigm shift or a “new type of church”, it means a broken structure is getting a chance to restructure. Those campuses that survive will likely have the familiar forms…just a kinder, gentler leadership.

  • Which as someone who’s been in and a part of leadership that is unkind the shift in leadership to being kind and gentle is, again only IMO, such a monumentally huge shift that makes all the difference.

  • Mike Bell

    Agreed, but to make it sound like this is indicative of the western church sinking…settle down there, fireball.

  • agree to disagree on that :)

  • MKulnir

    Hey Andy, They are not “selling off” their main site in downtown Bellevue. They never owned it. They rent it for $100,000 per month. Fact. And they plan to continue doing so. They’ve changed the name from “Mars Hill Church” to “Bellevue Church” – but the same leadership remains, all former unrepentant Driscoll cronies, same DNA, new name.