The Mars Hill Church Job Description

The Mars Hill Church Job Description May 30, 2012

Here it is, from the site of the search firm running the search:

The Vanderbloemen Search Group is thrilled to partner with the leadership of Mars Hill Bible Church to find a full-time Teaching Pastor to join their community in Grandville, Michigan.

With the transition of founding pastor Rob Bell this January, Mars Hill is seeking a full-time teaching pastor to join in the ongoing mission and program of Mars Hill. This person will teach 35 – 40 weekends per year and work collaboratively with the Ministry Leadership Team. The Teaching Pastor will engage actively with the Mars Hill community and participate fully in the ministry of Mars Hill.

The Teaching Pastor will be an exceptionally compelling, creative communicator of the Scriptures in ways that eliminate hurdles to Christ all the while challenging the thinking of the community. Mars Hill embraces a conversational, expository style of teaching that embraces historical context, and careful explanation of the original languages in a style that engages questions.

West Michigan and the Grand Rapids area is known for its philanthropy, strong community values and as an ideal place to raise a family with great schools and neighborhoods with a low cost of housing and living. Additionally, with access to many arts, festivals, restaurants, area skiing and snowboarding as well as the gorgeous Lake Michigan beaches, there are many activities during all four seasons to enjoy.

via Mars Hill Bible Church | Vanderbloemen Search Group.

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  • Greg D

    Our churches have become institutionalized and so similar to corporate businesses, that we now use “Job Search Agencies” to fill roles within the church. We use worldly and inviting terms to recruit pastors (i.e. great schools, low cost of living, beaches, skiing, etc.) Oh, how we have totally lost our focus. Would the 1st century church even recognize us today? We have become so ingrained into the world’s culture, married to Caesar, that we are really no different than the mid-sized business located down the street.

    With that said, I hope and pray that Mars Hill Church finds themselves a good pastor similar to Rob Bell.

    • The dirty little secret is that ministry leadership is the same as finding a CEO, or you can have the other advantage of cronyism.

      Why was Rob able to go to Hollywood? Because he directed, acted, and started in a production week in and week out. “Flat Church,” “New Christians,” whatever the case is, things have change and are what they are.

    • Mark

      He who is not dancing scandalously with Western Capitalist Culture throw the first stone.

  • Ben

    Appears to have been posted back in February. Does this mean Shane didn’t intend to stay on in the role of primary teaching pastor?

  • I recall in Shane’s comments posted yesterday that the Board of Elders invited him to apply but did not guarentee him the job. What he really announced was that he was pulling out of the process. Corporate church, mega church, even mainline congregational based denominational churches advertise like businesses for staff. The spiritual call does seem to sometimes be outweighed by salary, benefits, schools and lifestyle.

  • It’s unlikely that the person who’s brought on will be a cold applicant, but rather someone who’s asked to be in the process. My guess is everyone from Erwin McManus to Francis Chan will be approached.

    Yet even as I write that I feel I shouldn’t speculate. Going to pray for a moment for this church and its potential.

    • Jordan McKenzie

      Erwin McManus would definitely be a good candidate, but I doubt Francis Chan would be approached or consider the job, given that he’s more of a West Coast guy and given his response to Love Wins and his much more conservative theological leanings.

  • geez. talk about an impossible job description.

  • Michael

    I this the blog where I apply for the job. I promise that if I am hired, I will create a spectacular scandal ridden flame out which will destroy the church and send everyone scurrying for another place instead of hanging on hoping to re-create some lost magic. I’d be perfect.

    • I nominate Michael Toy.

      So the attendance/joybox numbers have been slipping since Rob moved on. Shane was likely given some ultimatums about the importance of not losing the ground that has been gained. Shane, being the person he is said, “I don’t care about that crap.” The Mars Hill executives said, well, we need to find someone who will do it our way and create the sensation that we have become accustomed to.

      Hypothetical, of course. I have no clue what is really happening.

      I would say it is inevitable that such a large corporation would eventually turn crusty.

  • As a frequent attender (my wife is a covenant member), I kinda like the job description. The elders understand what makes this church unique in the area — and they want to preserve that. To me (an interested party) it sounds pretty good. A sharp turn toward TULIP Calvinism would certainly send us out the door — fast.

  • Turning to corporate head hunters is a necessity when there isn’t a denominational process in operation. While each denomination works differently, I’ve never seen a job description that lists local amenities! But, hey, why not?

    Of course, I moved from Santa Barbara to Metro-Detroit. If based simply on amenities, I doubt I’d have made the switch — but the call comes and you decide if you will follow!

  • First – Why are they even posting this? Is the job seriously open to anyone who is not already a celebrity pastor?

    Second – Do they honestly think those who may apply for the job don’t know what Mars Hill is? Or, that they need to lure someone in with community amenities? If they do feel they need to place an ad, all it needs to say is, “Mars Hill is looking for a new pastor, apply if you think you have any chance of replacing Rob Bell”.

    Third – The teaching pastor only has to teach 35 to 40 Sundays a year – sounds pretty sweet. But, how many books do I have to publish each year?

    • If you recall, when Mars Hill approached Shane… I wouldn’t place him in the “celebrity pastor” category… and as an attender, we loved Shane and learned a lot of his teachings. Whom ever the elders and the church bring in to teach will be for that right a fit.
      Secondly, have you ever been to this church. They don’t even sell books there. They don’t sell anything there. Obviously, you are from the outside “thinking” in, not looking in. Rather presumptuous of you. But thanks anyways Nathan.

      • No I have never attended Mars Hill, yes I am on the outside looking in and yes I am make presumptions (and why stop now).

        Shane wasn’t a celebrity pastor, but it does not appear that Shane could, or wanted to live up to the expectations set for him. If the members and leaders of Mars Hill are willing to accept that the days of Rob Bell are behind them, then I’m sure there are many good non-celebrity pastors who would do a fantastic job. But, that will probably mean reduced numbers and no more national attention. Mars Hill is in a difficult transition phase and I hope that it goes well. I’m not eagerly anticipating its demise. However, I think that things are going to have to drastically change at Mars Hill and many people won’t like that. And sadly, for many people the only person that could replace Rob Bell is another celebrity pastor. (I know that celebrity pastor has a negative connotation and I’m not trying to be snarky, but I don’t know what other title to use.)

        Books may not be for sale at the church, but Rob Bell still wrote many, which brought a lot of attention to Mars Hill and I’m sure helped the attendance. Furthermore, we wouldn’t be discussing Mars Hill, or their pastor selection if it wasn’t for Rob Bell’s fame. If the members of Mars Hill want their pastor to continue to have the kind of influence Bell had then the next pastor will need to write books. If you want people like me to stop making uninformed comments about Mars Hill on forums such as this then that means Mars Hill is going to become a very different church than what it has been.

        Your welcome Mark

  • The job description sounds like they want a Rob Bell clone.. Question to ask is it right to ask that the person hired to be like the predecessor and squash who they are in order to make others happy?

    Not knowing the full details on what is happening inside, it looks dubious looking in from the outside on the story with the controversies and loss of attendance, etc.. This is what happens when church revolves around a person rather than the universal priesthood of all believers.