Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mars Hill Church, Seattle - Annual Report

Its weird. I don't go to Mars Hill Church in Seattle. Never been there, in fact. I occasionally check in on their podcasts, occasionally listen to their in-house worship music, and occasionally read their blogs.

But I don't belong to their fellowship, don't invest in their fellowship, and really don't have any plans to do either.

But for some strange reason, I feel a connection and a tie to their endeavors.

Obviously, I like Mark Driscoll as a preacher and an author.

But there is something about the transparency and purposefulness of their church that I find compelling.

Each year, I print out and read through the Mars Hill Church Annual Report. I love it. It gives so much information and inspiration. I don't know why exactly - I think maybe its because it makes me feel like a part of the mission - even when I'm not and have no intention of becoming a part of it.

I've read stories about people moving across the country in order to go to Mars Hill and be a part of its ministry. I appreciate these stories, but I am not wired this way.

I've also read stories about groups of people starting "unofficial" Mars Hill campuses in their own homes in far away parts of the country and the world - once again, I appreciate these stories, but I am not wired that way either.

No. I am happy to sit down with a cup of coffee and read through the Annual Report.

The cover page of the report says, "It's all about Jesus." The report is about 20 pages long. They give some stories of Changed Lives - stories that they run regularly on their website each week about people whose lives have been changed by Jesus.

The report talks about their regional growth, their local growth, and their global growth - missionary training, church planting, campus launches, etc. There are three whole pages on their financial endeavors, both incoming and outgoing. It is really quite detailed.

They talk about their micro missions projects. They also discuss their ministries which reach thousands - websites, technology, etc. They also focus on their discipleship ministries - home groups, bible studies, etc. They have 353 community groups with 3933 participants. They have 39 elders and pastors with 17 more in training. They are very purposeful in both discipleship of leaders as well as the church body as a whole.

They go into great detail about their church planting network. It is with chagrin that I note that they still do not have a church plant south of Orlando - I'd just like to check one out - is that too much to ask. They have planted 173 churches so far - 53 in the past year.

As I said - the report is inspiring. I like that, at this point in the game, Driscoll doesn't have his name plastered all over the report. If you didn't know any better, you'd forget that he was involved at all while reading through the report.

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