A Tale of Two Mars Hills


Reposted from @jeremysexton

Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:16)

When I was in my late twenties, serving as an executive pastor, two young pastors suddenly seemed to burst on the evangelical scene. Their churches, both named Mars Hill, were growing rapidly, and a broader Christian audience was taking notice. The two Mars Hills—Rob Bell’s in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area and Mark Driscoll’s in Seattle—were never associated with one another and were very different in doctrine and approach. The only relationship between the two Mars Hills is that they both became broadly well known around the same time. It seemed that suddenly I began to receive emails from pastors and Christians asking if I had heard of Rob Bell or Mark Driscoll and what I thought of their ministries.

Bell was recognized as a creative, story-telling preacher who launched his Mars Hill by preaching through the Book of Leviticus. After he preached a sermon at a Willow Creek preaching conference with a goat next to him the entire time, multiple preachers attempted the same feat. His Nooma videos became Wednesday night youth ministry lessons in churches across the country.

Driscoll was recognized for his strong leadership and straightforward, biblical sermons. He had a brash edge to him, an edge that appealed to young men in the ministry with whom I served. His church was growing in Seattle, of all places, a place recognized as being one of the most unchurched cities in the entire nation.

Read more at Eric Geiger

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