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God's Work, Our Witness

God's Work, Our Witness Our God is big. Our mission is big. Our plans are big. Our prayers are big. Our request for $6.4 million in November and December is big.

For 15 years, God has worked in big ways at Mars Hill Church. And we believe that God isn’t anywhere close to emptying his bucket of grace with our name on it. In 1996, Grace and I planted the church in our living room with just a handful of people. Today, Mars Hill Church is seeing over 11,000 people each Sunday in ten churches in two states—Washington and New Mexico. This year alone, we’ve seen over 1,000 people profess faith in Jesus and be baptized. Almost 500 Community Groups meet each week to study the Bible and serve each other and their surrounding neighborhoods. Our teaching and resources reach millions of people around the world through and And there are 400 Acts 29 churches with another 400 potential church planters being assessed. All of this is God’s work, not ours. We simply strive to be faithful servants to and witnesses of his work. And now we have multiple opportunities by God’s grace to expand our work as a church even more by doing the biggest, craziest, most epic, and ridiculous thing we've ever attempted:

4 churches: We’ll be planting Mars Hill Church Sammamish, Rainier Valley, Portland, and Orange County, in …

3 states: Washington, Oregon, and California, for …

2 reasons: We love God and we love people (Matthew 22:36–40), on …

1 day: January 15, 2012

Announcing Mars Hill Church Sammamish!

A few weeks ago, the leadership of Evergreen Christian Fellowship (ECF) in Sammamish, Washington, approached us to discuss the possibility of merging with Mars Hill Church to form a second Mars Hill church east of Seattle. Today, I’m excited to announce that the ECF membership voted unanimously to move forward with becoming Mars Hill Church Sammamish. This is a big, grace-filled gift from God. With the opening of Mars Hill Church in Downtown Bellevue, where I preached yesterday to celebrate their grand opening, we now have two strategically located churches to serve the Eastside region. I want to personally thank the folks at ECF for being fantastic in our discussions about becoming Mars Hill. This is a wonderful group of brothers and sisters in Christ with some amazingly gifted and devoted people. Everyone I’ve met loves Jesus, loves the Bible, and wants to see their church reach people and make a difference in their community. Their congregation includes some very gifted leaders and a bumper crop of possible elders/pastors. They already have twenty acres in an amazing location surrounded by families and thousands of students. They have built a beautiful building, and have a strong core of devoted, hard-working, and generous people. We’re very honored to welcome the people of ECF into Mars Hill, and we’re excited about our joint future together. Mars Hill already has a few hundred members on mission and in Community Groups meeting nearby the new location, people who have been praying to one day become part of a Mars Hill Church plant. Their prayers have been answered in a HUGE way! Mars Hill Church Sammamish will open on January 15, along with three other churches in three states. There is much work to do between now and then, so please pray for a smooth transition and for the Holy Spirit’s blessing. Those interested in joining the Sammamish core group are welcome to join us on Sunday mornings starting Sunday, November 27, when I will be there preaching live.

Three more churches to open

In addition to opening Mars Hill Church Sammamish on January 15, we’ll also launch a Mars Hill church in Seattle’s Rainier Valley, in Portland (OR), and in Orange County (CA). That will make for a total of 14 churches across four states, all led by qualified local elders and committed core groups who love Jesus and their cities. Please keep these churches and their leadership in prayer. This is nuts, but Jesus said he would build his church, and we are simply trying to catch up with our Senior Pastor.

Many more projects in the works

As we prepare to plant four new churches, we’re also working on some exciting projects over the next year, including:
  • A new Children’s Ministry program based on my book Doctrine, complete with a fully animated cartoon series and revamped children’s spaces at our churches. This effort is spearheaded by a national, award-winning teacher and a guy who made his living creating kids’ television shows. They both love Jesus and are Mars Hill members helping us innovate a way to disciple children at Mars Hill and beyond.
  • A new to better serve our church and those who need to know Jesus.
  • A new music studio to record the great work of our talented musicians and equip other churches with gospel-centered music resources. This is being done under the oversight of the former head of Solid State Records, a division of Tooth & Nail Records. Our goal with this project is that you would hear a few of our 30-some bands on the radio, see them on tour, and hear their songs in churches around the world.

New sermon series: God’s Work, Our Witness

To celebrate all that God is doing, what God has done, and what God will do, we’ll be doing a five-week sermon series to close out the year called "God’s Work, Our Witness." In the series, which starts around Thanksgiving, I will tell the whole story of Mars Hill and lay out our future vision. We will kick things off with a historical look at all that God has done for our church. The subsequent sermons will cover the following big ideas:
  • Gospel-centered theology
  • Complementarian relationships
  • Spirit-filled lives
  • Missional churches
Most people in Mars Hill only see their service at their location and their Community Group. I want to show you more—way more. By definition, vision is seen, so I need to show you the scope of what God is doing. When I visit our churches, meet lots of people, and talk to our leaders, I get the great honor of seeing much of what Jesus is doing in and through the people of Mars Hill so that I am filled with joy and passion for God’s work in our church. I want that for everyone at Mars Hill. This series will include a tour at every current Mars Hill Church to meet the leaders and hear their stories. I will also introduce you to some folks who have been at Mars Hill since the beginning, as well as people who have become Christians along the way. I will show you some of the places we met in our wandering years. You will hear nutty God-stories. And I will be preaching live at the following times and places and bringing the film crew as a documentary-meets-reality-TV-show-meets-sermon experience. If you want to be present for my visits and the recording, here is the list:

We’re calling for a season of great generosity

The Christmas season is generally filled with remembrance about the time that Jesus came to earth as Immanuel—God with us. But most people don’t know that in a very real sense Jesus is still here. Following his resurrection in Matthew 28:17–20 we read (emphasis added):
Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Jesus is still with us through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit who is empowering our lives individually as Christians and collectively as the church to continue the ministry of Jesus Christ. The "God’s Work, Our Witness" sermon series will be about Jesus not just coming to earth, but coming to individual people, families, cities, and Mars Hill churches. This is what he meant when he promised, "I will build my church" (Matt. 16:18). Yes, we will sing Christmas songs during this sermon series. But we will also look at what Jesus has done in our recent history, and look forward to what Jesus has for us next. God has been extremely generous to us, first by sending Jesus to die on our behalf and to secure salvation for us, and second by blessing Mars Hill to grow and be a part of bringing the gospel to literally millions of people. We are simply riding an epic wave of grace. As such, I’m asking you to be extremely generous this Christmas season. You can see, we have much work to do, by God’s grace, and we need your financial support. We are asking God to give, through you, a total of $6.4 million in November and December to finish the year strong and make room to welcome 9,000 more people. Lord willing, we will nearly double our capacity in time for the Real Marriage campaign starting in January. For 2012 we are asking God for the biggest year we've ever had, and literally everything is lining up for just that to happen. Together let's pursue a vision so big that, if God is not in it, we are doomed to fail. Please give generously to Mars Hill to help support God’s work.

It's All About Jesus

Jesus was a man who claimed to be God. Think on that for a minute. If that were true, how would it change the way you thought, felt, and lived this life?

At Mars Hill, we believe that Jesus is God. We take him at his word. Because of this, everything we do is all about Jesus. We invite you to learn more about this man who is God and how you can find forgiveness and new life in him.

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Making Disciples

God reveals himself through us to others. Our priority is to make disciples who love God and love others well.

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God works through his church to make disciples. Our commitment is to plant churches that love God and love others.

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We value community

Church is more than a service. It’s people living life together and helping one another throughout our cities to serve our cities. Each week, thousands of people at Mars Hill meet in hundreds of small communities to learn about God, pray, eat, laugh, and live. We call these Community Groups—and they’re the heart of our church.

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Mars Hill musicians write fresh music and rearrange timeless hymns for our worship services and recording. Explore Mars Hill Music.

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