The enemy of our souls uses shame incessantly in our culture, but we can fight that with the truth of God’s Word. Psalm 34:5 says, “Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” If we have looked to Christ as the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2), he has given us his pure righteousness. Our faces are now radiant because of his beauty shining through us and we shall always find complete acceptance, not shame, in the presence of God.
Khalid’s Story | RED Junior High Summer Camp
This past week, Mars Hill RED, our student ministry, took a few hundred junior high students to Great Wolf Lodge for three days of gospel, worship, community, and amazing memories. It was a life-changing experience for many, and we got to celebrate with 21 young people who surrendered themselves to Jesus.
Pastor Adam Ramsey shared this: “My favorite story of God’s grace from the past week was that of two brothers, who were sponsored to go to camp through the generosity of Mars Hill members.”
Khalid (pictured above) and Yesin had never experienced church community, and they were anxious because they had no idea what to expect. By the second day, they were asking their leader question after question. They had a genuine interest about Jesus and the Bible, but they were still skeptical. Their Community Group leader shared the story of what happened on the final night of camp:
To my surprise, during our final session’s worship set Yesin was clapping along and raising his hand high in response. I thought that he might be merely mimicking the others without truly understanding what it meant to respond, but when it came time for Pastor Adam’s challenge to lace up one of their shoes with a red lace to remind them how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news, they joined in. I looked on in awe and, honestly, with a hint of doubt as my co-leader, Kevin, prayed for them while they pulled their new red laces tight.
When we got back to our room, I turned to Khalid and asked him, “So what did tonight mean to you?” He said, “Jesus is my Savior now.” I dug a little deeper and asked, “So what does that mean then?” Khalid replied “Well, Jesus died to save sinners and I’m a sinner.” I was amazed by such a simple yet perfect answer; two new brothers in Christ had been welcomed into the family!
We spent time as a Community Group talking about faith versus works and baptism, and we ended by praying for them. The next day Khalid told me that they would like to be baptized and to start coming to RED. I am so thankful and excited for what God is doing in the lives of these two young men. Knowing that they come from a larger family with four sisters and a younger brother fills me with hope—not just for these two, but for their siblings and mom as well.
Jesus is working powerfully in the lives of the younger generation of Mars Hill Church. We are so grateful to everyone who sponsored a junior high student to RED Summer Camp. Our high school students are heading out for their camp in just over two weeks, and many are still waiting on sponsorship. If you are able to invest in the life of one of our high school students, you can change a life by going here to give.
Donation Update | Washington Wildfire Relief Fund
Thank you for your generosity! As of yesterday evening, $41,265.45 has been raised for the victims of the devastating wildfires. Please continue to give as the Lord leads you. Remember that every dollar will go to support, aid, and help the recovery of victims in Eastern Washington. Go here to give today—be sure to select "Washington State Wildfire Relief" from the dropdown menu.
Update from the Board of Advisors & Accountability
On Friday our board chairman, as well as many of our other pastors, received a letter from Matt Chandler, the president of Acts 29. The letter notified us that the board of Acts 29 has removed Pastor Mark and Mars Hill from membership in the Acts 29 church-planting network. Our board responded to the letter with the following update to our elders, and we wanted to share it with you as well.
I told the lead pastors at the recent annual retreat that we are making real progress in addressing the serious reconciliation and unhealthy culture issues that have been a part of Mars Hill Church for way too long. And we are. I also told them that more opposition would undoubtedly be coming, and it has. Friendly fire always hurts the most.
I have never in my life spoken with Matt Chandler or any of the Acst 29 board members for that matter (except Darrin Patrick, once about 4 years ago as part of Pastor Mark’s employment review process which he used to be a part of). In addition, no one from Acts 29 contacted Larry Osborne of our board prior to this decision. And perhaps most significantly, Pastor Mark was not personally contacted by the A29 board prior to receiving this announcement.
So I am not quite sure what Matt means by “leaning on the board to take the lead in dealing with this matter.”
Be assured of this, the formal charges that were filed were serious, were taken seriously and were not dismissed by the board lightly. There is clear evidence that the attitudes and behaviors attributed to Mark in the charges are not a part and have not been a part of Mark’s life for some time now.
Our board’s decision is final regarding these charges, although will no doubt continue to be played out in the courts of public opinion. Again, I am deeply saddened that the Acts 29 board would make such a decisive and divisive conclusion without speaking directly to the board or Mark prior to their public announcement.
My counsel to you is to not become bitter or angry. Continue to pray for all involved. Continue to love and lead the people God has brought to your churches. They need a pastor right now and God has given them you!
Michael Van Skaik
Chairman, Board of Advisors and Accountability
Global Fund Update
Gifts to Mars Hill have always supported evangelizing, making disciples, equipping leaders, and planting churches in the United States, but also currently in Ethiopia and India as well. Every gift helps support the ministries and operations of every local Mars Hill Church, as well as our international efforts in church planting and evangelism. Last month we updated you on our effort to be more clear about our communications related to our international efforts and our global audience.
We recently reached out to 6,000 donors who had given a gift toward what was previously called the “global fund” since 2012. We asked if they intended their donation to go specifically to our efforts in Ethiopia and India. To update you, we have fulfilled the request of sixteen individuals who expressed their intent to give toward our international ministry. We have ensured their previous gift(s) were used to support making disciples and planting churches specifically in Ethiopia, where we are currently supporting 40 evangelists, or in India, where we support 33 church planters, rather than applying it to our work in the U.S.
Thank you to the 483 people in our Global Family who gave to Mars Hill Church in July.
If you have any questions regarding Mars Hill Global, we recently posted updates to our Global FAQ page, which you might find helpful.
Staff Chapel | Pastor Ed Choi
During the summer, the support staff at Mars Hill have the opportunity to learn from several of our gifted lead pastors during Staff Chapel. This week, Pastor Ed Choi, lead pastor of Mars Hill Rainier Valley, brought a message to the staff from Romans 12.
Pastor Mark at Creation Festival 2014
This past Saturday, Pastor Mark went over to Tri-Cities, Washington, to be a part of Creation Festival Northwest, a three-day outdoor concert/conference event. He preached a message entitled, “It’s all about Jesus.” Please pray for the students who attended, that Jesus would use this event for his glory alone in their lives.
Best Sermon Ever
Our Best Sermon Ever series is well under way at our churches. We hope you were encouraged by Dr. Wallace’s teaching on the validity of Scripture. You will most certainly be challenged and encouraged by Tope Koleoso this weekend as he speaks on walking by faith. Here is a rundown of the remaining guest preachers during this series:
- Tope Koleoso is Nigerian-born and has been at Jubilee Church in London for 19 years, 10 of which he served as the lead pastor. Before moving to London, he showed the Jesus Film and preached the gospel in rural African villages.
- Dr. Jack Graham is the lead pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, one of the largest churches in the United States. Through his church, he has a radio program that is broadcast across the globe to an audience in over 78 countries.
- Dr. Larry Osborne joined us for the Best Sermon Ever series last summer. He is lead pastor of North Coast Church in Vista, California, and helped pioneer the multi-site church movement.
Back-to-School Supplies Drive
Paul tells the Colossians to “walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time” (4:5). The current “time” is back-to-school season and we want to use that as an opportunity to love our communities well. So, we’re doing a Back-to-School Drive. Please bring school supplies to your church by August 17th to bless a school in your community. You can read more details here.
Sponsor a Student for Camp today
Time is running out on your opportunity to sponsor a student to go to summer camp. As you read above, junior high camp has come and gone already and the lives of several students were eternally changed because of your generosity. RED high school students camp is at the end of this month. Each year, hundreds of students have the opportunity to hear about Jesus, make new friends, and make some of the best memories of their lives. Some of these students come from families that can’t afford the cost of summer camp. We invite you to change a student’s life by sponsoring them to go to camp this summer. Follow this link to take advantage of this opportunity.
Check out this video to get an idea of all that our students will experience this summer:
Short-Term Mission Trips to Ethiopia
If you are interested in going to Ethiopia with Mars Hill in 2015, we need to hear from you soon. Fill out this form to receive updates as they become available. You can read about current plans for these upcoming missions here.
Mars Hill Schools | Last week to apply
Mars Hill Schools is launching in a month and we are excited to host many of our members and regular attenders who have wanted higher education in biblical studies. If that’s you, you need to apply soon. The application deadline for Corban University is less than one week away: August 15. You can go here to find out more and to apply online.
- Aug 15: Corban University application deadline
- Aug 17: Final day of the Back-to-School drive
- Aug 26–29: RED senior high summer camp at Washington Family Ranch (Register here.)
- Aug 24–Aug 31: Special Sunday
- Aug 31–Sept 7: 1 John: Love One Another series launch
- Sept 11: Vision Breakfast (RSVP here)
- Oct 28–29: Resurgence Conference 2014
- Nov 13: Vision Breakfast
- Dec 24: Christmas Eve
By Pastor Mark Driscoll
By Pastor Mark Driscoll
Bellevue: After the 8:30 a.m. service, one of the Bellevue elders was introduced to a young woman who recently moved to Seattle from Iran to escape religious persecution. Some of her friends had been attending Mars Hill and had recommended she come visit. She’s eager to be baptized since no Christian churches in Iran practice baptism—it’s too public and therefore dangerous. She had actually never even heard the reasons for baptism. She also requested a certificate of baptism as part of her case for applying for long-term religious asylum in the U.S. Pray that she can continue to grow in her faith here.
Everett: A college student who recently moved to Everett has been attending Mars Hill for a few months. A couple weeks ago, she approached Pastor Ryan after service in tears and asked for prayer for a friend who was apparently on her deathbed with cancer. Pastor Ryan prayed that Jesus would heal her in order to bring glory to himself. This past Sunday, the same student excitedly came up and reported that her friend was doing much better, to the surprise of all. They praised Jesus together for his grace and asked that this would become a well-known story, so that his name would be made great.