Group Leader - Ballard, Bellevue, Rainier Valley 2009-14

Gender

Male

Which describes your role at Mars Hill?

Member, Group Leader (any leadership role)

What Mars Hill location(s) did you attend?

Ballard, Bellevue, Rainier Valley

What years were you involved / attending?

2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

How did you first hear about Mars Hill?

Don't remember, but it was prior to being in the Seattle area and I listened to some podcasts.

What was the circumstance of your first time attending Mars HIll?

I was visiting a friend on Vashon Island and went to a service in Ballard before driving home.

What were your first impressions?

It was big and dark and the people looked "cool".

Why was Mars Hill your church home?

Mars Hill had a strange way of sucking you in and providing a social place for you to belong. As a shy loner it wasn't something I'd experienced elsewhere and was alone in Seattle. So it just grew from there.

What about your time at Mars Hill has had a positive impact on you?

Despite everything I did become a Christian there. That's positive. And I do have several very good friendships that have survived.

What about your time at Mars Hill has had a negative impact on you?

I've always felt like I don't fit in or measure up, so prolonged time at Mars Hill has left me with a very low view of myself. If everything Mark said about what it means to be a good Christian man is true, I'm a failure. Single, not tough, longtime struggler with addictions.

What would you like to have changed about Mars Hill?

More focus on people and the Gospel, not growth and "being all that you can be". A place for broken and contrite sinners to help and care for each other. That's broad and vague, but I don't know what specifically should have been changed. The corporate structure of things was clearly a breeding ground for corruption, so that should have been scrapped.

Which describes you?

I left Mars Hill prior to closure.

Please describe why you left Mars Hill and what that experience was like.

I waited and waited for things to change. Instead I saw more mistreatment of people I knew very closely and repeated media spin instead of change.

How would you describe the reason for Mars Hill's closure to an outsider.

It was built on a celebrity personality instead of being a church. So naturally sandy ground can't support something forever.  

What's changed for you since your time at Mars Hill came to an end?

I'm in a more traditional church now. It's only maybe 100 people, which is nice. My beliefs are at the core unchanged but I'm highly suspect of the christian growth movement and megachurches. I'm also the most depressed I've ever been. I even moved away from Seattle just to get away for the constant reminders of how terrible things were.

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