Private - Ballard 2005+

Gender

Prefer not to say

Which describes your role at Mars Hill?

I was one of the above but prefer not to specify.

What Mars Hill location(s) did you attend?

Ballard

What years were you involved / attending?

2005

How did you first hear about Mars Hill?

friends said it was a really great church and invited me

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

all of my 2 friends were part of the Mars Hill craze so i came to check it out

What were your first impressions?

it was making cookie cutters out of people and it made me uncomfortable right away

Why was Mars Hill your church home?

cause i was trying to fit in

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

they made me so afraid to be myself that by the time i left i did not even care what the consequences would be and finally started following my heart

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

Mars Hill enhanced the fear i already had & encouraged it along with self hatred, religiosity and self punishing. They taught me to take salvation into my own hands instead of God's natural plan for me. i feel like it was microwave salvation with a theory and a plan on how to be convicted repent etc. they taught how friendships should be and everything was control disguised as purpose and vision. they gave a promise that if you can follow protocol... but you can't. you can't force conviction. My life is on a different track than they said it was. i am feeling more me and more free. this reminds me of how the Israelites wanted a king. it's hard to choose wilderness but that is what i need now. although i am encompassed by fear i am choosing the wilderness. they made it sound like the promised land was the end goal. there is nothing i can do to get myself to the land where milk and honey flows. it will just be my love for God and his ways of working it out that will get me there.   

What would you like to have changed about Mars Hill?

i did not like their regiment. they had a system for everything, for how to do friendship how to wake up in the morning etc. i want to just get a beer or have a coffee, not root for sin or try to save someone  etc. i wasn't just loving people for people. it would have been way more helpful if they just listened and loved people for where they are at- to trust God will take care of people instead & just be a friend. nobody has the power to fix people and i didn't feel supported or loved for who i am.

Which describes you?

I stayed at Mars Hill through closure.

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

because i was trying to marry somebody and it turned out really bad so i left, you were supposed to be making him into a man

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

they were unable to make people men. especially the women. they had no idea what to do with them at all.
their willingness to control. they refused to accept people's individuality and that there is no way to funnel all people into a right way of doing things. they interpreted the bible to become a christian book for dummies and i believe that to force yourself to be something you are not is suffocating. the sacrifice to make my church happy and keep my salvation on lockdown put me out. everybody gave their right arm to be a part of it and that's what is so fucked up.

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

i have learned to cope with my fear of living outside of the box. everyone is different and God loves all of them so i am learning though it's hard to break out of my bubble and believe in God's love. being a slave to the church is just as bad as being a slave to the world. Slaves to God are the happiest slaves. It’s scary but i think it’s true.

Please write anything else you'd like to add.

even though it was a rigorous and hurtful process, with all the expectations from my family the world and pleasing people, Mars Hill was the straw that broke the camel's back. everybody wants me to be something but i am not going to do that. God is always going to be faithful and he will ultimately make me the person i am designed to be. not a system, not a theology. I am just happy that wherever i end up i am going to be me.

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