Mars Hill Church Will Close Its Doors for Good

Very big, very unexpected news out of Mars Hill today. Following the sudden, surprise resignation of famously controversial pastor Mark Driscoll, the massive, multisite church he founded will dissolve over the next two months. Each of the 13 churches that comprised Mars Hills' empire will either go their own way, merge with another church or close their doors for good. As Mars Hills teaching pastor Dave Bruskas wrote in a letter to the church today:

"Rather than remaining a centralized multi-site church with video-led teaching distributed to multiple locations, the best future for each of our existing local churches is for them to become autonomous self-governed entities. This means that each of our locations has an opportunity to become a new church, rooted in the best of what Mars Hill has been in the past, and independently led and run by its own local elder teams."

In the meantime, Mars Hill will sell all their existing church properties or allow them to be assumed by the new, independent churches. Mars Hill will also fire all their existing staff and then dissolve entirely. "Ultimately, the success of this plan, and the future viability of each of these new local churches rest solely on all of us continuing to be faithful in supporting Jesus’ mission through our attendance and continued giving," wrote Bruskas ...

Top Comments

Kyle Stoeckig


Kyle Stoeckig commented…

This is very sad news. However, it raises a very good question regarding multi-site churches. What will become of them when the charismatic pastor/leader leaves? I attend North Point Community Church and have often wondered what will happen when Andy Stanley retires? Is multi-site sustainable in the long run? Maybe Relevant can interview some of these pastors about their exit strategies?

Richard Busby


Richard Busby commented…

I think it is a good call on the part of Mars Hill leadership. Be sure to stick around for the rest of the story.

They aren't scattering the ashes of Mars Hill, they are sowing seeds of the gospel which is not dead but very much alive in the body of Christ everywhere.


Danny Sathyadass


Danny Sathyadass commented…

Great move. The churches that Paul planted were autonomous and interdependent.Out of the ashes Christ's Church will rise in each and every location where Mars Hill has taken root. The Gates of hell will not prevail
No doubt there'll be losses and people moving out to other locations or churches. But those who stick on and work together through the storm. With God's help they can experience the power of his spirit to be available as Christ builds his church.



Jase commented…

I think the details are not what matters but rather the un-biblical system. Let it not be so among you: but if anyone has a desire to become great among you, let him be your servant; Christ example is not really being followed in most all organized churches and this might help explain why.



SparkleEyes commented…

I think dissolving is a good move. There were some unhealthy things going on in the Mars group of churches. Even if a particular satellite church was healthy, there is an element of being tarnished if the mother church is non-functional.

I hope the healing will be quick. I hope the upper leadership learns from this situation. It sounds like the upper leadership and elders were part of the problem. Seek God for the healing and reflection.



Robert commented…

No, I do not agree that this is a sensational title or that the article is at all stretching the truth, as someone has said above. Selling all existing church properties, terminating all existing staff, dissolving entirely, while leaving satellite locations the option to buy the land, merge with another church, or to simply close their doors altogether sure sounds like Mars Hill closing it's doors.

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