Which describes your role at Mars Hill?
Group Leader (any leadership role)
What Mars Hill location(s) did you attend?
What years were you involved / attending?
2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
How did you first hear about Mars Hill?
A coworker first invited me to Community Group.
What was the circumstance of your first time attending Mars HIll?
I first visited a Community Group, then went to church that Sunday. During that week, I was laid off from my job. I was a wreck, and very scared about being a jobless recent college graduate.
What were your first impressions?
It seemed very well organized, and I enjoyed the sermon. I felt pretty rusty and out of practice being at church. But everyone seemed happy and to genuinely like each other.
Why was Mars Hill your church home?
I felt like God brought me there. He totally provided community and relationships when I needed them most. I became involved with serving early on, and I think overall it was a natural fit.
What about your time at Mars Hill has had a positive impact on you?
God blessed me tremendously while at and through Mars Hill. He provided community, dear friendships, my husband (we met at CG), teaching that did help grow my faith, and some aspects of serving taught me leadership skills. My relationship with the Lord also blossomed during my time there.
What about your time at Mars Hill has had a negative impact on you?
I felt burnt out after years of serving heavily. I took on those roles voluntarily, but I don't think I was necessarily prepared for the level of responsibility. I still think back to the last person I counseled. The gal's story was beyond heartbreaking, and as a lay counselor, I really had no business trying to "help" when it really required professional attention. I was totally overwhelmed, and I hope now that I (in my inexperience) didn't add pain to what was already a hard story.
What would you like to have changed about Mars Hill?
Probably the expectation that everyone should serve all the time. I've realized that I have so much more freedom in Christ since Mars Hill than I ever thought possible while attending. Also, I wish the leadership had been more transparent. I never felt like I was ever "in the know" about what was going on.
Which describes you?
I left Mars Hill prior to closure.
Please describe why you left Mars Hill and what that experience was like.
We moved a few months before the church closed, and stopped attending then. Even though we only moved 15 minutes away, I don't think anyone noticed we had left. No leaders ever reached out. I was surprised, given how invested we had been.
How would you describe the reason for Mars Hill's closure to an outsider.
There was dark and unfortunate business going on within the church and with Pastor Mark. Many people left the church, and there was an incredible about of slandering and disagreement between current and former church members. Pastor Mark was publicly called to repent, which he didn't, and then all of a sudden the church closed.
What's changed for you since your time at Mars Hill came to an end?
Trying to get involved in a new church community, but honestly, we are a little gun-shy. It was so sad that everything happened with Mars Hill, but it revealed to me that I had a "Jesus + Mars Hill" theology that I didn't realize until it was all over. I'm thankful now that I don't hold that misbelief anymore.