On Sunday I had the privelge of attending Mars Hill Church in Seattle for the first time in person. As one who frequently listens to the podcasts it was a pleasure to visit the church and see first hand what goes on.
Walking into the Ballard campus I knew I was at Mars Hill straight away by the familiar branding and themes that pretty much encompassed everything. Finding my way to a seat the service began with a short time of worship followed by Pastor Mark preaching and then more worship, including communion and a chance to give. The sermon was top notch, as I’ve come to expect, and I left wondering how one man can preach the 4 or 5 times each Sunday, as well as every other commitment he keeps. Quite astounding.
Looking around I could see that many people were young and yes, there were many guys there (which is something that’s profoundly interesting to me as men in England don’t seem to like church that much, especially the younger ones). I was at the 11:15 service (there are several services across several campuses a day) and it wasn’t just all families – young people actually got out of bed to attend the service.
The literature I picked up had plenty of great information and I felt that if I were to stay in Seattle and make Mars Hill my church that I would be able to fit in very quickly. The ways to get connected were numerous and highlighted. I opted to fill in the visitor card which resulted with a voicemail that I found after touching down in Chicago saying thanks for getting in touch and telling me who to call if I want to find out more. I thought that was pretty neat!
I really enjoyed my time at Mars Hill and the time that I got spend in Seattle. It’s true, the city is a little weird, but then again I’ve spent quite a bit of time on the north-shore of Maui which is just as weird. But weird or not, people seem to be connecting with the gospel as it’s preached faithfully and repeatedly and so I praise God for that. Mars Hill has a vision of expanding to 50,000 members and I pray for their success. It’s a bold vision, but there are some bold people behind it. And as someone once said, “One on God’s side is a majority.”