UPDATE: Mars Hill claimed a copyright violation against the videos embedded below which resulted in them being removed from YouTube.
I’m not sure what to make of it but Mars Hill Church has made three videos private which were once featured on their Mars Hill Global You Tube channel. Two of them feature Pastor Mark Driscoll (in mid-2012) and in the other one, Pastor Sutton Turner (Jan. 2013) asks Mars Hill members for money to support Ethiopian church planting efforts (for a short time, you can see them in the list – #8, #24,#25 – on the Google cache page). Someone named muscleman uploaded the video featuring Sutton Turner before it was removed:
Howdy Mars Hill Church, pastor Sutton Turner here and I’m in Ethiopia, and I just want to thank Jesus for continuing to use Mars Hill Church to make disciples and plant churches. Mars Hill Global is the arm of Mars Hill Church that makes disciples and plant churches all over the world. We not only do church planting, but we help better equip church planters. Most recently, we shipped and now distributed a thousand Bibles into Amharic which is the language here in Ethiopia, and we launched a project to translate Pastor Mark Driscoll’s Doctrine book into Spanish. We have people from over 29 different countries that are giving on a monthly basis to Mars Hill Global.
So whether you’re a member of one of our Mars Hill Church locations in the United States or you’re one of 100,000 podcasters every single week, we encourage you to pray about giving above and beyond your tithe to Mars Hill Global. Thank you and let’s see more materials translated, more pastors sent out, more churches planted, and more people saved by Jesus Christ. (emphasis added)
Because the Google cache won’t last forever, here is a screen capture of the missing videos.
In the video, “To India, Ethiopia and Beyond: A Mars Hill Global Update,” Mark Driscoll takes the first minute of the video to give an update of church planting at Mars Hill in the U.S. Then he says, “We believe there are other opportunities and we are waiting for Jesus to clarify exactly where He wants us to go next. In addition, I want to tell you some things that are going on with Mars Hill Global.” (emphasis added). Note the transition from church planting at Mars Hill to a report about what is going on with Global. Driscoll then summarizes what is happening in India and Ethiopia. At one point, at 2:00, Driscoll points to the Mars Hill congregation and says, “You are funding over a dozen church planters in Ethiopia.” Later, he adds that through Mars Hill Global, the church is getting resources out “to the ends of the Earth.” In the other video, “What is Mars Hill Global?” Driscoll runs down a similar list of accomplishments. He says the international efforts are being done in addition to the church planting in the U.S.
From my point of view, beginning in early 2012, Mars Hill created an impression that gifts to Mars Hill Global were mainly going to international mission efforts. Inadvertently or not, they created confusion (as they have admitted) with their various definitions of Mars Hill Global (is it a non-member audience, is it a fund, is it both?), and their constant references to international efforts in the context of Mars Hill Global pleadings. Actually, most of this has been admitted. What is remarkable is that they used “the preponderance” of donations to expand their locations, even though they gave donors almost no indication that the money was being spent in real time for those local purposes.
In accord with fair use guidelines, I clipped relevant material from the deleted videos. These clips indicate that Driscoll presented Mars Hill Global as something Mars Hill Church was doing in addition to church planting in the U.S. This is of course make sense since the international efforts after 2011 had a name (Mars Hill Global) and a fund (the Global Fund). Non-members gave money to the General Fund and the Global Fund of Mars Hill Church and at times, Mars Hill leaders referred to Mars Hill Global as people around the world who donated money. However, in these clips, Global is referred to as an effort conducted by Mars Hill Church.
I don’t have an opinion about why these videos have been removed. Mars Hill has already acknowledged that the church caused confusion and the leaders spent money that at least some donors believed was going to international missions primarily on domestic expansion. In any case, these videos are three of the clearer presentations of MH Global as something Mars Hill does as opposed to seeing MH Global as a group of non-members who give money.
For all posts on Mars Hill Global, click this link.