Remember the Mars Hill Church Jesus Festival?
At the end of 2013, Mark Driscoll’s church asked Mars Hill Church attenders for $2-million because God was going to do great things with the money in 2014. One of those things included a big party the church leaders called a “Jesus Festival.” Driscoll described it this way:
From Pastor Mark Driscoll: Heaven is going to be a party and we need to practice for that party. Over the next few months, you’ll be hearing a lot more about our first-ever Jesus Festival, August 22 at Marymoor Park near Seattle. Everyone at Mars Hill churches far and near is invited for this unique opportunity to grow together and evangelize within the surrounding community. We’ve never done anything quite like this event, but picture a huge outdoor celebration with live bands, food trucks, fun stuff for the kids, open-air gospel preaching, baptisms, and a summer night filled with the worship of thousands of brothers and sisters praising Jesus together. Pastor Dustin Kensrue will be leading us in worship, and as the date gets closer we’ll announce some special guests who will be joining us as well. Thanks to your generosity as a church, the whole thing will be free, which will make it very easy to invite non-Christian family and friends.
The church gave closer to $3-million, but the big heaven-party-practice never happened. No doubt the rapid financial decline of the church had something to do with that, but it may be that the concept of a Jesus Festival served a purpose to rally financial support. When asked about why the church didn’t have the party, Mars Hill Church spokesperson Justin Dean told Huffington Post:
Contrary to what has been reported, we did not raise money specifically for the Jesus festival. Gifts given during the end of the year campaign, as well as any gifts given to Mars Hill Church, go towards ministry operations, evangelism, and church planting all over the world.
Donors often don’t understand that unless the charity makes a specific promise to use their donations in a certain way, the charity decision makers can do what they want with it. They can bait with big plans, then switch to the current expense fund if they want.
Deja Vu All Over Again?
On Tuesday, I reported that Mark Driscoll Real Faith has a Real Need. To finish 2021 strong, he wants people to give him $200,000. He doesn’t say how he plans to use it, just that he needs it. I thought possibly he could need it to do church work, but now I don’t think that is it. I found out he is going to his church for an even stronger finish. Check this out.
The Trinity Church has its own giving campaign. He needs $650,000* for that side of the business.
So just as with Mars Hill Church, Driscoll wants his church to give substantially over and above their regular giving for expenses that apparently don’t fit in the budget.
This ask further confuses the earlier Real Faith ask for $200,000. Driscoll says he needs $200k for Real Faith, but then he says some of this $650k will also benefit Real Faith. Consider this component in the appeal:
2. Add more lighting and cameras so that we can improve the worship experience in the main room and also capture the worship and baptisms (over 400 in 2021!) in audio and video format to share online to minister to the more than 100 million people who are receiving Bible teaching through Real Faith from Trinity Church.
Now it is even less clear what Driscoll wants to do with $200,000 for his personal ministry/business.
Maybe I just don’t understand how this ministry thing works. I’m sure that’s it. The man of god needs are different than the little people in the pew needs. The MOG needs his sermon dial in spot (see below):
And he needs his Loaded First Edition Bronco to contemplate great thoughts.
In any case, I will note again that I bet your local food pantry needs your money more than Rev. Driscoll or most megachurch pastors do. Don’t get me wrong, I know some churches are feeding lots of hungry people and doing lots of good. I bet lots of people will hear about Jesus in 2022 even if you don’t give a cent to Rev Driscoll, so consider helping those who hear about Jesus by knowing his kindness and care via a warm meal or a warm coat, or a cleft palate surgery.
*Mars Hill watchers will no doubt do a double take at the $650,000 amount since that was the amount of Driscoll’s severance in 2014 when he left the church.