A typical Sunday does not see everyone who calls Mars Hill HB home in attendance. If you were unable to join us, you will find below the announcement made by the elders this past Sunday regarding the future of our church community.
I hope to see you this coming Sunday at one of our services. And please plan to participate in the Member Meeting at 1:30p Sunday afternoon, as we will share some additional details that will shape the coming weeks and beyond.
Mars Hill HB,
It is with heavy hearts that the elders announce our determination not to move forward as an independent church.
I want to publicly acknowledge the profound commitment demonstrated by my fellow elders, Brian Jonkman and Steve Zietlow, in faithfully loving & leading this church family, especially over the course of the past year. Since the announcement that Mars Hill Church will dissolve on December 31, 2014, we have talked & prayed together as a team. I can say emphatically these men have also demonstrated a profound commitment to love me and my family.
The Spirit of God has convicted me, as I have wrestled with the future of our church, to listen to the wise counsel of the Spirit-filled men God has place around me. My fellow elders, as well as godly pastors outside of our church community, have consistently expressed concern about my fitfulness to lead at this time. The decision to move forward primarily rested upon my shoulders. While the call & desire to shepherd are present, the health & strength I need to do so at this time are not.
The Spirit of God has also convicted me that the pace at which I have handled my pastoral responsibilities is unsustainable. One poignant result of my unwillingness to slow down is an undue burden on my family for 13 years, especially the last 5. It is beyond time for me to listen to the Spirit and slow down.
On one hand, I am deeply heartbroken at this conclusion, as I’m sure many of you will be as well. This is not the outcome we had envisioned or hoped for and, consequently, there is a grief that accompanies this decision.
On the other hand, I am greatly encouraged by the resilience and response of our church family. You have loved one another well. You have loved your leaders well. You have persevered through many hardships and, without a doubt, have grown in your devotion to Jesus and in your affection for the church, both of which we will carry forward into the church communities God provides for us.
Please know that your elders remain unified & resolved in our commitment to shepherd you in the coming weeks. If you would allow us to lead you through the remainder of this year, here is what we as elders would call you toward:
- Continue to love one another by gathering together here on Sundays and during the week in CGs. Jesus has blessed us, as we’ve all learned, with the community of the church. We will need the support, encouragement, insight and prayer from one another as we seek direction from Jesus.
- Although the coming days are sure to be bittersweet, let’s commit together to celebrate the abundance of God’s grace we’ve experienced together as a church. Each time we gather, on Sundays & in CGs, take the time to recount & retrace the numerous ways we have witnessed Jesus at work among us. On our final Sunday in December we will gather for one service and we’ll invite any who have participated in our community to join us for a party in Jesus’ name.
- Plan to join us next Sunday, November 16 for the Member Meeting at 1:30p. While the decision regarding a new church community rests with you as individuals and families, the elders encourage you to talk and pray together as community groups. We are also here to pray with you and help you discern the Holy Spirit’s voice. In addition, there is some direction for you to prayerfully consider that we are actively working on, which we will share in detail at the Member Meeting.
We love you, Mars Hill HB. Thank you for loving us and allowing us to participate in the work Jesus has accomplished in your lives.
Pastor Matt and the elders of HB
While it appears there is some room for members to form a core group of a church, this leadership structure won’t continue as is.