The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill

The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill

Christianity Today

Overview
Episodes

Details

Hosted by Mike Cosper, this podcast takes you inside the story of Mars Hill Church in Seattle – from its founding as part of one of the largest church planting movements in American history to its very public dissolution—and the aftermath that followed. You’ll hear from people who lived this story, experiencing the triumphs and losses of Mars Hill, knowing it as both an amazing, life-transforming work of God and as a dangerous, abusive environment. The issues that plague Mars Hill and its founder, Mark Driscoll — dangers like money, celebrity, youth, scandal, and power—aren’t unique, and only by looking closely at what happened in Seattle will we be able to see ourselves.

Recent Episodes

The Tempest
NOV 12, 2021
The Tempest
Mars Hill grew dramatically in 2012, and it seemed like nothing could stop the church’s ever-widening expansion. Pastor Mark Driscoll’s book Real Marriage released that January, hit The New York Times Best Seller list, and launched a book tour and a series of television appearances that brought him into countless new homes and churches. But in the next two years, the church would experience endless controversy, turn over almost all of their staff, and discover that no efforts at PR or spin could hide the rot of a deeply dysfunctional culture of leadership. The second-to-last episode of this series is a two-and-a-half-hour look at those final two years, especially between October 2013 and October 2014, to look at exactly what brought down one of America’s fastest-growing churches, and how some of the characters whose lives we’ve followed in this series weathered the turmoil. The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill is a production of Christianity Today It’s executive produced by Erik Petrik It’s produced, written, and edited by Mike Cosper Joy Beth Smith is our associate producer Music and sound design by Kate Siefker Mixed by Mike Cosper Our theme song is “Sticks and Stones” by King’s Kaleidoscope The closing song this week is “O How the Mighty Have Fallen” by The Choir Special thanks to Ben Vandermeer Graphic design by Bryan Todd Editorial Consulting by Online Managing Editor, Andrea Palpant Dilley CT's Editor in Chief is Timothy Dalrymple. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
play-circle
157 MIN
Bonus Episode: Boca Raton's Church Planting O.G.
OCT 19, 2021
Bonus Episode: Boca Raton's Church Planting O.G.
Contrary to Mars Hill lore, Mark Driscoll didn’t plant his church alone. Though he prized the image of a solo, entrepreneurial pastor, Driscoll found early success thanks to two co-planters, a sending church, and a network of support. And three thousand miles away in Boca Raton, Florida, the concept of the Acts 29 church network was already taking shape as an offshoot of the Spanish River Church Planting Network. Church planting requires a certain audacity, and in the early 1970’s nobody had more than David Nicholas. Founder of Spanish River Church, David’s burden for evangelism took shape in mentoring relationships with pastors starting congregations of their own. A planter himself, David empathized with those who felt lonely in that particular calling, and he sought to encourage and empower leaders by offering them community -- a network in which they could receive the care, training and accountability to do their jobs well.  In this episode of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, host Mike Cosper invites us into the room with David Nicholas and Mark Driscoll -- two church planters with widely divergent visions for what constituted successful church growth. Tracing the Acts 29 network from its beginnings, Cosper asks whether any leadership potential is worth overlooking red flags, and whether the broader church actually has what it takes to mentor young leaders with issues of character.  “The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill” is a production of Christianity Today  Executive Producer: Erik Petrik Produced, written, edited, and hosted by: Mike Cosper Additional editing by Resonate Recordings and Matt Linder Associate produced by Joy Beth Smith  Music, sound design, and mixing: Kate Siefker Theme song: “Sticks and Stones” by King’s Kaleidescope Closing song: “Citizens” by Jon Guerra Graphic Design: Bryan Todd Social Media: Nicole Shanks Editorial consulting: Andrea Palpant Dilley, Online Managing Editor Christianity Today Editor in Chief: Timothy Dalrymple Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
play-circle
48 MIN
The Bobby Knight Problem
SEP 21, 2021
The Bobby Knight Problem
In 2006, Mark Driscoll met with a group of Seattle pastors who were worried about Mars Hill’s public witness. Mark had risen to prominence with pugilistic bravado, and local leaders expressed concern that his tone and language about women and, in this particular instance, pastors’ wives hurt the perception of the church in their largely unchurched city. Despite their best efforts to connect on common ground, the meeting’s leaders counted the event a failure. Remarkable success had isolated Mark from the average person on whom his words fell. His institution had insulated him from critique. The meeting revealed clearly that power protected Mark from accountability.   Your pastor doesn’t need outsized fame and acclaim to fall prey to the seduction of power, and neither do you. In this episode of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, host Mike Cosper looks to the world of sports to illustrate how power corrupts and how, when we abdicate our roles as gatekeepers for one another, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Step onto the basketball courts at Indiana University and behind the pulpit at Mars Hill to see how power becomes a strong drug that justifies abuse, keeps truth from speaking, and distances us from our shared humanity. “The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill” is a production of Christianity Today  Executive Producer: Erik Petrik Produced, written, edited, and hosted by: Mike Cosper Additional editing by Resonate Recordings and Matt Linder Associate produced by Joy Beth Smith  Music, sound design, and mixing: Kate Siefker Theme song: “Sticks and Stones” by King’s Kaleidescope Closing song: “Anger” by Treva Blomquist Graphic Design: Bryan Todd Social Media: Nicole Shanks Editorial consulting: Andrea Palpant Dilley, Online Managing Editor Christianity Today Editor in Chief: Timothy Dalrymple Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
play-circle
58 MIN
Demon Hunting
SEP 10, 2021
Demon Hunting
We are people built for wonder, spiritual creatures looking for spiritual footholds in a culture often devoid of belief in the supernatural. We long for miracles -- the defeat of sin and shame, displays of God’s power transforming our deepest pain. For some who attended Mars Hill, the instinct toward astonishment led them to Mark Driscoll’s charismatic deliverance ministry. In a world where belief is so often hard to come by, Mark claimed to have faith strong enough to move mountains and, literally, to cast out demons.  In this episode of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, host Mike Cosper asks the piercing question, “Where’s the line between the hand of God and a charismatic leader?” How do we know when our craving for astonishment is being manipulated? When do we accept the claims of someone speaking on God’s behalf? Using the lesser known Mars Hill “demon trials” as a backdrop, Cosper explores the Pentecostal origins of Driscoll’s deliverance ministry, examines the extra biblical rules that governed Mars Hill spiritual warfare, and considers our longing to hear from God and see him move in our midst. “The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill” is a production of Christianity Today  Executive Producer: Erik Petrik Produced, written, edited, and hosted by: Mike Cosper Associate produced by Joy Beth Smith  Music, sound design, and mixing: Kate Siefker Theme song: “Sticks and Stones” by King’s Kaleidescope Closing song: “Time is a Lion” by Joe Henry Special Thanks to Ben Vandemeer Graphic Design: Bryan Todd Social Media: Nicole Shanks Editorial consulting: Andrea Palpant Dilley, Online Managing Editor Christianity Today Editor in Chief: Timothy Dalrymple Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
play-circle
66 MIN