Thursday, September 18, 2014

another thought about the March 2012 memo--so people watching Mark sermons on a DVD later was fine but Film & Theology was "not sustainable" after being around more than a decade?

http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/files/2014/09/Current-Financial-Situation-March-17-12.pdf
16. Having ministries like Film and Theology and Military Missions is not sustainable.
17. Doing anything other than weekly capture and next week playback is not sustainable.
18. Supporting Acts29 and spending $800,000 to $1.2M per year is not sustainable.
19. Doing anything that is not Making Disciples, Training Leaders and Planting Churches is not
sustainable.


Wasn't Military Missions basically a book distribution ministry?  It had been around for a while, at least a few years.

Acts 29 was an entity that was co-founded by Mark Driscoll and the whole aim of the organization has been church-planting.  Why Turner would have decided that supporting Acts 29 was not sustainable could have been fleshed out.  Blunt yet cryptic references to a Scott not being good at checking spending wouldn't be clear enough. 

Now about Film and Theology there are two points for consideration.

First, the ministry had been in place since pretty much the dawn of Mars Hill and had been run by James Harleman for an entire decade, basically.  What about that was "not sustainable", especially in light of the reality that in late 2011 Sutton Turner signed the contract with Result Source Inc to buy a spot on the NYT best seller list for Real Marriage?  Harleman came in on Fridays and brought DVDs he got on his dime to discuss at regular intervals and had been doing this since at least 2011 (Satoshi Kon's film Perfect Blue for those who want to know).  And that gets to ...

Second, since the move to multi-site in 2007 and the drop of live-feed in 2009 Mars Hill had already gotten to a point where the vast majority of Mars Hill attenders aren't even watching Mark Driscoll preach live or in person.  They're watching a DVD that's popped into a player that was produced  a week or even two weeks before depending on production issues.  When people at community groups talk about a Driscoll sermon they are most likely talking about something they saw on a DVD at least a week after the sermon was actually preached.  Talking about something you watched on a DVD that was filmed earlier doesn't seem to be "unsustainable" for Film & Theology if it's also fundamentally the very nature of what most Mars Hill members would call "church" and "community group discussion".

Just something to consider.  The 2012 memo presents itself as full of reasonable and concerned ideas but some of them suggest its author had no clue at all about how some of the material might come across to someone with ten years inside of Mars Hill culture.  The stuff about entitlement on the part of the leadership didn't even go for the jugular and the stuff about Film & Theology not being sustainable seemed to reflect some ignorance of the foundational nature of the "church" experience at Mars Hill that had been in place since 2009.  For a review of how and why pretty much all of Mars Hill became watching Mark's sermon on a DVD at least a week later go here.

3 comments:

Unknown said...

I'm not 100% sure I really understand the point here? Is it that the cost of F&T was so low that it calling it "unsustainable" was not correct? I always assumed they had to pay licensing fees in order to do a public showing of the movie.

Unknown said...

Wenatchee, you totally miss the point, which is the implied CONTEXT of "not sustainable." Translation: the activity is "not sustainable" if it costs money/staff time but doesn't bring in a large net of additional dollars and/or new participants for Mars Hill. This would exclude Acts 29, which is NOT about growing Mars Hill. You also confuse "Film & Theology" with the ongoing DVD sermon distribution, which is obviously an essential core administrative function.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

yet the list of some things that could change included Acts 29 giving as one of the things that was "not sustainable", too. That's a mission-central function if there ever was one in the history of Mars Hill, and refers to an organization Driscoll co-founded.