reformatted slightly from the original comment for easier reading.
Since Sutton has been in charge everything has gone downhill.
Attendance has dropped. The only reason it looks like it hasn’t is because in 2013, for the first time ever, MH counted children in the attendance. Before then, they only counted adults. But since the attendance was so bad they added in the children to cover the fact that 3,000 adults left.
Giving is down. The only reason they made budget is because Sutton made up Mars Hill Global, which brings in $4million/year from people outside the church giving so MH can print up bibles for cheap and fund a few church planters in Ethiopia. It probably costs between $85,000-$115,000 for everything MH Global does. But they pitch that thing all the time to “tap” the on-line audience.
Staff morale is in the tank.
Since Sutton has been in charge there has been a 95+% staff turnover rate…in just over 2.5 years. Sutton is famous at MH for his horrible emails in which he rants, threatens, and yells. Apparently, he has a bad temper and takes it out on everyone. All the real leaders left: Bill Clem, Adam Sinnett, Matt Jensen, Tim Gaydos, Jamie Munson, Tim Beltz, Scott Thomas, Brad House, Samuel Choi, Steven Mulkey, Justin Holcomb, Nick Bogardus, Alex Early, Matt Johnson, and more. Those are just the leaders people heard about, but there are lots of leaders behind the scenes that resigned too. Even non-staff elders are resigning: Will Little, Jeff Bettger, Jon Krombien, and more. All these people cared about people and theology. Now, the only way you stay on is because you will do whatever Mark and Sutton say because
1) you’re blind,
2) you’re holding on until you find another job,
3) you like getting paid $120k to be a MH eunuch, or
4) you have no conscience.
Everyone on MH staff knows Sutton had a ghostwriter. He doesn’t know most of the theology in his own book. He hasn’t done any interviews because he knows he can’t answer any questions about some of the theological content in his own book. Mark will never get rid of Sutton because Sutton does Mark’s dirty work and because since Sutton got there Mark’s salary has probably doubled. Why don’t they disclose salaries? Because it is probably an obscene amount. Sutton also set up an “investment” group: the Lucas group. They invest money in the church and get a guaranteed rate of return. They have pamphlets on it. One of my friends was given one from a pastor. Sutton has turned MH into a business that sells the product of a wannabe celebrity.
The Lucas Group is a bit generic name and it seems unlikely to Wenatchee The Hatchet that it would be this Lucas Group to which the anonymous comment referred
Does a Lucas Group with a Mars Hill Church association actually exist?