Wednesday, October 01, 2014

W. Throckmorton: memo regarding MH Global fundraising and actual international activity--"This percentage should be flexible (not a "tithe"), and not communicated to the public. "

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/10/01/mars-hill-global-fund-help-the-helpless-or-use-the-helpless/

http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/files/2014/10/GlobalFundMemo2011.png

Just a few observations about the following:
...
Global Focus

The vision and activities connected to the Global Fund must focus on reaching the worldwide church. As a person sits in front of his computer in Qatar, London, Cape Town, or Sydney, he does not care about Mars Hill planting in Everett. As an international citizen, however, he cares greatly about global evangelism, global missions, global causes for Jesus, global church-planting, etc. Though the sentiment is rare among Americans, people abroad feel a sense [of] belonging kinship with the global community.

Flagship Projects
of the money that comes into the Global Fund, designate a fixed percentage internally for highly visible, marketable projects such as mission trips, orphan care, support for pastors, and missionaries in the third world, etc (ten to fifteen strategic operations in locations where Mars Hill wants to be long term). This percentage should be flexible (not a "tithe"), and not communicated to the public. Support for Mars Hill Global would be support for Mars Hill Church in general, but the difference and the draw would be that a portion of Global gifts would also benefit projects that spread the gospel and serve the needs of people around the world.

The litany of countries suggests a Sutton Turner era mindsight within leadership since nobody prior to Sutton Turner would have seemed to have any reason to mention the country as a possible residence for a Mars Hill Global audience.  Nor would a local-grown Mars Hill leader have even bothered to mention the general lack of solidarity American Christians tend to feel for Christians abroad.  So the memo, if authentic, would seem to date squarely in a stage no earlier than the formal kingship of Sutton Turner based on the writing style and the peculiarities of mentioning Qatar and the contrast between the mentality of American Christians vs Christians abroad (though, to throw the author of the memo a bone that is probably a point worth emphasizing even if not for the reasons the memo was getting at).

Which almost straightaway leads one to recall that Mars Hill Everett sure thought it was a big deal that monies from Mars Hill Global were put to use for their benefit.  In fact the thanks was so profuse (and the propensity of Mars Hill to purge content if ever Wenatchee The Hatchet quotes it in 2014 so common) it seems worth it to reprint the entire text of Pastor Ryan Williams' thank-you to Mars Hill Global.

https://marshill.com/2014/06/05/thank-you-mars-hill-global-sincerely-mars-hill-everett
Thank you, Mars Hill Global. Sincerely, Mars Hill Everett.

By: Mars Hill Church
Posted: Jun 05, 2014


Mars Hill Global is made up of 250,000 people around the world who tune in to the Mars Hill Church podcast on a weekly basis. You, our global audience, are praying and giving to Mars Hill Church to see more people meet Jesus, grow in him, and join his mission. One example of what your participation has done over the last year is the planting of Mars Hill Everett in their new home. This letter, from Everett’s lead pastor, Ryan Williams, outlines the specifics of the direct impact you are having on the church.

Thank you, Mars Hill Global.

The last twelve months here at Mars Hill Church Everett have been amazing! Twelve months ago we were setting up in a community college gym; now we worship in our own amazing building. Twelve months ago no one in the city that we minister to knew that we even had a church here; now we have a visible presence in the city we love. Twelve months ago paint fumes filled our Kids Ministry rooms; now the sounds of kids playing and learning about Jesus fill them. Twelve months ago we crammed our leaders into our tiny office space to train and lead them; today we meet in our own building with plenty of room to teach. So much has been happening and it couldn’t have happened without you.

In the last twelve months we have packed up our setup/teardown gear and moved permanently into the city we love! We moved into an awesome building that for more than 90 years was used as an armory for the Washington National Guard. Our auditorium was once filled with soldiers practicing drill; today it is filled with people praising Jesus. We are a predominately blue-collar congregation with great, amazing people. But we are by no means a wealthy church. Our people work super hard and are amazingly generous to the church, but we just did not have the income to fully fund our own down payment and renovation expenses.

There are many beautiful things about being a part of the church of Jesus Christ, but one of the most beautiful things about the church is that we love and serve one another even if we are not in the same local congregation. Paul speaks of this example in Romans 15:26: “For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem.” In this passage we see churches from around the region blessing and serving other churches in need. Mars Hill Global, that is exactly what you did for Mars Hill Everett and we thank you! Your generosity has allowed us to have a visible presence in our city and county. It has given us a building in which to love and care for hurting people and a place to hold services where the gospel will be proclaimed for, God willing, the next few hundred years.

God has blessed your generosity with many amazing stories of redemption. We baptized 28 people at the grand opening of our new building and then we were blessed to baptize 34 people on Easter. Many of these people became believers in our new building through the preaching of the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit.

The good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is continuing to be proclaimed here in Everett through Mars Hill Church. By God’s grace, many people are experiencing the new life found in Jesus Christ. Thank you for your prayers, love, support, and generosity.
–Pastor Ryan Williams

That sounds like a lot of stuff made possible by the funds of Mars Hill Global. 

It may be worth repeating that in the Jamie Munson era Mars Hill Global was pretty plainly put forth as a way to fundraise for global expansion projects that were identifiably in the United States, particularly the Resurgence Training Center, but that starting in the Sutton Turner era a strategic and perceptible shift in what Mars Hill Global was described as being and what it was described as doing took place.  Warren Throckmorton has discussed all of that in considerably more detail.

What Wenatchee The Hatchet wants to highlight is not simply that the appeal to poor kids in Africa made the Global fund come across like an international missions/resource network but that this was integral to the pitch for fundraising in a way that wasn't the case circa 2009-2011. 

It's looking more and more like all the books for Mars Hill Global need to be opened and subject to scrutiny not just because it is looking more and more like funds were solicited on the basis of misleading pretense but also because Mars Hill Military Mission was absorbed into Mars Hill Global Ministries, which may have mutated into Mars Hill Global, and that this could be a further avenue to explore in the not entirely wrapped up story about Result Source Inc. and how Mars Hill worked out all of those terms and conditions to land a #1 spot for Real Marriage on the NYT Bestsellers list.  We don't know for sure yet but if Military Mission was involved in bulk order distribution for the 2012 book before it was absorbed into Mars Hill Global then a thorough inquiry into Global may shed light not only on how monies have been allocated in general but may even shed some light on some of the behind-the-scenes mechanics of promoting Real Marriage along the way.

POSTSCRIPT
The Stranger picked up the word a few hours after Throckmorton published.

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2014/10/01/internal-memo-about-mars-hills-global-fund-shows-the-church-intended-to-use-some-of-the-money-to-deflect-criticism-and-quietly-keep-the-r

Some questions have naturally arisen as to where on earth this material comes from.  Pretty clearly leaked from some fairly high levels.  MH has already broached the problem of how just about everything that ends up in the Full Council of Elders feed on The City seems to get leaked and they haven't figured out who is doing this but they are in rebellion. 

Mars Hill has no idea how many people are leaking materials at nearly every level of the organization and that would be because nobody has a completely clear picture how many people are leaking how much.  Throckmorton's getting a lot of the most amazing leaks from clearly contemporary events.  Wenatchee left MH long enough ago and has had enough other things going on that while this blog is on MH we, uh, kinda dredge up the past people wanted forgotten while Throckmorton shines some light on new stuff.  Call it specialization. 

As to the breaking story itself, the way MH leaders discussed Global is skeezy.  If this were a memo circulated just at Central then Central comes across as looking pretty terrible. IF this was circulated to campus pastors then if they didn't put up a complaint the entire thing looks rotten to the core now.




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