Something from the start of the November 23, 2014 letter warrants comment.
November 23, 2014
We have all been in prayer together for some time now concerning the eastside church we believe Jesus wants to build through us, and also specifically for God to bring forward the lead teaching pastor that he desires for that church.
In the history of Mars Hill Bellevue it's a bad start to invoke what you believe Jesus wants built or done since the Thomas Hurst letter explaining how the "we" of Mars Hill leadership was persuaded that God wanted Mars Hill Bellevue to have the International Paper Building.
capture from October 26, 2013
From the LETTER FROM PASTOR THOMAS HURST:
As we walk down the path God has laid out for us, we want to share with you a bit of a paradigm shift: Bellevue is now in “core group” phase.
While many churches plant with a core group of 25 people, or 250 people, Mars Hill Bellevue is currently a core group of 2,500 people. As we look ahead, the Bellevue elders and the Executive Elders are not just praying for 1,000 people, or 5,000 people on a Sunday, we’re praying for 10,000 people to worship on a Sunday at Mars Hill Bellevue…10,000 individuals whose lives are forever changed by the Gospel. To this end, we need to think, act and pray differently, starting today. If we wait until tomorrow, a year from now or three years from now when our lease is up, it will be too late.
With this in mind, we have found a site in Bellevue that meets these needs. I’m asking you to pray with us as we explore what it will take to move Mars Hill Bellevue to this new location, and how you can be a part of the mission.
The International Paper Property on 120th St.
After many months of searching and narrowing down our choices, only one building in Bellevue is available that meets the needs of the church that God is building on the Eastside. A few weeks ago we made an offer on a property in the Bel-Red corridor on 120th St. which is currently owned by the
So where Bellevue goes, you have to remember its leadership team has a history of saying this kind of stuff and having it not ... quite ... pan ... out as planned.
Now, about Venderstelt, Wenatchee The Hatchet does not know a great deal about him. The letter published by Throckmorton indicates Vanderstelt worked with Bill Clem in the launching of Doxa and Soma (though Wenatchee has previously understood Doxa to have actually been an Acts 29 plant, at least based on Mark Driscoll sermons ... so further clarification there is welcome)
What few times the name has come up in researching the history of Mars Hill would be as follows:
He's had a board role in the Acts 29 Network history
Vanderstelt, according to a Chris Blackstone ( who may be the same with a LinkedIn profile indicating studying Re:Train from 2009 to 2010), was co-teacher of a "missional practicum"
Missional Practicum taught by Mark Driscoll, Scott Thomas, and Jeff Vanderstelt
Perhaps Vanderstelt can explain how and why the Resurgence Training Center withered on the vine after a big press roll-out in 2009? The announcement of Vanderstelt's selection seems to downplay connections to the founder of Mars Hill, perhaps for reasons too obvious to bother stating.
Vanderstelt's connections to Acts 29 affiliated people thus seems to go back as far as the founding of Doxa in 2002.
Vanderstelt was at one point "second vice-president" in the Acts 29 Network
Jeff Vanderstelt is Second Vice President of the Acts 29 Network. In 2003, he came to the Seattle area to help Bill Clem plant churches between Seattle and Tacoma. To plant Soma Communities, he went through the Acts 29 Network assessment process and became a member.