No surprise. Ever since Mars Hill sold The City to Zondervan to keep from sinking into the red The City has been a platform used by a lot of churches as a social networking and communication tool. One of the things that was "probably" handed off to individual campuses/churches in the dissolution and replant process would be the informational infrastructure of City accounts. Because the resources aren't even owned by Mars Hill in the sense that Zondervan owned The City handing off assets that might include information used by third parties could be sensitive. It would be easier for things to be kept as close to what they were as possible in a dissolution or hand-off.
If Wenatchee The Hatchet had thought to tag posts dealing with the history of the sale of The City those could get a tag link but, alas, it hasn't happened.
Part 4 Generous (Part 2B)
December 21, 2008
So, a couple things I want to hit. You guys are all familiar with The City. Anyone not familiar with The City? That’s our custom, social, online network that Pastor Zack Hubert developed. This is real exciting. We were able to build this in-house. It’s a custom network for Mars Hill. It allows us to communicate. To interact as a community. To reinforce the community that is Mars Hill Church – the daily life of the church.
We set out to build this, ‘cause some of our old systems were just not working for us.[emphasis added] And never set out to sell the thing, but in God’s grace, a couple months ago, as we’ve been using this, a bunch of people have taken interest. Zondervan, a big company, a big Christian media company, came to us and said, “Hey, we’d like to buy that.”
So, we started working with them, negotiating with them, figuring out, “Okay, what would this look like? How do we make this work?” Tons of details. We wanted to make sure that the church is protected in it. That it’s not something where we’re selling our data, or anything like that, but that they want to take the tool and leverage it for other churches to go use.
This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in terms of a church developing a piece of technology that a for-profit company is then coming in and purchasing.
We get to continue to use it free as a church. It’ll continue to be private. Our data is not being sold, nothing like that. We’re not gonna have banner ads.
It’ll exist how it is, plus they’re putting a lot more staff into it than we were able to. We had Zack and another part-time – or a couple employees that were working very part-time on The City.
They’re gonna build a staff in Seattle of about 15 people that Zack’ll go and oversee and work with. And they’ll make the tool even better. So, we get to use it. In that, we’ve been given $4 million to steward. It’s a gift that’s come to Mars Hill Church, and we want to share with you what we’re going to do with those funds.
So, we’ll walk through this quickly. The escrow and potential taxes – 1.6 million. There’s a chance the proceeds will be taxed. Our accountant doesn’t think so, but we want to be sure. We want to be safe. We want to put some money in the bank that can just earn interest, that can protect us. In case it is, we’ll have that money set aside.
So, we’ll know that in the next few months. But for – in the meantime, we’re just gonna safeguard and put that in the bank. In addition, we’re gonna bolster up our cash reserves. We always have a cash reserve to float us in times of lean giving. To float us in times of seasonal giving, when the summer’s down or the winter’s up. It allows us just to continue to operate.