Thursday, May 07, 2015

Sutton Turner blogs about Mars Hill Global in "Mars Hill Global – My Heart, My Mistakes, and My Critics", some observations about nose-diving missions giving numbers and a question of whether it's former or current attorneys objecting to Turner's posts

Earlier this week Sutton Turner published a blog post dealing with Mars Hill Global, which later became Mars Hill Go.

Posted by on

*Unfortunately, Mars Hill’s attorneys have requested that I not blog. I have removed some of the financial information as well as other non-financial information in response to their request.

Well, that could use some clearing up. 
Based on the FY reports Mars Hill reported that it gave the following amounts to missions (aka Acts 29) according to fiscal years.  If you don't happen to have all the annual reports Mars Hill released to the public since 2008 then these numbers are things you'll have to go independently verify.

FY2006         $776.059.00
FY2007      $1.110.365.00
FY2008      $1.058,000.00
FY2009      $1,200.000.00
FY2010      $1,378,000.00 (global fund giving was indicated at $1,209,000 for this fiscal year)

For missions and benevolance, the following numbers were reported in the FY2011 annual report
FY2010     $2,060,000.00 (that's obviously a little different in the math)
FY2011     $2,190.000.00

In the Mars Hill Financial Disclosure Package for 2013
Church planting
FY2011     $1,764,973.00
FY2012        $821.182.00

From the MH FY2013 annual report Church Planting and Partnerships list as
FY2012      $821.182.00
FY2013      $233.268.00

Keep in mind these are the publicly disclosed numbers in the annual reports.  It looks like, if anything, that giving was modest but robust for Mars Hill's budget up until the year Turner showed up and then by FY2013 giving to church planting was about a tenth what it was the year Turner arrived. 

And as has been noted here and within a memo published at Warren Throckmorton's blog
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.

So based on a leaked memo apparently authored by Sutton Turner he's presented as believing that the giving rate Mars Hill had going on in 2011-early 2012 was in some sense "not sustainable". 

All that said, Turner could well be right that Mars Hill was not particularly interested in international missions, and under Turner's tenure giving to Acts 29 seems to have been dubbed "not sustainable" at the level Mars Hill had been giving previously.  If Turner's not able to disclose the amount Mars Hill gave to Vision Nationals could Vision Nationals independently verify those numbers?  At this point Vision Nationals could be moot for the larger question of Mars Hill Global.  But that's not the next thing we'll be looking at.

Let's return to the asterisk, which led to this:

*Unfortunately, Mars Hill’s attorneys have requested that I not blog. I have removed some of the financial information as well as other non-financial information in response to their request.

The link goes to a statement which says the following:
Posted by on
Learning, Growing, & Communicating Under Criticism
For the past several weeks, I have been planning to discuss the lessons I have learned from events and mistakes at Mars Hill Church on my website. Earlier this week, I wrote three separate blogs regarding the ResultSource decision in 2011 at Mars Hill. Today, I planned to focus on Mars Hill Global. However, last night I received a call to explain that Mars Hill’s former attorneys did not want me to post any more blogs and also to remove what has already been communicated this week. [emphasis added] 

So are the attorneys the former attorneys of Mars Hill as a corporation or the current attorneys of Mars Hill? 

Turner has made comments at Throckmorton's blog recently that may be of interest.
Sutton Turner > Warren Throckmorton  • 11 hours ago 
Mars Hill "Church" does not exist, as a church. It is just some form of a holding company at this point. It is ridiculous not to disclose this information.
Sutton Turner > Warren Throckmorton  • 9 hours ago  

The litigation threat was against me (personally), nothing outside. I honestly don't understand it. As I said before in my blog, if the church was still a church, I would not communicate about anything, however the church is dead and it is time to learn from my mistakes and my sin.

I wanted to publicly apologize to people that had been hurt by my sin and my mistakes, following my 1:1 meetings with people directly that I needed to reconcile with. I thought it was time to communicate the full story - in detail with $ - however "they" got wind (honestly, don't know how) of what I was doing and told me to stop, with a threat. If I get sued for doing what I have done, my wife and I are fine with it.
If the attorney's are former or current attorneys for Mars Hill then do some Christians still feel obliged to roll out 1 Cor 6 and remind everyone that litigation is un-Christian?  After all, it's been a popular text for explaining why Christians should not sue other Christians and if the attorneys are former attorneys for Mars Hill it would seem they have no legal basis from which to say anything on behalf of the corporation.  If they are currently attorneys for Mars Hill then if what Turner's reported is true then is Mars Hill situated to bring litigation against a former executive elder?  If nothing else, Turner's "If I get sued for doing what I have done, my wife and are fine with it" seems clear enough.

No comments: