Saturday, September 28, 2013

a few weekend links

Phoenix Preacher on churches that are the equivalent of Walmart and your regional business.

David Zahl has been writing some fascinating personal reflections this month at Mockingbird.  First there was the subject of middle-age and how friendships can be talismans for self-assessment of social status and success.  The mid-life crisis that has become axiomatic for so many Americans can be summed up in second-guessing our investments.  The price of gaining A in life is the opportunity cost of having never gotten B.  A mid-life crisis, by this definition, could happen at any time but in mid-life our achievements are often at their peak and they further highlight contrasts among our peers.  I.e. singles don't tend to hang with the married-with-children and vice versa because we don't want to see the other us we could have chosen to be. 

Well, this week David has another one reflecting on his love of Nirvana and whether the music made him angry or his anger made him love the music.  Twenty years ago Wenatchee decided that Batman: the animated series was a pretty good cartoon and that Bartok's string quartets rocked.

Links for the weekend, just a few.

And now that a fairly solid day of blogging has transpired let's save some stuff for later.  Enjoy your weekend. 

For folks who may wonder, how is compensation established at Mars Hill? A short answer from their site

In light of the role numbers have played in Mars Hill discussion about itself and what we've been able to find out about numeric decline (though they may be rebounding right now for all we know).
How is compensation set at Mars Hill?

Compensation is connected and linked to increased responsibilities that are directly related to the mission and vision of Mars Hill, which are given by supervisors and communicated between leadership and employees. Each position is assigned a staff level (staff, supervisor, manager, director, etc.) based on level of responsibility. The staff level determines the compensation range and vacation eligibility.

Compensation for being a staff member at one of our 14 churches is based on the responsibility and number of people in weekend attendance. Three different independent studies are used to determine market rates for all staff positions.

The independent members of the Board of Advisors and Accountability set executive elders’ compensation. Additionally, an independent compensation study is done for our executive elders by an external accounting firm.

So would the responsibility be an independent variable of how many employees are supervised by the staff member?  Because "and number of people in weekend attendance" makes it seem as though your compensation as a staff member is informed not merely by how many people are under your authority (if any) within the organization but also how many people are in weekend attendance at ... where?  The campus you're employed at? 

If Mars Hill wants to say it's not all about the numbers the guys at the top can afford to say that, but what about the revolving door of people at the lowest to mid-management levels who come in for maybe a year or as few as four to five months and then vanish? 

There have been comments at this blog to the effect that when the numbers flag at a campus guys get shown the door.  Given the wording of the Stewardship page and its description of how compensation is established for all levels of staff there may just be something to that now.

So it's not all about the numbers for the big three because they can afford that.  For everyone else, though, how many people attend on the weekend apparently DOES play some kind of role in whether you keep your job. 

Sutton Turner announces that Mark Driscoll has a book coming up-_A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity have a Future or a Funeral?

The red letter emphasis added below might be grist for a post all by itself.  While Mark Driscoll seems to own the copyright on just about everything with his name on it, Sutton Turner assures members of Mars Hill that as a gift to the church none of the musicians who have played, written or recorded music for the Mars Hill music label earn any royalties and all that money goes back to Mars Hill Church. 

Okay, that would fit the work-for-hire approach that tends to apply in many cases of people producing content for churches.  But that does invite some questions about who in the Mars Hill leadership scene owns copyright on materials he/she has written.  While Wenatchee The Hatchet can think of a few guys in the history of Mars Hill who can probably field those questions very directly they may have no-disclosure agreements to consider.  Or so we've heard. 

Finally, the title A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Future or a Funeral makes it seem like Mark Driscoll has set himself up to be the flipside of John Shelby Spong's old Why Christianity Must Change or Die from 1999. 

Mars Hill | New Discussion Topic

Pastor Sutton Turner
From Pastor Sutton Turner:

Mars Hill Church,
This fall, Pastor Mark will publish his latest book, A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future?
The official release date is November 5, but the book will be available at Mars Hill churches in October. At the same time, we’re gearing up for this year’s Resurgence Conference (Nov. 5–6), where Pastor Mark will lead with Rick Warren, Matt Chandler, Greg Laurie, and other great preachers.
Get Ready
In other words, we’re in the middle of a very busy season, and I implore you to pray for Mars Hill leaders in general and Pastor Mark in particular. The book and the conference will confront a number of the challenges facing the evangelical church today, and the road ahead will not be easy.
The time is quickly arriving—if it’s not already here—when Christians will be widely condemned, hated, and rejected for what we believe: that Jesus Christ is our only hope for life and forgiveness and peace. A Call to Resurgence is Pastor Mark’s effort to inspire the church to cling to the essential truth of Jesus and not crumble under society’s pressure to abandon the faith.
I am so grateful for Pastor Mark’s bold example and faithful leadership, and I pray that this book would be a great encouragement for us all to stand together with our brothers and sisters, come what may, for the glory of God and the salvation of many.
Thank you
I also wanted to take a moment to say thank you for purchasing resources from our local Mars Hill bookstores. As a gift to the church, all of our authors and musicians do not earn royalties on any material sold in our bookstores—all of the proceeds go entirely to the church. [emphasis added]
So when Dustin Kensrue releases his first worship album next month, or if you’ve bought a copy of the Ten Commandments Study Guide, all sales at Mars Hill go right back to Mars Hill. This has been a huge blessing to our church over time. For example, in the last ten years, our bookstores have sold over 60,000 copies of Pastor Mark’s books alone, which equates to a gift of more than $200,000!
I hope this is encouraging for you, church. We love you, we thank you for your prayers, and we look forward to the work God has for us heading into the fall.
In Christ,
Pastor Sutton Turner

  View this topic on The City »

Mars Hill Church: Rainier Valley--Willie Wilson is gone and now all the listed leaders are Mars Hill Downtown guys

Anonymous said...
Lead pastor Willie Will from Rainier Valley Mars Hill left around 9/16. On 9/17 Mars Hill erased all links and content of him on there website and on the City.
Anonymous said...
Sure enough.
Looks like Pastor Willie has been replaced by Dave Bruskas.

However, The Wayback Machine's cache has not yet been scrubbed:

The most recent thing that could be found on relatively short notice by Wilson was the following:

Running the race with duffel bags

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1–2
Imagine this: You’re about to run your first marathon. You’re at the starting line with hundreds of other people who will be running with you. You’re wearing a hooded sweatshirt, jeans, boots, and a parka. You’re also carrying a duffel bag, a briefcase, a suitcase, and a bag of groceries. You look ridiculous, but you don’t want to run this race without all the things that you find comfort in.
The gun bangs and you’re off! Hundreds of runners take off and you’re running alongside them. You’re off to a great, quick start. But 100 yards in, you’re already drained, tired, and ready to quit. The other runners are gone ahead of you. You’re now dragging your feet. You want to give up . . . because you’re carrying too much to continue.

Suitcases stuffed with pride

A lot of times, we find ourselves in this very situation in our spiritual lives. We’ve started running the race of faith, but because of the load we’re carrying, we’re not running well. We’re shouldering unconfessed sin, secrets, and things we haven’t repented of but are holding on to. And it’s all weighing us down and holding us back. We’re carrying bags of guilt from past sin, backpacks filled with shame from sin that was committed against us, and suitcases stuffed with pride that keep from admitting that we’re tired and we need help. Jesus already carried our junk and nailed it to the cross, but for some reason, we choose to try and carry it anyway.
Are you tired of running your race? Are you tired of serving? Tired of loving people? Tired of giving of your time, talent, and treasure? It’s probably because you are carrying some things that you shouldn’t be carrying while running a race. In Hebrews 12:1, we’re instructed to “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” What are you carrying that you need to lay aside or cast off? When you’re not carrying a huge load, you’ll see that you have more stamina and endurance to run the race that has been set before you.

He’ll finish what he started

Verse 2 gives us our motivation for running the race in such a way to win the prize: “ . . . looking to Jesus . . . ”
This is a race of faith, and Jesus is both the founder and perfecter of it. This means that he is the starter and the finisher of it. He caused you to start this race by calling you to himself, saving you, and placing you in a loving family who will run alongside you, be there to help you up when you fall and when you hobble along all the way to the finish line. He will make sure you finish and he will make your faith perfect. Jesus is our example of how to run this race, because we see how he ran his race with endurance, enduring the cross. We were his prize, the “joy set before him.”

Run with all your might

Now as we run our race, he is our prize! He is the joy set before us!! At the finish line, we will see Jesus face to face. He will say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master” (Matt. 25:21, 23).
Brothers and sisters, run your race with endurance, keeping your eyes on the prize. You’re not running alone, but with tons of witnesses on the sidelines.
So run wholeheartedly, with all your might and all your strength, and when you finish the race, you will be able to speak the words of the Apostle Paul: “I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”

So now there's not only now Willie Wilson ... all the names listed on the Rainier Valley site are people from Mars Hill Downtown

Pastor AJ Hamilton

AJ Hamilton

Lead Pastor
Downtown Seattle
Pastor Cam Huxford

Cam Huxford

Worship Pastor
Downtown Seattle
Pastor Cliff Low

Cliff Low

Downtown Seattle
Pastor Jeff Bettger

Jeff Bettger

Downtown Seattle
Pastor Joel Brown

Joel Brown

Production Pastor
Downtown Seattle

Sunday, September 22, 2013

From The Onion, "I'm just a free spirit who is entirely financial dependent on other people." HT Mockingbird

Another Mockingbird HT:

Truth is, the current catalogue of pro-failure literature does not celebrate failure in all forms. We like failure when, and only when, it ends in victory. “Lots of people never achieve their goals; they do not achieve their dreams, even though they have worked really hard and prepared themselves,” points out Scott Sandage, a historian and the author of Born Losers: A History of Failure in America. “To believe that failure is only a valuable lesson if it leads eventually to triumph really isn’t embracing failure at all. It’s crossing your fingers behind your back that eventually you’re going to succeed.” Victory and loss are often beyond our control, whatever we might like to think about our ability to triumph over circumstance.

And another:
... Walter is not only a good guy or only a bad guy, nor solely a provider or a destroyer, nor solely or even primarily Walter or Heisenberg. He might have been a good person at one time; he has been a very bad person for a while now. That doesn't mean there's no good left in him, but it's been so subsumed by Heisenberg and the fallout of Heisenberg that we can barely see it anymore, and even if it were possible to dig those good aspects out again (as he attempted to do, in his twisted and desperate way, in the phone call), it might be too late: hence the notion of Breaking Bad as tragedy.

No, what makes sense is the notion that Walter, like me, like you, like everybody, is complicated, and does things on purpose and on instinct, and on purpose while acting on instinct, and by accident, and in response to demons even he doesn't understand; and Walter, like you, like me, like everyone, can be more than one thing at the same time, just as a great work of popular art can be more than one thing at the same time, many of them in seeming contradiction. Multitudes, multitudes.
To transition into something that may seem unrelated, Jephthah could simultaneously be a saint and a monster and be depicted as both in a single narrative, but we'll save blogging about Judges and Webb's commentary on it for some other time.

Then there's Anthony le Donne on Jesus, Perception, and the Apocalyptic Imagination (HT Jim West).

A couple of new updates from The Elephant's Debt in the wake of the HBC video

Presented for your consideration.  It looks like the wake of that video where four guys read some kind of statement declaring some criticism to be Satanic that a few more people have decided to speak on record.