Nixon Kennedy, Nixon, Mars Hill discussed on TuneInPOC



Return. So if you think about television, people have talked about how the introduction of television to politics absolutely changed the landscape going back to the Nixon Kennedy debate that while people who listened to the debate thought that Nixon won, people who watched the debate felt like Kennedy won because he looked handsome and composed the whole time in Nixon was sweating and looked all disheveled. Just the medium changed people's perception of the event. How does a projected larger than life image of a preacher change our perception of the sermon or the pastor or the entire worship experience? Maybe we're so inundated with life on screens that we hardly notice. And yet, maybe that's the very source of the problem. We're desensitized to them. So then this medium through which we consume entertainment of all kinds becomes the vehicle through which we hear the word of God. What are the subtle embedded messages that come through the very presence of the screen, though? It's a question Nick began to ask over time. And when he resigned from Mars hill, he raised these questions with the executive elders in a letter. What I said was like, hey, I grew up Lutheran. And when I walk into a Lutheran Church, I see an aisle down to a front and at the front of that aisle isn't with a crossover. I see an elevated pulpit. I see high ceilings and stained glass. And I see things that are communicating theological realities that form their disciples in return. That elevated pulpit is meant to communicate a high view of God and the authority of his word. The high ceilings are meant to convey his transcendence and the stained glass into convey his beauty. Like all those things end up shaping how you view God, right? And what I wrote in the letter was when I walk into a Mars hill campus and see a 60 foot screen with a disembodied messenger and an audience rather than a congregation, the questions I raised were how is this forming disciples? Is it forming just consumers or is it forming people who have a robust faith? There's a related challenge that comes with multi site, something Warren bird talked about as well. It's another issue that emerges because of the teacher's absence from the people being taught. Pastors would just as a normal part of their sermon before they went multi site would talk about the traffic coming down such a road or the weather today or the local sports team or the rivalry between the two local high schools. And they quickly realized, you know, this really doesn't translate when I'm at the other campus. I just have to learn to still be just as pastoral and speak to the needs of the human heart, but make sure my illustrations are not location or time specific in a way that causes people to go, huh? Maybe there are churches in situations where the teaching can be divorced from that kind of context. Without losing much of its essence or potency. But Mars hill was built on that kind of particularity, an emphasis on context. It was a church for Seattle. For the most unchurched city in America, where there were more dogs than children. It wasn't supposed to make sense in other places. You could maintain some of that context as the church planted campuses around the city. But just a year after this multi site conference, in 2009, Mars hill would adopt a church in Albuquerque, New Mexico called city on a hill, and would eventually launch sites in California and Oregon. Those were just the first in a far more ambitious plan that had been forming in Driscoll's mind. And it was something that Driscoll wasn't really all that shy about. Here's Jeff van der stell, who during this time was pastoring an axe 29 church called soma in Tacoma, Washington, and was part of the axe 29 board. There was a shift. And I remember Mark having a conversation with him and he, I think Rick Warren or somebody had prayed for the inauguration of the president. And I remember him saying, man, I want to be there. I want to be, I want to be that guy. And him saying, I know that I'm going to have to have the biggest church in the country to make that happen. And so I'm aiming for 50,000. And that was when the shift happened where he said, yeah, I'm just going to find out where we have a listing audience of at least a thousand people. And that's where we'll put up a campus and eventually we'll have 50 of those and we'll have the biggest church in the country and then I'll be that guy. In an earlier act in the life of Mars hill, you'd often hear Driscoll offer brutal criticism of any ministry strategy that prided itself in growth in numbers. But by 2010, when this multi site vision was underway and a road map to 50,000 people was being assembled. He was unapologetic about it. He might even say he was aggressive about it. Hey.

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