The End of the Mars Hill “Campuses”

by The Ecclesiologist

On Monday, August 8th, “Pastor Jamie Munson” announced on the Mars Hill Blog that Mars Hill Church, the reformed bapticostal mega-Church, has reached new ecclesiastical insights.  They will no longer call their multisite locations “campuses” but “churches.”

The news can be found here.

Though the article is “liked” by 400 people on Facebook, it is troubling and full of irony.  One of the main reasons Mars Hill made the shift was simply that the word “campus” couldn’t be found in the Scriptures.  This is a great point, however, the question left unanswered is, “What would lead someone to plant ‘campuses’ in the first place?”

Overall, it is good to hear that a church is trying to bring their ecclesiology more in line with the Scriptures.  I think this is exciting and healthy.  The irony comes when you read that the “Mars Hill Board of Directors” ultimately made the decision.  I wonder if anyone who read that post noticed this irony.  They want their ecclesiology to be more in line with the Scriptures, yet a Board of Directors ultimately made the decision.

What is most troubling is some of the other comments made in passing in the article.  Munson writes,

“Though by definition we may be many different churches, the Mars Hill Network of churches remains a single, united church. We share a common infrastructure, a common mission, common teaching, and a common belief that we can reach more people by working together rather than existing separately.”

I am not sure what a network of churches is.  As a Presbyterian, I would call this a presbytery.  Yet I don’t know anyone who would call a presbytery a “single, united church.”  It is a collection of churches as are, I would only assume, the collection of Mars Hill Churches.  Though they have one vision, even common infrastructure and common teaching, they don’t have a common meeting location, and therefore logically have to become separate churches.

I tweeted “@pastormark” yesterday, and asked him if his “Acts 29 Network” is next on the chopping block.  I was simply wondering if we would see an “Acts 29 Council,” but I haven’t heard back from him.

I can’t help but wonder how @pastormark’s opinion’s have changed since this video.

I think Bring On the Books’ criticism (found here) is right on.  I can only think of one other man who believes that all the churches under him (though in different geographical regions) are actually a single and united church.