This is the fifth in a series of posts by the Mars Hill campus pastors looking at how God has moved across Mars Hill Church during 2009. Pastor Steven Tompkins is the campus pastor for the Shoreline campus.
We praise and thank God, our Father, and the Lord, Jesus Christ, for His continued grace to us over this past year. We certainly worship a wildly generous God who gave his Son up for us all. (Rom 8:32)
Over the last year we’ve watched our attendance grow from an average of 600 to 730 people! This growth has occurred despite the fact that we meet on Sundays in a small junior high auditorium, hidden in a residential area in Shoreline.
One of the most awesome celebrations of God’s grace is baptisms. This past year we saw 60 people baptized during our Easter services, summer baptism party at Richmond Beach, and community groups.
The stories of God’s redemption in the lives of those being baptized were beautiful. We baptized new believers who had just heard the good news of Jesus Christ and put their faith in Him, wayward believers who had been drawn back to Jesus, couples who were about to divorce but had been saved through the Holy Spirit’s work in their hearts, an ex-prostitute, people who’d repented of homosexual lifestyles, adulterers, ex-drug addicts, pregnant young girls who’d decided not to get an abortion because they’d met Jesus, and victims of abuse who’d been given a new identity in Jesus. It was amazing!
The same redemptive work we celebrated through baptism was also seen in our Redemption Groups. In the last year, 103 people learned how to apply the good news of God’s redemptive work through Jesus to the sins they’ve committed and the ones committed against them.
As they shared their stories with one another and spoke truth into each other’s lives, there was repentance from pride, self-protection, looking to others for comfort and approval, addictions, believing lies from the enemy, and many other idols.
God’s work through Jesus to create a people that display His glory to the world has resulted in the majority of Christian life happening in community with others. This is certainly the case at our campus. God’s grace is at work in powerful ways amongst our 29 community groups that meet throughout the north end of Seattle.
Communities are seeking to be led by the Holy Spirit, and seeing how the gospel affects their daily lives. God has produced an amazing amount of fruit through is grace in our communities. Groups are supporting each other with meals, visits, and financial help in the joy of new births; in the midst of hard times, people are opening their homes to allow a single mother to live with them; sharing God’s grace together at soup kitchens, veterans’ homes, boys’ homes, seniors’ center, and pregnancy clinics.
One of the great things about our campus is that we have lots of kids! God has graciously blessed many of the families at our campus with little ones. On Sundays we have an average of 130 kids in our Children’s Ministry.
God’s grace certainly abounds through the hearts of little ones learning about Jesus and the volunteers who serve them. We thank God that we are able to come alongside parents as they seek to faithfully raise a generation of children who love and follow Jesus.
In His grace and kindness, God has continued to bring us gifted, godly leaders to oversee our growing flock. Over the past year we added four elders and nine deacons to our leadership team.
Pastor Kerry Michaelis came to Shoreline to head up our Biblical Living department and has overseen the successful implementation and growth of Redemption Groups at our campus, installed three lay counselors, and grown 17 new Redemption Group leaders in that time.
Pastor Dick Mckinley, also in the Biblical Living department, is overseeing our marriage and pre-marriage ministries, counseling and teaching dozens of couples as they prepare to get married or deal with issues within their existing marriages.
Pastor Joe Day joined us as our worship pastor. He has overseen the creation of new bands, worship leaders, written new worship songs, and led us in worship with his band, the Northern Conspiracy.
We currently have two men in the elder process, preparing to be pastors at our campus and three men who are studying for a Masters of Missional Leadership with world-class professors through our Resurgence Training Center graduate program.
Global Missions Fellowship
God’s grace to our campus can’t be contained within the confines of Schirmer Auditorium, or even the north end of Seattle. Because God’s mission is global, our mission is global and we celebrate His grace in allowing us to participate in the sending of leaders to launch churches in the region, nation, and world.
One of our elders, Mark Bergin, launched the Painted Door church
in Chicago, which held its first service on November 22. With more than $10,000 of donated supplies, the service had 100 people in attendance.
This past year our campus also oversaw the founding of the Global Missions Fellowship (GMF), which is a cross-campus network of people who have a heart to support the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations. The GMF has already prayed over a couple who left to minister to the Quechua in the mountains of Peru. The husband is a linguist who hopes to be able to teach people to read the Bible in their native language. Through the GMF, his wife, a dentist, was connected with another dentist from Mars Hill who is in Peru on a short term mission and desperately needed her skills. We pray that God will continue to raise up leaders that we can send out into His harvest.
As we continually thank God for His grace to us, we are reminded of 2 Cor. 9:8 "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work." We thank God for His grace and sufficiency and for the good works He has prepared for us. And, we gladly and worshipfully hope that our campus will reflect His generosity to His glory.
"be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God." 2 Cor 9:11