This weekend, the elders installed Nick Bogardus as the campus pastor for our Orange County campus, commissioned, and prayed for him, Kim, and Eva at the Ballard campus. Here is a post he wrote for the Media & Communications team's blog on what he's learned from his time on the team and in the church.
For the past two years, I’ve served on Mars Hill Church’s Media & Communications team as the PR/Media Relations director. [This week], my wife, daughter, and I are moving to California to plant Mars Hill Church Orange County. The list of things I’m thankful for from being on this team feels endless but I wanted to share seven things I’ve learned from the fine men and women I’ve served alongside.
1. The gospel is sufficient.
The good news of reconciliation to the Father through Christ on the cross is central to everything Mars Hill. It is easy for Christians, pastors, churches—heck, even whole denominations—to veer from the sufficiency of the gospel in the name of cultural accommodation. As incredibly talented and media-savvy as each person on this team might be, the gospel is central in every team meeting, new hire, blog post, or video.
2. Jesus is the hero.
This is a result of the gospel being primary. Because the gospel proclaims Jesus as the hero of our salvation and of history, we make him the hero. If Jesus isn’t the hero of the video, testimony, graphic, or anything else, we don’t do it. The glory doesn’t go to an individual or even the church; it goes to Jesus.
3. Christ and culture aren’t mutually exclusive.
I came here after ten years in the music industry and thought I understood a lot about culture, and I did in a sense, but what I lacked was an understanding of Christ and culture. As culture makers, we aren’t to accommodate Christ to culture, pit him against it, or see him as deistically aloof to it, but to see how he transforms it. Christ and culture aren’t mutually exclusive and they aren’t synergistic. Instead, as Christians, we are to be faithful messengers of the gospel in whatever role God has called us. It was the presence of thousands of faithful Christians, speaking and living the gospel to those around them, that led to over 700 being baptized on Easter.
4. Service to the church is primary.
Some of these guys on this team did work at the church long before they ever got were paid for it. They painted walls, emptied trash, swung a hammer, and volunteered countless hours because they loved seeing people meet Jesus and wanted to play whatever role they could in that. That same servant’s heart permeates their approach to their work now. It is constantly humbling.
5. Challenge the creative ones.
In many corners of the church, the creative people in the church are catered to and sought after. In the case of Mars Hill, the creative people are challenged. They are challenged to serve and to be faithful where they are. Mars Hill’s culture is simultaneously encouraging because "creative" and "Christian" aren’t seen as mutually exclusive, but also because challenging because it isn’t pandering.
6. Know your priorities.
While service and creativity are high values, they never subsume biblical priorities. We’re called to be faithful 1) Christians, 2) husbands and wives, 3) and fathers and mothers, before we are anything else. I’ve learned more about being a good man, husband, and father than I could’ve imagined. The men here have shaped me and changed my life, marriage, and family in numerous ways. The first thing they do is to challenge me to love God first, my wife second, my daughter third, and everything else (including myself) after that.
7. Influence comes through humility.
In summary, I’ve learned from a department made up of people who are gospel-centered, Jesus-focused, missiological in their approaches, have servant hearts, and are immensely talented, but who keep the first things first. Simply by osmosis and the demonstration of their character, they’ve made me a better man and have played a crucial role in my development as we prepare to plant Mars Hill Church in Orange County. It is immensely humbling and we’re grateful every day that God brought us to Seattle.
Friends, it has been an honor. Thank you.
The Bogardus family left for California yesterday. If you live in Orange County, join them and the Mars Hill OC Core Group this Memorial Day weekend at Newport Mesa Church, where Pastor Mark will be preaching and Dustin Kensrue, an old friend of Nick's from his time managing Thrice, will be leading worship. RSVP here.
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At Mars Hill, we believe that Jesus is God. We take him at his word. Because of this, everything we do is all about Jesus. We invite you to learn more about this man who is God and how you can find forgiveness and new life in him.
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Jesus is the most generous person who ever lived. He gave his life so that we might live. As Christians, we give our time, talent, and money joyfully in response to Jesus’ generosity and to help more people meet Jesus.