In the book of Revelation, the Apostle John gets a report from Jesus about seven churches, and then John turns around and puts that in seven letters, which serve as a type of report on the state of those churches.
In that spirit, Pastor Mark is going to give a similar type of monthly report on how Mars Hill Church is doing globally and the evidences of God’s grace we’re seeing. Then lead pastors will do the same for their respective local churches. In this clip, he recaps March and Easter 2012. We had 19,634 people at our 41 Easter services, and witnessed 424 baptisms—all because of one great, glorious risen Jesus.
Is it about the numbers? Yep, says Pastor Mark. It’s about the number of people getting their sins forgiven, getting their lives changed by Jesus, going to heaven instead of hell—we’d like that number to go up, we’re all for that. Because it’s not just numbers, it’s the numbers of people meeting Jesus.
Pastor Mark asks for prayer for our five churches that are looking for new buildings: Orange County, Everett, Federal Way, Downtown Seattle, and Olympia. He asks everybody to pray, both individually and as a church family.
Financially, 41% of adults who attend every week give anything ($1 or more), and the average giving per adult is just under $33. If anything, says Pastor Mark, those numbers need to go up. The average weekly attendance right now is 13,125 people, an increase of between 3,000–5,000 more people from the same time last year. It’s been a great season of growth and new birth—but there are a lot of young Christians who are still learning about what it means to be a part of the church. He asks those who are mature Christians to be faithful, generous givers, so that we can support these new believers and so the ministry of Jesus can go forward.
Is it all about the money? No, says Pastor Mark, but it is all about the giving. Christianity is about giving. Jesus gave us his life, death, burial, and resurrection. He gives us his righteousness, salvation, the Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts, the Word of God, and one another, the church. In a day of selfishness and consumption, we want to be givers, not takers, because Christianity is about giving and not taking. In a world of givers and takers, those who belong to Jesus have been given much so that they can give much.