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Mars Hill Has "Churches," Not "Campuses"

August 11, 2011

Executive pastor Jamie Munson from Seattle megachurch Mars Hill wants to make it clear: Each of their 11 locations is a church, not a multi-site campus. “The Bible gives us a word to describe a body of believers gathered together on mission for Jesus: church,” wrote Munson on the church’s blog. “It’s also more natural to describe our location as churches (the term campus usually refers to academic institutions or offices) and more accurate, because every location is a church…it helps articulate our theology (what we believe about God and his Word), our ecclesiology (what we believe about church), our ministry, and our mission.” For example, Munson added, “The Shoreline campus is now Mars Hill Shoreline, or Mars Hill Church in Shoreline, or simply Mars Hill Church. And rather than campus pastor, Steve Tompkins is the lead pastor of Mars Hill Shoreline.”

In an article in The Christian Post, Mars Hill publishing and content manager Jake Johnson said the words were important to distinguish correctly because “they help develop mindsets and articulate theology…(Mars Hill locations) operate as local churches, are led by qualified elders, and do important ministry work in the communities in which they reside.”

All Mars Hill churches have a lead pastor and experience live worship each week, and the sermon is presented via video, usually by pastor Mark Driscoll. Every so often the lead pastor will present the message live. “We’re not prescribing anything for other churches,” Johnson told the Christian Post, but if others can benefit from the things we are talking about and come to conviction on them, we’re happy to help.”