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Mike Cosper: What ‘The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill’ Means for Church Leaders

“Truly the only thing that keeps a leader sober is a recognition that life is short, the judgment of God is real.”

“[The criticism we got] really didn’t change what we wanted to cover. That’s the honest truth because we knew where we were headed in terms of the story.”

“I think one of the things that stirred a lot of sort of anxiety and criticism and frustration with the podcast were some of some of the positive things we said about Rachel Held Evans’ critiques of Mark.”

“The question I kept asking myself or the challenge I kept giving myself to shape the content along the way was to keep coming back to: This is the story of the people at Mars Hill.”

“The online community of Christians who’ve had church hurt experiences was massive before the podcast started.”

“I think the clearest thing about the Mars Hill story is that the closer you got to the sort of inner circle of the inner circle of the inner circle, the more painful your fallout was in the aftermath. I think unfortunately there are dynamics there that, to much lesser degrees, are mirrored in a lot of different places.”

“I hope this isn’t like the next sort of true crime genre that kind of takes over everything. Because again, I think the church needs to address some of these questions and issues, but I hope it’s not all we’re talking about.”

“We featured [Mars Hill] prominently, in part because so much of it was available online. And I think what made Mark unique was that there were moments like that sort of infamous Nehemiah sermon where he talks about beating up the elders in his church.”

“Mark said things loudly that unfortunately, I think, have been mirrored in more quiet ways in a lot of churches.”

“Leadership is the exercise of power. I mean, Jesus’ ministry is the exercise of a certain kind of power in certain kinds of ways.”

“What if for a season, our church is primarily measured in hospital visits and funerals, you know, showing up for people in the crisis moments of their lives, where we’re sending our pastors and our community group leaders and whoever else to those moments when people are really in suffering?”