Monday, November 06, 2006

thoughts on mars hill

After spending last week at the church planting bootcamp known as CPAC assessment, I now know what laboratory mice feel like...and it ain't fun.

But it's over. And that makes me happy a school girl. Exhausted...but happy.

This past Sunday, I attended Mars Hill in Grand Rapids, MI. I was told before hand that 1) the building is hard to find because they aren't into signs, 2) they aren't image driven, thus their building isn't all that cool, and 3) they don't do anything too out of the ordinary as a part of their service.

I took all of that to mean that I should go with relatively low expectations (except for the sermon). So I did. I went expecting very little. Yet even with low expectations, I was still extremely unimpressed. And I really, really liked that.

It was simple...but not 'Mac' simple. 'Mac' simple is hip, still visually appealing, still very much about an image. Mars Hill was just simple.

They were given an old shopping mall as their meeting place. It is big and kinda cool. But they didn't renovate it nearly as much as you'd think. They even had ugly old wood-paneling still on the walls.

The 'Welcome Center'/Cafe area had tables and chairs, but no cool paint on the walls. No signs. No posters. No throw rugs or paintings or light fixtures.

The worship area was an empty warehouse. Boring paint, a simple stage (granted it is a "theatre in the round" set-up). No cool stage lights, just a simple wash. No moving backgrounds for worship, just white words on a black screen. They didn't even use MediaShout or Easy Worship. They use Powerpoint! This is a church of 10,000 and they use Powerpoint. I couldn't believe it.

The music was very good. Quality musicians, quality sound, great songs. And I didn't feel like I was in the presence of rock stars...that was nice.

Rob Bell spoke. It was good. Duh.

And that's it. There's not really anything else to say. It was so much less than what I expected. And because of that, it was so much better.


Betsy said...

man, i miss you:)

The Anonymous Human said...

I miss you too!

But probably not in the same way she does...

betsy said...

yeah, it's in the same way.

joey said...

so you didn't like the CPAC? i loved that thing...

The Anonymous Human said...

okay, it is.