There are two more weeks before Mars Hill Church closes its doors for good. However, even at the eve of its closure, the church is still asking for money.
There is still an appeal on the church's website that says: "As we close out the year and say good-bye to Mars Hill, your gifts continue to be very important as they will determine how much will be distributed to help fund the 11 independent churches launching in January. Without generous people like you continuing to give through the end of the year, many of these churches may not have the necessary funds to continue as new churches."
Warren Throckmorton, who has reported the unfolding developments at the church and broken stories about the conduct of its leaders, said that it was not clear who had made the appeal or "just who is making decisions" at Mars Hill. He commented: "No explanation is given for why giving to Mars Hill and having that donation split eleven ways is going to help the local churches more than a direct donation to that local church. If they can't raise the necessary funds on their own now, then how will they ever do it?"
Throckmorton further reflects that part of the reason for the church's demise was that the church's former senior pastor saw himself as today's Spurgeon. Driscoll wanted Mars Hill Church to be the biggest church in the world. And he would go around conferences telling other churches how he made it.
Like other pastors of large congregations or multi-site churches, he said, Driscoll had created a situation where he had little engagement with ordinary members of his congregation. "He didn't have to meet many people or know many of the lay people. He came in through a private entrance, he had a place to wait, he preached his sermon and ducked out the back. A lot of mega-church pastors are like that. When you set up a situation where you are a spiritual performer, you probably go along with the persona."
Throckmorton said that one of the problems faced by Mars Hill was its results-driven culture. "When size and results matter, when there's a numerical or some kind of goal that takes the place of spiritual fruit - those can't be measured as well, but you can measure giving, you can measure numbers, and all of a sudden you start playing to that goal."