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Four Star Hospitality

October 10, 2007
Posted by Jen Zug

This summer for our sixth wedding anniversary, Bryan took me to dinner at Salty’s on Alki. If you’ve never been to Salty’s, it is an excellent seafood restaurant with gorgeous views across the bay to downtown Seattle - one of our favorite places to enjoy a long, slow dinner with a bottle of wine.

During this visit I couldn’t help but notice the amazing customer service the entire time we dined. Our hostess led us from the front podium through the food prep area into the dining room, around the corner, down a few steps, and to the left where we were seated at a cozy table for two.

From the moment we left the front foyer, each employee smiled and greeted us.

And when I say they smiled and greeted us, I’m not just referring to a pass-by smile on their way to the kitchen. The food prep cooks called out to us from over the counter; waiters stopped collecting their plates to smile and say hello; a bus boy stopped his work, turned from his table, and greeted us as we walked by; a second hostess on her way back to the podium stepped aside, smiled, and said hello.

This occurred five or six times as we made our way to the table.

What affect did this have on me, as the customer? I was elated. I felt proud, important, and famous. With each greeting I held my head higher, I stood a little taller, and I walked with a little more sass. I felt like I belonged there. The world was stopping to acknowledge me, and it set the tone for our entire evening.

I think about this often as I walk through the doors of our church. Do I blow past ten or twenty people on my way to drop the kids off at children’s church? Or do I slow down and say hello as we weave through the crowd?

I find that as a parent, it’s very easy to busy myself with my daughter’s jacket or my son’s boots as a way to avoid conversation with the couple across the aisle from me on the parking shuttle. But my experience at Salty’s revived my confidence in the power of a smile, in the effectiveness of a greeting. Often times these are the simple things that make a person feel welcome.

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares (Hebrews 13:2). As a believer in Christ, I represent Jesus in everything I do. As a member of Mars Hill Church, I represent this particular Body under Christ. I wonder, sometimes, if I put as much effort into welcoming people into my church as the staff at Salty’s puts into making each customer feel like a million bucks.

In a congregation this large it is not always easy to spot the newbies, and in a congregation this large it is not always easy to discern the old-timers who just need encouragement on a bad day. A greeting and a smile might make me a new friend, or encourage someone to come back again, or lift someone’s spirits.

I know it makes me feel like a superstar!

This Week at Mars Hill

October 8, 2007
Posted by David Parker

Mars Hill West Seattle will kickoff all fall programming this Wednesday, from 7 - 8:30pm, and go through December 5th. If you haven’t registered yet please do so now. (More details and registration for each event can be obtained by clicking on the Links Below)

Gospel Class - (Registration Required)
Is Mars Hill your church? This class is designed as the next point of connection beyond Sunday services for those who are considering Mars Hill to be their church home. This class is required for church membership and many of our subsequent Midweek Classes.

Capstone Class - “Gospel-Centered Parenting and Family Life” - (Registration Required)
The church is as strong as the families who comprise it. Here at Mars Hill Church we aim to provide all members with biblical, practical, gospel-centered instruction to equip them to build strong Christian families that will endure as the bedrock of the Church for generations to come.

Capstone Class - “Leaders Who Last” - (Registration Required)
How do leaders survive for so long? Come hear and dialogue with Dave Kraft, someone who has been in full time ministry for 35+ years. Get the opportunity to understand and begin to apply the basic essentials of effective, fruitful and long lasting leadership. The heart of this class is to learn what it will take to finish well by living out Biblical principles in your life, and to avoid the critical mistakes that many leaders have made which have caused them to be ineffective and crash. (There is a 20$ Fee for this course for materials)

Kids’ Kore - (Registration Required)
Not sure what to do with your children while attending a class? Kids’ Kore is an evening of class time and fun for children ages 5 months-grade 4.

Mars Hill Youth - (Registration is NOT Required)
Mars Hill youth are invited to attend Proxy (for high school students) and Crux (for junior high students) for weekly worship, learning and fellowship. To learn more about Proxy and Crux, check out the Proxy blog.

Out with the Old and In with the New
Over the next few weeks you will be noticing some changes on the MHC West Seattle Blog site. These changes will allow content to be more campus specific and easier to access. The Mars Hill eLoop will be one of those changes. Next week the eLoop will be phased out and weekly announcements and information will only come from each campus. If you haven’t done so already, we would encourage you to subscribe to the “campus blog feed”. This can be done here by scrolling to the end of the right hand column and entering your e-mail address in the field provided.

West Seattle Videology

October 5, 2007
Posted by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Mars Hill Church | West Seattle is on the verge of going where few churches have gone before - preaching via satellite. This is creating much discussion around the use of video as a mechanism for preaching and teaching. This has also raised many questions that have heretofore never been asked, such as: How important is it to have the preacher physically present in the room? How do Campus Pastors lead their people without having a regular voice from the pulpit? Can the Holy Spirit work through video? (that’s a rhetorical question, by the way) Can churches with video preaching be anything more than overflow rooms? In light of these questions, and many others, MHC has created the 36-minute video segment, “Videology: Why We Use Videos”, available here. In it, Pastor Mark outlines the theological, historical, cultural and practical reasoning behind the use of video and why we’re moving in that direction.

One of the reasons this so stretching for most people - I too had significant doubts when we started our first campus in Shoreline - is that it blows our paradigm for what we consider “church” to be. We don’t have a category in our minds for what preaching via satellite looks like, let alone what it looks like in a fully thriving Jesus-loving church. This is where vision - a picture of what will be through the grace of Jesus - comes in. Video will revolutionize how we think of church. What did people think when they heard about a machine that printed books, no longer requiring scribes to do so manually? Or, a metal box that runs on fuel no longer requiring animals to pull you around? Or, the insane idea of actually flying to the moon? Though video preaching is not on par with these other ground-breaking moments in history, they all have one thing in common - they were all paradigm breakers. One day, and likely very soon, we won’t think twice about watching a sermon over video on Sunday.

I’d like to answer some questions that I am frequently asked… (more…)

Crux Craziness

October 4, 2007
Posted by westseattle

by Christian  Bringolf

Inflatable obstacle course, Nintendo Wii, Star Wars, being extremely tired from late night wrestling with 15 guys…..leads to, “Post Lock-in Blues.”  Just to let everyone know what went down last Friday the 27th, all three campuses held Mars Hill’s second annual junior high lock-in.  We started at 7pm Friday night and ended at 10am Saturday morning out at the Ballard campus.

We cleared out most of the chairs from the auditorium and setup a huge inflatable obstacle course.  Those that didn’t want to go on the obstacle course could go and play the Nintendo Wii on a huge projector screen against other junior highers.


Vodcast Killed the Podcast Star…..

October 3, 2007
Posted by Shan Applin

My father tells me that when the school bell rang at Olympia HS in 1963 there was a “mad dash” of hip cats and happening chicks to the nearest TV to catch the beginning of a new television show that was broadcast live from Philadelphia with no thought to the inconvenience of the time zone difference for the unfortunate throngs who happened to live on the West Coast. American high school kids from coast to coast were glued to their TV screens every day to watch their favorite bands perform live in front of a throng of hand-picked, attractive teens who were showcasing their skill at flawlessly executing the latest dance craze for the cameras. Dick Clark’s American Bandstand revolutionized the way the world could experience music. It’s hard to even remember a time when the ONLY way to experience your favorite band was to listen to their LP or shell out to see them live…IF they happened to play a show anywhere near where you lived.

Then it all happened again on August 1st, 1981. At 1 minute after midnight a new station was launched with the intent to broadcast yet another way to experience music….namely music videos. As “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles echoed its phonographic sounds into homes all across America, a new age was born. By lunch time, an estimated 500,000 TV sets were tuned to the revolutionary channel and, once again, it was soon hard to remember that we used to have to wait until a specific program was broadcast to see our favorite pop bands “Whip It” or engage in a “Thriller”.

And so, we at Mars Hill West Seattle find ourselves on the cusp of yet another technology-driven revolution. Mars Hill Church will be utilizing the technilogical breakthroughs available in the 21st century to reach more people than ever with the message of The Gospel this Sunday. Though, at first, it will surely be somewhat of an anomalous experience for many; the fact is that, in time, we will be hard-pressed to remember a time when the ONLY way we could hear Pastor Mark was to drive from Kent, or Alki, or Bothell, or Edmonds, or even Kirkland to a dimly lit warehouse in Ballard where we would strain to see him all the way up at the front of the huge room, then squint at our Bibles as he preached.

The day may come, in fact, that we may chuckle and shake our heads at the days when we couldn’t travel instantly from anywhere on earth to be challenged by the Holy Spirit and God’s Word as a Mars Hill pastor preaches live (well, he’ll be a flawless hologram of course) in the new, 1 million square foot outdoor auditorium in the Mars Hill Church eco-bubble on the moon.

So you might want to think twice before you click “delete” on all those MH Vodcasts you’re downloading, because someday some rich, counter-cultural kid who refuses to “sell out” may pay you a fortune for your retro Mark Driscoll.

This Week at Mars Hill

October 2, 2007
Posted by David Parker

Service Time Change: MHC West Seattle
Don’t forget to set your alarm clocks back. No, it’s not that time of the year yet, but if you forget that service times are changing it will feel like it! New service times will be 9:00am & 11:15am.

Are you a high school student looking for something to do this weekend? Proxy will be taking a trip to Ocean Shores Oct. 5th-7th. The deadline for registration is this Wednesday. More details for this event can be found here.

5K run at Alki
This Saturday morning, Agathos is raising funds for orphans and elderly in Africa. As Mars Hill has partnered with Agathos, we want to give our support to this event. For more details check out

Foundry Class at Ballard: Seeing Christ in all of Scripture
If you are interested in deepening your walk with Jesus, this Saturday’s Foundry class will give greater insight into seeing Jesus in the Old Testament. For more information and to sign up click here.

Out with the Old and In with the New
Over the next few weeks you will be noticing some changes on the MHC West Seattle Blog site. These changes will allow content to be more campus specific and easier to access. The Mars Hill eLoop will be one of those changes. In two weeks the eLoop will be phased out and weekly announcements and information will start to come from each campus. If you haven’t done so already, we would encourage you to subscribe to the “campus blog feed”. This can be done here by scrolling to the end of the right hand column and entering your e-mail address in the field provided.

HELLO, my name is…

September 29, 2007
Posted by westseattle

Who are you:David and Michelle Parker
David Parker

What is your role at MHC  West Seattle?
I am serving as the new blog administrator.

What does the blog administrator do?
The blog administrator oversees the authors, content, and schedule of the site and blog postings.

A little about yourself?
A few years ago God began to grow a passion in me and my wife (Michelle) for His church, and to see people meet Jesus. Through that process I realized, like Jonah, that I was running from what God wanted of me. We were living in the middle of Redneckville, PA (no Google maps isn’t broken!) with a great job, great friends, and I was content where we were.

As the Holy Spirit worked on my heart I began to see Jesus as bigger than all “my” comforts and ambitions, and realized that doing His will is the best place to be. So this summer my wife and I packed up all our stuff, took a big leap of faith, and moved to Seattle. Why Seattle? Over the last 6 years I have had the privilege of listening to Pastor Mark over the Internet. God used that time to help show me what a husband and man of God looks like. He also used that time to give us a passion for the people of Seattle that don’t yet know Jesus. All that to say, we are here and excited to be apart of what Jesus is doing in this great city and in West Seattle.

What is your vision for the WS blog?
I look forward to seeing our “virtual” front door being used to communicate our love for the city and the church in vibrant and creative ways. Just as Jesus used parables (stories) to convey the truth he was teaching, my prayer is that Jesus would be seen in the stories of our everyday lives that are told here in West Seattle.

What is your favorite fast food?
Nikko’s Teriyaki Rocks!!!

Interested in contributing to the this blog?Maybe you don’t think you are a “writer”, but are excited and want to share what God is doing in your community? Maybe you are in a ministry that many people don’t know about, and want to share what Jesus is doing through that? If you are a member of Mars hill and are interested in sharing the stories of what Jesus is doing here in West Seattle, we would love to have you be a part of the team. There are many ways to contribute (writing, photos, videos, etc.), please e-mail David at “westseattleblog (at) marshillchurch (dot) org”, if you are interested in contributing.

Why I would duck and run if I saw you at the market.

September 26, 2007
Posted by Jen Zug

I ran into a woman at Fred Meyer a couple months ago. We were both dropping off our kids at the while-you-shop daycare, and I said something to her about how nice it is to be able to shop without distraction. We talked for a few minutes, and then she commented on how I looked familiar to her. After rattling off a few places we might have met, she finally mentioned one of the parks within walking distance of my house, and I remembered her as a mom I chatted with on several occasions while our kids played last summer. We talked some more and then exchanged phone numbers for future play dates.

I’m not a person who willingly makes small talk with strangers, but on that day as I stood waiting in a line, I initiated: I smiled, I made a comment, and I connected.

This bold move by a shy girl was sparked by Pastor Mark’s teaching on Nehemiah 9, which I had just heard the previous Sunday. Folks gathered to read Scripture, the story of how God had initiated toward them, and the people had responses — worship, prayer, and confession. Scripture is how God speaks to us, he said, and prayer is how we speak to God.

We must first listen before we speak.

“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world”
(John 17:17-18).

This idea of responding to Jesus’ initiation has been Mars Hill’s mantra since the dawn of time - it’s the reason we take communion every week and sing after the sermon instead of before. It’s gotten to be so ingrained in me, that when I visit other churches I feel a bit stunned when we are dismissed after the sermon, or it’s not the once-a-month week they serve communion.

But after this particular sermon I better understood my role in the equation - I began to understand it as a model for relating to the people God puts in front of me. Jesus initiates toward me, and calls me model his love by initiating toward others.

This is usually uncomfortable for me, because most of the time I would rather be left alone and avoid small talk. But Jesus is disruptive. He disrupts my comfort zone and he calls me to be disruptive in His name. He challenges me out of my excuse that I am a mere introvert.

So as Jesus initiates in my life, more and more I am responding to him by stepping out of myself to initiate relationship with others. And, as in the case of the woman I met at Fred Meyer, I find myself making new friends.

How has Jesus been challenging you to be an initiator?

Get Your Run On

September 25, 2007
Posted by David Parker

As the MH Outdoor Blog has posted, next Saturday there will be a 5K run at Alki to support the Agathos Foundation. Agathos is raising funds for orphans and elderly in Africa. As Mars Hill has partnered with Agathos, we want to give our support to this event. If you don’t want to run, you can always walk (or even crawl), the most important thing is to show up and help support those that are the least fortunate in Africa. The Event will start on Saturday Oct. 6th, 9:30am at the Alki Beach Bathhouse (60th Ave SW and Beach Drive SW). For more information and to sign up (which of course, you will) please visit

If you don’t know what you’re aiming for you’re sure to hit it (WS Fall Kick-Off)

September 23, 2007
Posted by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Jesus is moving in West Seattle. A year ago we were wrapping-up a short series on Jonah with a core of 60 people in the unfinished multi-purpose room on the verge of moving into Chief Sealth. Last Sunday we had 950 people in the main sanctuary worshipping Jesus, and two weeks ago we hosted over 2,000 people on Alki beach for the baptism of 200+ brothers and sisters in Christ. In case you are wondering, this doesn’t happen everywhere. We are a kite caught in God’s whirlwind.

Once again we are on the verge of stepping into another year and re-launching the West Seattle campus. By God’s grace we have a beautiful building, a strong leadership core, a committed body, and a vision to see the Gospel take root in Seattle, starting here at home. Beginning on Sunday, October 7th, we are moving to two services (9:00 and 11:15AM) in order to open up more seats for others to hear about Jesus and are transitioning from live to video preaching. Additionally, we’re re-launching the West Seattle blog (, multiplying community groups, retooling the bookstore, rethinking how to engage and serve the city, establishing tentative plans to remodel the other half of the building, and developing relevant classes and training events for the year ahead. To top it off, you have a new Campus Pastor who is just getting settled in. Needless to say, there is a lot happening.

In light of all this, it’s about time we throw a party. Therefore, this Wednesday, September 26th, 7:00-8:30, we are hosting the first annual West Seattle Fall Kick-Off and Re-Launch Party. Everyone that feels called to follow Jesus and participate in his mission as a part of the covenant community we know as Mars Hill West Seattle is invited. We will celebrate what Jesus has done, is doing and is planning on carrying out through us into the coming year. Staff and leaders will be on hand to answer questions and communicate the vision of the campus. There will also be opportunities to sign-up to serve. Ultimately, it will be a time of worship, prayer, vision-casting, Q&A, good food, and fellowship that will serve as a rallying point as we quickly approach our October 7th fall launch.

Some important dates to keep in mind as we jump into the fall:
o Wednesday, September 26th, 7:00-9:00PM: Fall Kick-Off & Re-Launch Party
o Sunday, October 7th: Two services, 9:00AM & 11:15AM
o Wednesday, October 10th, 7:00-8:30PM: Gospel Class, Capstone, Kid’s Kore begin

Luke abruptly concludes the book of Acts, which describes the beginning of the Christian church, with, “[Paul] lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.” Theologians and commentators have long debated why Luke chose to end on such an abrupt note. Most think he did so because he wanted to convey that the book of Acts may come to an end, but the larger story of Jesus building his church hasn’t. I believe they are right. The story continues today. We, and our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, are writing the next chapter. Jesus is calling all of us to take part in his unfolding story here in Seattle and I hope you will become a part of it. I look forward to seeing you on the 26th.

Because the Tomb is Empty,
Pastor Adam Sinnett
Mars Hill Church | West Seattle Campus