At Mars Hill Church, it’s all about Jesus. From blog posts to sermons, the ministry is always working to be on mission for Christ. The Church App for iPhone began a little over a year ago as a dream to serve this Seattle-based, Bible-loving, culturally savvy church we call home. In April 2009, Subsplash teamed up with their tech team to create the Mars Hill Church iPhone app. At the time, we didn’t realize that it would change the way members listen to sermons and rock out to worship music. It’s been almost a year since the release of the Mars Hill Church iPhone app, and we’ve found ourselves wondering how the Church is using this technology to spread the Gospel. In this interview—first in a three part series—we spotlight Pastor Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church’s use of this new medium.
Subsplash: Mars Hill Church was among the first to publish a church iPhone app almost a year ago. You, Pastor Mark, have been one of the most downloaded podcasts on iTunes. Considering that Mars Hill Church is at the forefront of utilizing mobile technology, in what ways has mobile tech impacted your ministry?
Pastor Mark: Without the Internet, my ministry is completely different. In God’s providence we started our church about the same time that the Internet went public, near Microsoft, and have ridden that wave ever since.
Subsplash: Some churches might want to use new technology simply because it’s cutting-edge…how do think the church has embraced technology well? How do think it has embraced technology poorly?
Pastor Mark: The key is to have biblically rooted Jesus-centered content and lots of it. It’s great to speak to a wide audience, but only if the content advances the cause of Christ. Ministries fail both in having poor content that is widely delivered, and conversely good content that is not widely delivered.
Subsplash: What is the theological reasoning behind Mars Hill Church’s use of technology to forward the Gospel?
Pastor Mark: Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9 that he became all things to all men so that by “all means” he might save as many people as possible. It’s that simple. We use whatever we can to tell as many as we can about Jesus. Technology is simply a tool or an idol depending upon whether it helps or hinders the forward progress of the gospel.
Subsplash: Do you believe all churches are candidates for cutting-edge, technological advancements like podcasting or an iPhone app? Why or why not?
Pastor Mark: Any church that believes the Bible is taught well with Jesus as the hero should attempt to do all they can to get the word out more broadly. If we love Jesus and people, we want to get his truth and love to them as cheaply, effectively, and responsibly as we can.
Thanks Pastor Mark! We are so thankful that God blessed us with the chance to work with your ministry.