How the Term “Global Fund” was Used & Misused

by | July 12, 2016 | Mars Hill Global, Timeline

Historically Mars Hill Church used the term “Global Fund” since 2009, however it carried many different meanings as the church grew and sought to expand its outreach and church planting efforts all over the world.

The following is a summary of the way “Global Fund” was used over history:

  • Initiation of “Global Fund” at Mars Hill.  In 2009, Mars Hill Church began to use the term “Global Fund” to solicit gifts restricted for “capital development and expansion”.  As communicated in the Global Newsletter on July 7, 2009, the Global Fund was used to raise resources for the following purposes:  “start new Mars Hill campuses, plant new Acts 29 churches, and equip leaders at the Resurgence Training Center.” In the 2009-2011 time frame, over 80% of the funds given to the “Global Fund” went to Acts 29 church planting, with additional funds used for the Resurgence Training Center and church planting in India.
  • Mars Hill “Global Fund” 2012 and later. During this time period, Mars Hill changed its view of the Global Fund—but not viewing the Global Fund as separate from the overall mission of the church of making disciples and planting churches. In the 2012 and later time frame, Mars Hill began reaching more givers through video bumpers before sermon podcasts, blog posts, and YouTube videos. Some of these ministry communications were totally about U.S. church planting, some were totally about Ethiopia, but most of these communications highlighted church planting in the U.S., Ethiopia, and India.
  • Communication sent by Mars Hill to donors of the “Global Fund”. To be abundantly clear about the use of gifts to the Global Fund subsequent to June 1, 2012, in early July 2014, Mars Hill sent approximately 6,000 letters and 3,765 emails to individuals who had made gifts as a global donor subsequent to June 1, 2012.  In these communications, Mars Hill offered to redirect the donor’s gifts made as a global donor during this time period specifically for planting churches in Ethiopia or India. About 36 donors responded to these communications, resulting in the redirection of approximately $40,000 of funds from Mars Hill’s charitable purpose to Ethiopia/India church planting.


Global Messaging Updates

In addition to the donor communications mentioned above, the following are items that were changed to the Mars Hill website in an effort to make the messaging around Mars Hill Global less confusing:

  1. Removed “Global Fund” from dropdown menu

From 2013 until the first quarter of 2014 donors were able to choose in a drop down “Global Fund” on We established this option to distinguish between donors who attend a local Mars Hill Church, and donors who are connected to us from other parts of the world where there isn’t a Mars Hill prior to the establishment of Mars Hill Accounts. In April of 2014 we removed the “Global Fund” option from our site to alleviate any confusion that it was a fund dedicated to international missions. Donors were then able to give to an option that said “General Fund (local and global).”

  1. Added Clarifying Statements to Give Page

In April of 2014 we added some clarifying language to the page that helped explain better how donations are used.

The new language was : “You’re supporting evangelizing, making disciples, equipping leaders, and planting churches all over the world, including but not exclusive to Ethiopia, India, and the United States. Your gift, whether you are a part of our local church family or a global extended family member, goes to support the ministries and operations of local Mars Hill Churches and also helps plant churches, equip church planters, and translate Bibles and study materials. Your generous gift allows more materials being translated, more pastors being sent out, more churches planted, and more people saved by Jesus Christ.”

  1. Added Clarifying line to Global Page

In April 2014, we added a clarifying line to the Global description on

“Mars Hill Global has the same mission as Mars Hill Church – evangelizing, making disciples, equipping leaders, and planting churches all over the world, including but not exclusive to Ethiopia, India and the US.”

  1. We Changed Amharic Bible Translations Wording
  • On the page it said at one time: “We have also had the privilege to translate the Bible into Amharic, Ethiopia’s native language. What a blessing it was for Mars Hill Global to be able to give away 1000 Amharic Bibles to brothers and sisters across the world.”
  • In June 2014, we changed this to “We have also had the privilege to print and distribute translated Amharic Bibles*, Ethiopia’s native language.” and added the disclaimer: “*This page previously stated that we translated Bibles into Amharic. This was an error, and has been corrected above to state that we printed and distributed Bibles that were already translated. We apologize for the confusion.”
  • Warren Throckmorton pointed this out on his blog.