On To Johannesburg

Dear Mars Hill, Today I finished up multiple days of preaching, teaching, and consulting in Cape Town, South Africa. It is the most beautiful city I have ever seen. It is situated in a bowl between Table Mountain and the beach. During my days in the city I had the privilege of teaching many sessions to pastors from seventy-four different local churches that cover a wide spectrum of theology, denominational affiliation, and style. I also had the honor of preaching to a few thousand men, and a larger crowd the next night made up of both men and women. While in the city I connected with our first Acts 29 church planters in Cape Town, who are hard at work to launch their churches. As one example, you can pray for Pastor JD, who is launching Vox Church on hip Long Street in downtown Cape Town on Easter. He received some funding from the 10 percent given to Mars Hill Albuquerque and we hope to also send him a worship leader to serve for six months in the launching of that new church. There are great opportunities here for existing churches to grow and new churches to be planted. Thus far I have worked in the cities of Durban and Cape Town and I am presently on the plane heading to Johannesburg for my final days of preaching, teaching, and consulting. Grace was with me for the first two cities, and she has since returned home, which is always hard since I get pretty bummed when I have to be away from Grace and the kids. In Joburg, I’m looking forward to reconnecting with PJ Smyth at GodFirst Church. We first met in Brighton, England, at a conference for Newfrontiers ministries and he has since come out to visit us at Mars Hill. He is trying to keep up with a church that has grown to over a few thousand in just four years. I have a lot of sermons, lectures, and meetings in Joburg before finally heading home. Before I go, I hope to have a concrete plan in place for increased church planting in South Africa and I have a bit more research to finish before compiling a plan for the next five to seven years. Thank you to all who have been praying for me on this trip. I am doing well by God’s grace, and am not sick despite having some moments of understandable deep fatigue, in large part due to the full day of travel into the country, trips between cities, the ten-hour time difference, and a fast work pace as I seek to maximize my time here. It’s quite humbling to see how many people here love and follow Mars Hill. Despite spotty Internet access and incredible expense for high speed Internet, I have met hundreds and hundreds of people who faithfully keep up with our church. It’s quite extraordinary to consider that the web has made the world smaller and has enabled God’s people to connect across otherwise difficult barriers. It was in the winter of 1996 when we started gathering the first official core group for Mars Hill Church. In God’s providence, at that time the Internet was going public and catching on—particularly in and around Seattle, thanks in large part to our proximity to Microsoft. Our ministry has largely been dependent upon and sustained by the web in everything from our web sites (Marshillchurch.org,Acts29network.org, TheResurgence.com) to our social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, iPhone app) and social networking (The City). It is truly astonishing how God has allowed us to minister in the age when all of this is possible. With a hard sprint ahead of me over the next four days, I hope to finish well and get home to kiss my wife, hold my kids, and get back to work at Mars Hill in time for Easter, which is historically our biggest day of the year. This year I am praying for upwards of twelve thousand people to join us and for over four hundred people to be baptized. We would appreciate your prayers for God to work mightily among us as we celebrate the victory of Jesus. For Jesus Fame, Pastor Mark

This post is republished material from Mars Hill Church for teaching and archive purposes only.