There’s a profound power to storytelling. In all kinds of communities, the stories we tell about who we are and where we came from are life-shaping.

At Mars Hill, one of the oft-told stories was about Mark Driscoll’s origin and calling. It began with the gift of a Bible from his future wife. That was the catalyst to faith, and a walk in the woods a few months later led to an experience of hearing God’s audible voice saying, “Marry Grace, plant Mars Hill, preach the Bible, and train men.”

That story was repeated countless times at Mars Hill, lending Driscoll a sense of both authority and purpose and inviting the church to get caught up in that mission with him.

This shorter episode dives deeper into this “founding myth” of Mars Hill, and how it evolved over time. It also explores the formative, almost liturgical effect it had on the church, and raises the question of how it might have contributed to a fragile architecture at the heart of the church.

The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill is a production of Christianity Today

It’s executive produced by Erik Petrik

It’s produced, written, and edited by Mike Cosper

Joy Beth Smith is our associate producer.

Music, and sound design, by Kate Siefker and Mike Cosper

This episode was mixed by Mike Cosper

Our theme song is “Sticks and Stones” by King’s Kaleidescope.

Special thanks to Ben Vandermeer

Graphic Design by Bryan Todd

Social Media by Nicole Shanks

Editorial consulting by Andrea Palpant Dilley

CT’s Editor in Chief is Timothy Dalrymple