The elders at Mars Hill Bible Church have announced that Rob Bell is resigning from the pastorate of the congregation he founded 12 years ago. Sarah Pulliam Bailey has the scoop. Here’s a bit from the statement that the elders posted on the church’s website:
Feeling the call from God to pursue a growing number of strategic opportunities, our founding pastor Rob Bell, has decided to leave Mars Hill in order to devote his full energy to sharing the message of God’s love with a broader audience.
It is with deeply mixed emotions that we announce this transition to you. We have always understood, encouraged, and appreciated the variety of avenues in which Rob’s voice and the message of God’s tremendous love has traveled over the past 12 years. And we are happy and hopeful that as Rob and Kristen venture ahead, they will find increasing opportunity to extend the heartbeat of that message to our world in new and creative ways.
You will remember that we had quite a bit of discussion about Bell earlier this year concerning his controversial book Love Wins. The book was a heterodox take on the doctrine of hell (among other things), but there is no indication from the elders that Bell’s departure has anything to do with the book.
According to the elders’ statement, Shane Hipps will take the reins at Mars Hill after Bell finishes his series in Acts this December. As of right now, the Mars Hill website is down, so if you want to read the rest of the statement from the elders, go take a look at Sarah Pulliam Bailey’s article.
[Here are some links to previous discussion on this site about Love Wins.]