Without admission or acknowledgment, Mars Hill Church continues to change the focus of Mars Hill Global.
Previously, I have raised questions about where Mars Hill Global funds go. Church sources have told me on condition of anonymity that very little of the money designated as Mars Hill Global donations (nearly $2.3 million from July 2012 to June 2013) are disbursed to international missions. In recent days, someone at Mars Hill has directed changes to the website to make it clearer that donations to Mars Hill Global are also spent in the United States.
Recently, this sentence was added to the description of Mars Hill Global on the MHC website:
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.
This sentence was added after my articles on Mars Hill Global were published.
Now, in contrast to the Google cache yesterday, a very similar wording has been added to the Mars Hill giving page.
This description alerts givers that all gifts go to support “evangelizing, making disciples, equipping leaders, and planting chures (sic) all over the world, including but not exclusive to Ethiopia, India, and the United States.” The language is now the same as on the Mars Hill Global page. Even though the Global promotional video is shot in Ethiopia, the new language does not restrict the donations to international causes.
Another change is the deletion of “Global Fund” as an option for giving. Currently, there is a drop down menu titled “Fund.” Now, there are only two options, General Fund (Local & Global) and Foundation/Endowment Fund (see below):
However, a screen capture from late April demonstrates that, at that time, donors had the option of designating their donation to the Global Fund.
Even though the page then noted that donations would help “global ministry efforts,” someone donating prior to the recent changes very probably believed that a gift to the global fund would actually go to international efforts.
Without acknowledging the situation, Mars Hill appears to be bringing themselves closer to compliance with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability guidelines on designation of giving. I have written the ECFA several emails asking for comment over the past week but have received no answer. I have received no answer to my email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
While Mars Hill appears to be giving more disclosure to potential donors, I cannot find on the Global or giving pages any disclosure of how much money has been disbursed to domestic and international efforts. Perhaps, the leaders won’t feel obligated to do so now, since they are being up front with the fact that Global and non-Global donations all go into the General Fund. However, potential donors might still want to know how much goes to Ethiopia and how much goes to the lease of a building in Bellevue, and past donors might want to know how much of their funds designated to the Global Fund went to that purpose.