Sutton Turner and the Tale of Two Mars Hill Globals

With each new publication about Mars Hill Global, it seems that church leaders verify my suspicion that much of the money donated for international outreach over the past couple of years has been spent on expanding Mars Hill United States franchises.
In a new video, executive pastor Sutton Turner defines Mars Hill Global as a family connected to Mars Hill Church through Mark Driscoll. In this video, Turner reveals that Mars Hill Global is helping Spokane get off the ground, and in the past helped the Phoenix franchise launch. In a prior post, I noted that Mars Hill Everett’s pastor Ryan Williams thanked Mars Hill Global for helping buy their building. He was almost two years late with his thanks but better late than never I guess.
In this new video, Turner makes sure we know that Mars Hill Global is a bunch of people who give to support church planting locally and internationally. Watch:

Mars Hill Global is a family; a family that is connected to Mars Hill Church through Pastor Mark Driscoll’s Bible preaching. Each week there are almost 250,000 people from all over the world that download, watch, and listen to sermons and other content from Mars Hill Church.
In 2007, I began listening to Mars Hill podcasts while living in Texas and continued as a podcaster when I moved to the Middle East. My family and I were amazed at the work that Jesus was doing through Mars Hill and the number of people that were meeting Jesus and growing in Jesus each week. It was amazing. I wanted to be more than just a podcaster, I wanted to participate with prayers and financial support as part of the global family of Mars Hill Church so that more people would meet Jesus and more churches would be planted.
Together you and I are both a part the global family of Mars Hill Church. Mars Hill Global mission is the same as Mars Hill Church, making disciples and planting churches all over the world. Currently,your gifts support our 15 Mars Hill Church locations in the United States, evangelists in Ethiopia in church planters in India. It’s a blessing to have a global family who supports what Jesus is doing around the world.
As I mentioned, I’m here in Spokane Washington where we hope to plant our 16th Mars Hill Church location. It’s our prayer that this church building originally constructed in 1926 will be the new home of Mars Hill Spokane. I want to ask you to begin praying about this opportunity; an opportunity for a new Gospel work in an old vintage building, a building that will be home for a new family of believers to meet, worship, and fellowship in Jesus’s name. This new work doesn’t happen without your financial support. You help plant Mars Hill Phoenix earlier this year. Now we’re praying about this opportunity to plant Mars Hill Spokane.
I invite you to continue to pray and give, so more people can be saved by Jesus, more people can grow in Jesus, and more people can be on Jesus’s mission in Seattle, Albuquerque, Spokane, the United States, Ethiopia, India, and the ends of the Earth.

All of that is fine. If people who don’t go to Mars Hill want to donate money to Mars Hill’s General Fund, then, of course, that is up to them. However, what about the people who donated money to the Mars Hill Global Fund when it existed? Shouldn’t they know where their donation went? As some commenters on my blog have expressed, they are surprised that their money went to building in the U.S. One commenter who claimed to donate to the Global Fund wrote:

I have no words! So, we not so rich east europeans give money for poor Ethiopia and India, but surprise, they go for rich americans!!! This is some kind a joke!

Up to May, a donor could donate to something called the Global Fund. And as the next video shows, the source of the donations could be from Mars Hill members in the U.S. as well as from people who didn’t attend Mars Hill. According to this video published in January, Mars Hill Global was the arm of Mars Hill Church which developed resources for international efforts. Watch:

Howdy Mars Hill Church, pastor Sutton Turner here and I’m in Ethiopia, and I just want to thank Jesus for continuing to use Mars Hill Church to make disciples and plant churches. Mars Hill Global is the arm of Mars Hill Church that makes disciples and plant churches all over the world. We not only do church planting, but we help better equip church planters. Most recently, we shipped and now distributed a thousand Bibles into Amharic which is the language here in Ethiopia, and we launched a project to translate Pastor Mark Driscoll’s Doctrine book into Spanish. We have people from over 29 different countries that are giving on a monthly basis to Mars Hill Global.
So whether you’re a member of one of our Mars Hill Church locations in the United States or you’re one of 100,000 podcasters every single week, We encourage you to pray about giving above and beyond your tithe to Mars Hill Global. Thank you and let’s see more materials translated, more pastors sent out, more churches planted, and more people saved by Jesus Christ.

Turner’s January 2014 video sounds much more like the way Mars Hill Global was described in the 2013 Annual Report. Prior to May, as noted by Turner in the second video above, a donor, including a member of Mars Hill Church, could designate money separately from one’s tithe (General Fund giving) for international efforts. That was called the Global Fund. In all of the revising of Mars Hill Global’s history which has been going on lately, nothing has been said about where the Global Fund has gone or where that money was spent. Apparently, some of it was spent on Everett’s down payment, and now we learn that some of it was spent on Mars Hill Phoenix and is about to be spent on Mars Hill Spokane. But how much of it went to Ethiopia and India? If I had donated to Mars Hill Global Fund in FY 2013 and/or 2014, I would want to know.