I spent the day in Grand Rapids yesterday with the wonderful Betsy, so I could visit Mars Hill. I enjoy meeting new people a lot – lots of fun to hang with Betsy and see around GR. We also took in a screening of Where The Wild Things Are, which was beautiful. Highly recommend you check it out.

So, Mars Hill was quite the experience. I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of musical styles, but it seems everyone was surprised to find ourselves singing along to electronica! Troy (the lead worshiper) spoke of how putting familiar words to unfamiliar sounds might help us to engage with the words in new ways, and so they used lots of synthesisers, remixed crazy melodies, and set old praise song words to 80’s cheesy love songs!

Rob Bell was speaking yesterday, continuing the series on the Beatitudes. I enjoyed watching how the church interacts and functions within themselves. I guess people, myself included at times if I’m honest, think about all the stuff Rob’s been involved in – Noomas, his books, speaking – and perhaps forget that he’s a pastor first. He’s a pastor who studies and preaches, who knows the names of people in his church, who champions and celebrates the work they do. It’s good to be reminded of that.

I didn’t realise before I walked into The Shed (the auditorium) that it was in the round. It’s interesting to see how much that changes the dynamic of a service & of a group of people. It seems to me like it makes it a more communal thing – everyone in the room can see each other, can see that they’re called to follow Jesus in a community of other people, not on their own. I’ve never come across a church that meets in the round before, it was refreshing.

Definitely the most interesting service I’ve been at in a long time!