A story about megachurch multi-site projects at Christianity Today contains an arresting quotation from the Mars Hill corporation. Driscoll’s church is planning to plant a church in Portland, Oregon and the justification runs as follows:
The city of Portland is known for many things, but the gospel of Jesus is nowhere on the list.
Let’s see, when I think of Seattle, does the gospel come to mind? Not really. All I can think of are corporations — Starbucks, the McDonalds of coffee, Red Hook beer, now part of one of the consolidated breweries, and Microsoft, the company responsible for inserting bullet points whenever I hit the indent key while using MS Word. I used to think of the Supersonics but that was before the National Basketball Association caved to the greed of one of its franchise owners.
All in all, the gospel is not one of the associations I make with Seattle. Maybe Mark Driscoll should turn Seattle into the Jerusalem of the Pacific Rim before setting up shop in Portland (where even congregations with ties to Tim Keller exist).