Teaching Pastor to Leave Mars Hill Bible Church – by Lillian Kwon

Teaching Pastor to Leave Mars Hill Bible Church – by Lillian Kwon:

No departure date has been set as Hipps agreed to continue serving until a new full-time teaching pastor is found. But he already has an idea about his future plans. Along with the release of a book, titled Selling Water by the River, in October, Hipps has another book planned for the following year titled Cats Don’t Bark: How to Find Your Purpose.

Mars Hill Bible Church is in search for a new full-time preacher to replace Teaching Pastor Shane Hipps, who recently announced his decision to leave the megachurch.

Hipps’ announcement last month came just months after Mars Hill’s founding pastor, Rob Bell, left to pursue a new vision – which includes speaking and writing.

“When I originally accepted the calling to Mars Hill, I was given no promise by God that things would work out in any specific way. Neither was I told why I was called here. Just that I was supposed to come,” Hipps wrote on his blog. “If nothing else, I was given the opportunity to serve as a leader in a time of historic transition in the life of this church. And while it is not what I envisioned, I am honored to have served here in this way.”

Hipps, who previously worked in advertising and later pastored a Mennonite church in Phoenix, Ariz., joined Mars Hill in early 2010. He essentially served as a co-teacher with Bell at the Grandville, Mich., church and preached around 25 Sundays a year while also speaking and writing.

When Bell, author of the controversial Love Wins, resigned from the church in order to be able to reach a broader audience, Hipps became the primary teaching pastor beginning in January. The church also invited guest speakers to teach on Sundays.

His decision to leave, he explained, is over a disagreement with the elders over the role of the teaching pastor.

“Not long after Rob left, the Elders determined it was in the best interest of the church to restructure the role of the Teaching Pastor to be a full time teacher, which means approximately 40 Sundays a year,” Hipps stated.

While he began to discern that call to become a full-time teacher, he felt “almost immediately” “the sad realization” that his current calling was coming to an end.

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