Sonja - Ballard 1996-2011

Your Name




Which describes your role at Mars Hill?

Member, Group Leader (any leadership role)

What Mars Hill location(s) did you attend?


What years were you involved / attending?

1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

How did you first hear about Mars Hill?

Really don't remember.  I'm a 5 point Calvinist and I think, just maybe, MHC was already in TGC.

What was the circumstance of your first time attending Mars HIll?

Left a previous church -- a Calvary Chapel and not my soteriology.

What were your first impressions?

Loved it.  Was embraced and welcomed.

Why was Mars Hill your church home?

I honestly didn't care for the teaching.  It wasn't expository as advertised, but really connected with the other attendees.

What about your time at Mars Hill has had a positive impact on you?

My gifts were valued and used.  I was challenged out of my comfort zone and by grace I grew in faith.  Not only was I impacted positively, I believe I had the opportunity to impact others positively.  Not through community groups but by deacons on staff.  They all left long before I did.

What about your time at Mars Hill has had a negative impact on you?

Mark's building his own tower of Babel.  

What would you like to have changed about Mars Hill?

Having a teaching pastor that was not syncretic.  Driscoll never seemed to get beyond his RCC upbringing.  Not only that -- he wanted an empire and to be a dictator.

Which describes you?

I left Mars Hill prior to closure.

Please describe why you left Mars Hill and what that experience was like.

Mark Driscoll once said he never wanted anyone at MCH to defend him.  That changed, or he simply stopped lying.  He wanted himself defended.  It was never "all about Jesus" -- that was a fraud, it always was about Mark.  He has a very low view of God and His holy standard.

Good friends defend him to this day -- not only defend him, but have elevated a fallen man to their own little god.  It was encouraged when I left.     

How would you describe the reason for Mars Hill's closure to an outsider.

NI don't believe it was closed to outsiders since it was all about numbers. Things changed a lot whereby back in the day, people were interviewed as to their salvation (that's vague, sorry).  Then no one cared if a new professing Christian had a clue who He is and what He did.  That I know as a fact, having "interviewed" people who wanted to be baptised.  If they breathed, they were ready to "confess" Christ.  Not a clue.

What's changed for you since your time at Mars Hill came to an end?

Great question!  I was brought to a deep repentance along with shame over having been so deceived.  God is SO good!  Matt. 24:24 came alive for me:

"For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect."

IF POSSIBLE ... even the elect.  It's not possible.  He brought me out of Babylon and away from people I trusted who wanted to bring destruction to me.  I pray for them.  If I heard one more person say "Mark has saved so many".  Oh please.

Please write anything else you'd like to add.

Good questions.  I'm over it.  I grew a lot, not because of Driscoll but in spite of him and grateful for that.  The wonderful people who were on staff at Ballard truly love Jesus and HIs Word.  I grew because of them.  When they left, I stopped growing and was offended by Driscoll's blaspheming His Word and elevating himself.  

I ignored this for 2 years, but Phil brought me out.

Thanks for the opportunity to give voice.  Driscoll is a dangerous man.  He bends like a reed in the wind, wanting to apologize to Osteen (who hasn't a clue who he is) but disdains those who destroyed.  He's reinventing himself and so few listen in this new arena.  Nor do they want to listen.  They believe he's God's anointed and so do people from MH.  :(