Thursday, January 10, 2008

Rob Bell

My friend sent me a Time Magazine article about Rob Bell, saying, “This is something you really need to read.” So I did. I didn’t know a thing about him.

Rob Bell—who is that?! I asked this question when I read that articles in the Chicago Sun-Times and Christianity Today called him “the next Billy Graham.” I did some investigating, because that’s quite a claim to make about anybody.

Rob Bell is the pastor of the Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandview, Michigan. He looks like a good ol’ American boy in his twenties; he founded Mars Hill, a protestant, nondenominational, evangelical mega-church that meets in a converted shopping center. He is helping lots of people “find the Big Jesus” in new ways.

A BeliefNet article by David Kuo, linked here, says this about Bell:

Chances are you haven't heard of Rob Bell. You will. In 1999, he, his wife Kristen, and a group of friends started Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan because they wanted to create a community where God could be experienced in a non-traditional way. They didn't know how to do it or what would happen. They just knew that they wanted to be part of a community where people loved coming, questions were welcomed and love abounded. The church grew from zero to 10,000 in less than two years and Rob Bell has become a phenomenon.

And so, I tell you the same thing my friend told me: “This is something you really need to read.”

Here are some amazing, innovational things Bell does to show people who Jesus is—and this is the sure-enough real Jesus of the New Testament:

  • After a sermon he gave called “Love Wins,” a widespread bumper-sticker campaign started, and you can read about it and hear the “Love Wins” sermon at this linked site: Also, you can buy “Love Wins” bumper stickers and get the first one free, and start spreading this great notion at this site.

  • He and some people in his church do short videos (about 15-20 minutes) called NOOMA, in which he generally tells a story that powerfully illustrates things about God. You can view some or even buy some at this linked site.

Reading about what Rob Bell does gives me hope for the world. It makes me think of this passage from Acts 2. On the day of Pentecost, Peter says,

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.

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