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I Need 900 Men


I Need Nine Hundred Men:

Calling All Potential Church Planters and Multi-Site Campus Pastors

By Pastor Mark Driscoll

On March 9–10, 2009, we will be gathering in Seattle for a boot camp with the Acts 29 Church Planting Network and the World Church Planting Summit. Anyone interested in being an Acts 29 church planter and/or Mars Hill campus pastor needs to join us.

The Acts 29 Church Planting Network now has over two hundred churches in the U.S. and many more overseas. Our goal is to be at five hundred churches in less than three years and over one thousand church plants in less than ten years, running a total of 250,000 people.

Additionally, Mars Hill Church is currently running eight thousand people in twenty services spread across seven campuses. We are pregnant with our eighth campus, and are exploring options to start two more in 2009. Now our goal in ten years is roughly one hundred campuses running fifty thousand people.


Opening a Training Center

We recently a Network Coordinator to architect the growth of our Mars Hill campuses along with Scott Thomas, who directs Acts 29. This will include launching a training center that will offer a master's degree in missional leadership. You will hear much more about that in the coming year.


Mars Hill and Acts 29 are going global.

We are deadly serious about the great commission and loading all guns to storm hell with the gospel of grace. And we need more men. Nine hundred men. Not boys—men. Real men. Men who care less about padding their resume and getting their vacation days than about seeing lives transformed and legacies altered for generations. We need men who love their wives, pastor their children, submit to Scripture, bleed the gospel, and have steel in their spine, love in their hearts, and the lost in their sights.

Most of the guys reading this likely do not have the calling, courage, conviction, compassion, compulsion, or character to qualify as a church planter or campus pastor. But if you think you have the stuff, by God's grace, to plant a church for Acts 29 or launch a campus for Mars Hill, we invite you to join us in Seattle on March 9–10. I don't care if you are sixteen or sixty-one years of age. If you have gas in your tank and a calling in your life, show up for training, networking, and possibly even assessing, if you qualify.


Hundreds of our Best Men

Furthermore, if you attend Mars Hill Church and your Campus Pastor says you can come, you get in for free. We'd love to see hundreds of our best men, especially our best young men, sign up, show up, and step up.

If you attend, you will receive some great teaching on church and campus planting. Some dear friends, such as Matt Chandler, South African P.J. Smyth, Acts 29 Planter Dave Bruskas, and Acts 29 Director Scott Thomas, will join me in teaching at the boot camp. Joining us will be leaders of established and emerging church planting movements in Quebec, Melbourne, Sydney, Johannesburg, Cape Town, London, India, Albania, Uganda, Thailand, and others. Most of these movement leaders are younger men. Together they represent literally thousands and thousands of churches from around the world with literally hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people. We are pulling these young high-level leaders together for a World Church Planting Summit to learn and network, and you get to network with them and learn from them. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

For more information and details about the boot camp, go here, or you can register here. There are also two free bonus sessions, one on Sunday afternoon ( March 8 ) and the other on Monday evening ( March 9 ).


Main Session Topics:

1.    Mark Driscoll – The Calling of the Planter
Mark will kick off the boot camp with a discussion surrounding the calling of a man into ministry. What does a calling entail? How does a man know he is called to plant a church? What are the special characteristics of that man called to plant? What are some examples of a called man in Scripture? What are some contemporary examples of a called planter? In what other ways is a man called into ministry aside from the vocational aspect?

2.    Scott Thomas – Great Commission Call to Plant Churches
Scott will set the overview for the remainder of the messages by examining the five biblical references to the Great Commission. The summation is that we are mandated to proclaim the gospel to all nations in the power of the Holy Spirit. This will give an overview of the boot camp as well as call men to plant churches as an expression of the Great Commission.

3.    Matt Chandler – The Call to Preach
Matt will focus on the proclamation by the church planter. Why is it important to be a preacher in the context of a church plant? What are the characteristics of good preaching that transforms lives? Is preaching a method that is no longer effective? How can a non-vocational believer proclaim the Good News?

4.    P.J. Smyth – The Call to Proclaim the Gospel
P.J. will focus on the gospel message. What is the gospel? What are the enemies of the gospel in the context of a church? How has Christendom rejected the gospel? How can a church planter defend the gospel?

5.    Dave Bruskas - The Call to the Nations/City
Dave will address the call to plant churches to all nations. Our call is not to plant a single church, but rather to plant the gospel in our cities, our regions, and our world. He will explore the recipients of the gospel and how we are shortsighted to limit the mission of God to a single congregational model. Where are the "nations" in the cities in which we live? How can we expand the gospel to the nations?

6.    Mark Driscoll – The Call to Endure
Mark will address the calling of a man that is necessary to endure the hardships of planting a church in the midst of a generation of idolaters. How can the planter endure in light of the gospel?  How does he endure the calling of other Christians to move away from the mission? How does the Holy Spirit help us to endure?


Six Great Workshops Are Available:

Monday and Tuesday (1:00 pm – 2:45 pm)
The following tracks will present part one on Monday and part two on Tuesday.

1.   Redemption Groups (Mike Wilkerson and James Noriega)
Mars Hill Church pastors have developed a biblical approach to dealing with addictions and past trauma. Redemption groups are based on the concept of God redeeming broken people back to his image through community-based learning environments.

2.    Missional Community Groups (Caesar Kalinowski and Mike Gunn)
A missional community is a committed core of believers who live out the mission together in a specific area or to a particular people group by demonstrating the gospel in tangible forms and declaring the gospel to others—both those who believe it and those who are being exposed to it. This community is led by a team to shepherd, equip, and organize a community on mission. This group is the church throughout the week. They identify, equip, and send out new men to lead missional communities. Missional Communities operate unlike a Bible study and more like a family, a missionary team, a band of servants, and eager learners.

3.    Pitfalls of Church Planting (Jeremy Erb and Shaun Garman)
Two pastors from the Portland region describe the pitfalls experienced in church planting and the ways they applied the gospel to bring glory to God. Too many church planters launch a new work naively without counting the cost (Luke 14:28).

4.    Seven Seasons of a Church Planter (Russ McKendry and Hunter Beaumont)
Global Church Advancement (GCA) has developed the Seven Seasons of a Church Planter. Two experienced planters present an overview of the GCA seasons and explain real-life examples of how they applied to their church plants.

5.    Q&A Panel (Hosted by Chris Swan)
Seattle-based Acts 29 planters will answer questions about church planting, pastoring, family life, finances, benefits of planting a church, and more. (Monday: Brent Rood, Sam Ford, Scott Golike, and Chris Mayfield; Tuesday: John Needham, Rob Berreth, and Paul Dean)

6.    Wives' Track (Grace Driscoll, Christy Rood, Susan Swan, and Toni Spry, author of Fulfilled Woman)


FREE Bonus Sessions:

1.    Missional Worship (Sunday, March 8, 1:30 – 4:00 pm)
Pastor Tim Smith, Lead Worship Pastor at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, will lead a session about missional worship. When Pastor Tim came to Mars Hill Church it was a two-year-old church plant with about two hundred people in a rented space on Sunday nights. Now, by the grace of God, it is a church of roughly eight thousand people with seven campuses, twenty services each Sunday and twenty unique bands leading the church in song. As Tim has led the corporate worship of Mars Hill throughout these years, he has had a deep conviction that it is much more about Jesus and standing in awe of his glory than any particular method, service order, or music style. Join Pastor Tim Sunday afternoon as he digs into questions like what is worship, what role should the world of cultures play in forming our corporate worship, and how does all of that result in building leaders and bands. The afternoon will be divided up into multiple parts with extended Q&A following each section. Hope to see you there.

2.   Total Church Community Training by Steve Timmis (Monday, March 9, 7:00 pm  – 10:00 pm)
Steve Timmis is the co-author of Total Church (along with Tim Chester). Steve will give an overview of the concepts in the book, paying particular attention to the formation and mission of Gospel Communities. Register for this free event here.


Joseph Grigoletti

on Feb 15, 2009 :: 10:19 pm

I am currently learning French in Québec, Canada to hopefully plant a church after my studies. I would love to go but its a bit expensive to fly there, have housing, buy books, then come back. Hopefully next year Lord willing!

Corey Conner

on Feb 17, 2009 :: 8:20 pm

I'll be there. Can't wait.

Travis Wears

on Feb 19, 2009 :: 1:29 am


thinking about attending. i live in kansas city, mo and discovered this site via, which i discovered via the mars hill church website where i've been obsessively watching old driscoll videos for the past few months. i think i can handle the registration fee and airfare out to seattle but i was wondering if there was any group housing or donated housing available for the conference. i don't know anyone in seattle and was hoping maybe a 20 or 30-something male member of mars hill who was also planning on attending would put me up for the conference. if anyone wants to volunteer or send someone my way you can reach me at or if anyone has an idea on where to stay on the cheap, that'd help as well. thanks.

- travis


Pastor Mark Driscoll founded Mars Hill Church in Seattle in the fall of 1996, which has grown to over 13,000 people including new sites in New Mexico and California. He co-founded the Acts 29 Church Planting Network, with three hundred churches in the U.S. and internationally, and is founder of The Resurgence.

Outreach magazine has recognized Mars Hill Church as the ninth most innovative and fifteenth fastest-growing church in America. Outreach magazine has also ranked Mars Hill Church number two of America's top multiplying (church-planting) churches. The Church Report has recognized Pastor Mark as the twenty-second most influential pastor in America. His sermons are downloaded more than a million times a year and he has been recognized by Christianity Today, Inc., as one of the most influential young preachers in America. Seattle magazine has named Pastor Mark as one of the twenty-five most powerful people in Seattle.

Media coverage on Pastor Mark and Mars Hill varies from National Public Radio to Mother Jones magazine, the Associated Press, the New York Times, Blender music magazine, Outreach magazine, Preaching Today, and Leadership magazine to ABC Television and the 700 Club.

His writing includes the books The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out Without Selling Out and Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church, Vintage Jesus, Death by Love, and Vintage Church. He also contributed to the book Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches, and made a chapter contribution to the book Above All Earthly Powers, edited by Dr. John Piper.

Most enjoyably, Mark and his high school sweetheart, Grace, enjoy raising their three sons and two daughters. You can read his full bio here.