Controversial author and pastor Rob Bell has announced that he will leave his post at Mars Hill Church in Michigan to "pursue a growing number of strategic opportunities." A letter posted on Mars Hill's website said Bell, who founded the church twelve years ago with his wife Kristen, plans to preach his final sermon at the church in December "in order to devote his full energy to sharing the message of God’s love with a broader audience." Bell will give more detail on his departure during his upcoming Sunday morning service on September 25.
Earlier this year, Bell started a fiery discussion in the Christian leadership community about the nature of heaven and hell with the March publication of his latest book, Love Wins. No stranger to controversial topics, Bell's announcement has lit up Twitter and Facebook with John Piper, Rick Warren, Scot McKnight, Donald Miller, and other prominent leaders commenting. Bell is also planning his "Fit to Smash Ice" tour, a speaking tour described as "several hours of entirely new content I haven't given before, exploring all the exhilarating ways we stumble and fumble and fail and bleed and limp along and just how good and sacred and thrilling it all is."
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