Mars Hill’s music grew out of the same counter-cultural ethos that defined the rest of its ministry. Most of the church’s founding members thought Christian contemporary music was too saccharine and polished for their tastes, and what evolved at Mars Hill reflected the gritty and dark sounds of the city around them. But like many other facets of the Mars Hill story, there was much behind the music. Often selected for their charisma and talent, Mars Hill bands found that few cared about the condition of their souls or the posture of their spirits.
Chad Gardner became a worship leader later in the church’s history, having grown up listening to the church’s music. His eventual decision to leave would mean sacrificing community and intellectual property rights over his band’s contributions to the ministry. Some band members, damaged by various spiritual abuses, would leave the faith altogether.
In this bonus episode of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, host Mike Cosper sits down with Chad Gardner, worship leader at Mars Hill, to hear the hard and beautiful stories of the music that defined the community. Peek backstage for a glimpse of what worship leadership meant in this alternative church culture, and hear stories behind some of King’s Kaleidescope’s albums. Finally, find out why Chad told us, “I never wanted to do a duet with Mark.”
Learn more about Kings Kaleidoscope here.
“The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill” is a production of Christianity Today
Executive Producer: Erik Petrik
Produced, written, edited, and hosted by: Mike Cosper
Associate produced by Joy Beth Smith and Azurae Phelps
Music, sound design and mixing: Kate Siefker
Graphic Design: Bryan Todd
Editorial consulting: Andrea Palpant Dilley
Social Media: Kate Lucky
Theme Song: “Sticks and Stones” Kings Keleidoscope
Additional Music: Brad Currah, Red Letter, Team Strike Force, The Sing Team, Citizens, and Kings Kaleidoscope.