A leader of the vast new movement of Christians seeking to create an alternative to the Religious Right and the Confused Left, Rob Bell is a
pioneer among those forming a new kind of Christian expression. At 28, he founded Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., a megachurch that threw out the conventional sermon-and-worship service and instantly drew thousands of attendees. He is the best-selling author of a number of books, including Velvet Elvis, Sex God, Jesus Wants to Save Christians and Drops Like Stars. In his latest book, Love Wins, Bell deals directly with a core issue for all Christians -- providing provocative answers about God’s judgment and what happens after we die.
As a student at Wheaton College, Bell fronted a band that seemed poised to break nationally. When it didn’t, he attended Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., and apprenticed at a megachurch before founding Mars Hill. Grand Rapids is notoriously well churched, but Bell saw an untapped audience: those left cold by traditional church services. Fifteen hundred people, alerted by word of mouth, came that first Sunday. Now, Mars Hill has several thousand people attending each week.
Bell appeals to a young audience through his stand-up style monologues, rather than delivering three-point-sermons. On his national speaking tours, Bell draws sell-out crowds through mixing
his unique and fresh teachings with art and audience participation. He has been profiled in TIME and other venues, often described as the most exciting voice in the church today. He is also the featured speaker in NOOMA, a series of pioneering spiritual short films that investigate questions of faith and explore the world from the perspective of Jesus.
Bell and his wife, Kristen, live in Grand Rapids, Mich., with their three children.