Mars Hill Bible Church pastor Rob Bell is leaving life in the pulpit to pursue life on the road. He is launching a new tour called "Fit to Smash Ice.” The tour will be hitting seven cities in the U.S. and Canada starting in November, right before Bell delivers his final sermons at Mars Hill Church in December.
The tour starts on Nov. 10 in Toronto, ON at the Queen Elizabeth Theater. The theatre seats just over 1,000 people and general admission ticket prices are $35.75. After that, Bell will head back to various locations around the northeast, including stops in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia.
He will also be heading to The State Theatre in Ithaca, N.Y., on Nov. 11. The venue said today ticket prices are set at $25 a person and so far they have sold 250 tickets. The venue holds over 1,500 people.
There are more venues in the works. Bell says they are considering heading further south, and even out to the west coast, with the possibility of heading overseas to Australia and New Zealand.
Bell is tight lipped about much of what the tour will entail, even shying away from explaining the meaning of its title in a recent press release. He simply said the phrase was “used by a ship captain in 1895 and its significance is more fully explained as part of the tour event.”
Spokesperson Suzanne Wickham from Bell’s book publisher HarperOne, said “the event is a two-hour talk with questions afterwards.” She declined to give any more details about the event.
"This is a very personal tour for me," Bell explains on his website. "It's 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.”
After starting Mars Hill and being a part of the church for 12 years, Bell announced in September that he was leaving the church and moving with his family to the Los Angeles area to pursue new things. Aside from the tour, some of those new endeavors will include the release of The Love Wins Companion: A Study Guide for Those Who Want to Go Deeper. It will include a reflection on the publication of Love Wins as well as discussion questions for individuals, groups and classes.
His recent book, Love Wins, received criticism for its views on hell, even garnering an editorial from World Magazine Editor-in-Chief Marvin Olasky. He said Bell was a prototype of self-hating evangelicals who “display virulent opposition to the existence of churches that are not emergent, or don’t meet in a house, or are not radically redistributionist, or are not something other than standard.”
Bell will continue his non-standard approach to Christianity, saying he has several ventures he’s working on in the Los Angeles area, along with a possible television project in the works.