Honesly I am a little reluctant to write again about Mars Hill church and Mark Driscoll for two reasons:
1. It caused a firestorm on March 8 with that article
2. I don’t want this blog site to be all about Mark Driscoll, but rather about “Leadership From The Heart,” the centrality of the gospel, and the person and work of Jesus in the life of a leader.
Due to people asking me so many questions about this and that, I feel the need to write one more to clarify a few things and set the record straight.
There is a feeding frenzy in the media regarding Mars Hill Church. Those with something to say (and who are saying it) probably fit into two main camps.
1. Those who want what’s best for MHC and its core leadership led by Mark Driscoll
2. Those who would like to destroy both the church and its visionary and teaching pastor Mark Driscoll
It probably comes as no surprise to those who know me that I belong to 1.
Perhaps a little historical perspective will help.
I have been around MHC since 1999 and was an elder from 2005 to 2013, when I stepped down. The truth is that I respect and appreciate Mark’s writing, vision and teaching. He is an exceptionally gifted writer and communicator. He is a brilliant visionary and Jesus has used him greatly in creating and developing a Mars Hill Church that has amazing influence. The vision Mars Hill began with Lief Moi and Mike Gunn who worked alongside of Mark Driscoll.
Having said this, I must also say that there are some serious concerns and issues for quite a number of us who call (or have called) Mars Hill their church home.
I addressed these “concerns and issues” by filing “Formal Charges” in May of 2013, which I mentioned in my March 7 Blog Post
On September 19, 2013, I resigned my membership and Eldership, because I have serious questions about the ministry and leadership philosophy/practices of the Executive Elders of MHC, no longer trust them and, therefore, cannot submit to their authority.
Mark Driscoll’s sin(s) (for many of us who know him and have worked with him) are about clear violations of I Timothy 3, Titus 1 and I Peter 5.
1. Not being self-controlled and disciplined
2. Being domineering
3. Being verbally violent
4. Being arrogant
5. Being quick-tempered
Now, no leader is perfect. All of us understand and agree with that and we are not demanding or expecting Mark Driscoll to be flawless. In the biblical passages cited above, a single instance might not be a disqualifier from eldership; but an established pattern of such behavior, supported and substantiated by eyewitnesses, would be. Such is the case with Mark. I believe (and so do many other former staff and elders) he has a long-standing pattern of consistently violating these leadership qualities and has done so with dozens of individuals with few, if any, signs of genuine repentance.
Mark’s communication of March 14, 2014 to the Mars Hill Church family renewed the intense debate and clogged the internet chat rooms once again.
Let me say that many I know are hopeful about the content of that communication piece from Mark. We hope, and are trusting, that it expresses the true intent of his heart and that he follows through with what he said. What a leader does, rather than what the leader says, is a more accurate predictor of the future.
Because of speaking out about my concerns and filing “Formal Charges,” some label me as a hero while others think I’m an evil person, and they use Titus 3:10 to label me.
I wish to be thought of as neither a hero nor an evil person, but a leader who simply wants to be obedient to what I believe Jesus is prompting me to do.
One more thing to set the record straight. There are people who are accusing me of sharing sensitive Mars Hill documents with the media. I can honestly say that I have not given any documents (Non Disclosure Agreement or the Formal Charges I filed) to the media. There are at least two media outlets that have both of these documents, but they did not get them from me, nor do I know who supplied them.
Additionally, some are saying I’m trying to destroy Mark Driscoll and MHC. Actually, the truth is just the opposite. I’m trying to help, not harm, the church and Mark’s leadership. I want to see the Holy Spirit bring healing, wholeness, repentance and reconciliation with lots of hurt/hurting people. I want to see a safe and nurturing culture at Mars Hill Church, not a fearful culture that has existed for years.
Please join me in praying for Mark Driscoll that he will understand what he has done, repent of what he has done and experience reconciliation with those to whom he has done it.
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Proverbs 27:6 (KJ)
I believe I’m acting as a friend to Mark and MHC, not an enemy in what I’m doing/saying, despite what some think.
I trust many of you will choose to comment on this post, but please do so with civility and Christian graciousness. May our Lord Jesus be glorified and the gospel advanced.