It’s been several months since I posted anything on this site about Mars Hill Church where I served as an elder from the fall of 2005 until the fall of 2013. In May of 2013 I started a process of sharing some deep concerns. That process continues to this day.
If the storm surrounding me and a few men we call BOB (band of brothers, “The 20”), which is composed of a group of former pastors of Mars Hill Church, and our concerns about Mars Hill Church and its executive leadership are news to you, you can get caught up by reading the two blogs previously posted on this site before reading further.
On March 17 of this year, BOB sent a request to the Board of Advisors and Accountability (BOAA), which includes the three members of the Executive Elder team of Mars Hill Church (Mark Driscoll, Sutton Turner and Dave Bruskas). Our request was simple and to the point.
“Because of many long-standing hurts and offenses that we have either personally experienced and/or witnessed between us and the executive elders, we are requesting your help in establishing a wise and workable reconciliation process, acceptable to all involved to resolve these issues. Knowing that there might be several possible reconciliation processes to follow, we are asking that you consider enlisting the help of a third party who can objectively guide all of us toward repentance and reconciliation.”
I am glad to report that the process described above is now underway. A reputable professional team, experienced in matters of significant conflict in churches, has been retained by the BOAA. This team is doing initial interviews and getting the lay of the land regarding what has transpired over the last seven years or so at Mars Hill Church. This will be a long process, so patience will be the need of the hour. Once the team has done its initial round of interviews, recommendations will be given to the BOAA as to next steps.
Personally, I am encouraged and, to use a military expression, I am cautiously optimistic. It’s way too early in the process to know how it will play out, how interested parties can be involved and what the longer-term results will be. I want to strongly encourage all of you reading this to be much in prayer, as much is at stake.
There is always a chance that when the process becomes painful and extremely uncomfortable (which it most certainly will), or takes more time than anticipated or desired, the BOAA would discontinue the “Repentance and Reconciliation” process.
I am praying earnestly that this will not happen. I’m also praying that the process (however long it may take) will bear good fruit and bring needed healing to a hurting Mars Hill Church.
A verse for me in this matter is I Corinthians 16:13,14 in the NLT:
“Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong. And everything you do must be done with love.”
1. We need to be on guard because we have an enemy near at hand (I Peter 5:8)
2. By his grace we all need to stand tall and true for what we believe without fear
3. We need to be courageous and strong in the gospel
4. Love (albeit at times tough love) must be the overriding driver and underlying motive in all we do and say; not motivated by bitterness, anger or revenge, but by love. The love of Jesus and love for Jesus and his church. (2 Corinthians 5:14,15)
Here are three things to be praying about:
1. Pray for a true spirit of repentance and a Holy Spirit created desire for reconciliation and restoration
2. Pray for courage and a safe place for those who want to (and need to) speak out and tell their stories
3. Pray that as a result of this process Mars Hill Church will have a healthier culture and a healthier leadership team