After nearly two years straight of back to back, continually escalating controversies, Mark Driscoll has resigned. It doesn't really matter what my take, or your take on any specific controversy. What matters are the end results.
- ACTS 29, the church planting organization he started, kicked Mars Hill out of their association.
- Multiple Christian retailers stopped selling his books.
- His church's attendance and giving have fallen through the floor. They've even had to shut down several locations.
- Finally, he has chosen to turn in his resignation.
And once again, a mega-church pastor has fallen from glory while the nation watches.
Whether you loved or hated Driscoll, there's really no satisfaction in his resignation. If you're a fan of Driscoll, you'll be disappointed that he's leaving his ministry, and disappointed that many of the charges against him were verified. If you were a critic of Driscoll, his resignation demonstrates a growing humility and brokenness. His actions here deconstruct many of the narratives people have about him.
Now isn't the time for criticism.
Now isn't the time for praise.
Now isn't the time for defense.
Now isn't the time for speculation.
Now is the time for prayer!
Pray for Our ResponseChristians have a long history of shooting their own. We love to speculate and assume. While we would all agree that gossip is wrong when it deals with people we know in person, for some reason we give our gossip a pass as long as we're writing a blog post or status update about someone we don't know. Almost none of us know Mark Driscoll (though I did talk for him for 30 seconds once at a conference; he told me I married a keeper). Almost none of us are at Mars Hill Church. We don't know what's going on at his church, in his head, or in his heart.
So, what value do our speculations add to the universe?
Up to this point, I haven't seen any new smear or defense pieces pop up online (the general consensus seems to be surprise). I think there's value in praying that things stay that way.
Pray for Mars Hill Church
At the heart of this story is a local church. Mark Driscoll has never been Mars Hill Church. Mars Hill Church has always been the people of Mars Hill Church. As of today, these people are seriously hurting. They have lost people, money, and now their founding pastor.
Regardless of whether or not you like Driscoll's theology, teaching, or personality, 1000s of people in Seattle alone have been positively impacted by Mars Hill Church.
Pray for Mark Driscoll
Driscoll is a clearly a gifted communicator with a charismatic personality, whose talent at times has transcended his maturity. I've read most of his books, and listened to a great many of his sermons. I can understand why many are turned off by his style, but I'm not one of those people. He has tremendous potential to connect with normal people (specifically young males), and still talk about theology.
I can only imagine the type of influence a more mature Driscoll could have.
Much like the way we forgot that Mars Hill is an actual church, we forget that Mark Driscoll is an actual human. He has a wife. He has several kids. He lives in a suburban house. And, until a couple of days ago, he was a pastor, and his resignation is being analyzed on a national scale. He's attempting to lead his family while countless people who don't know him (like myself) are talking about him.
- Mark Driscoll needs our prayers.
- Grace Driscoll needs our prayers.
- Their kids need our prayers.