So is it about the church (Mars Hill) or the Pastor? CT magazine reports that, “Founded in 1996, the Seattle-based megachurch planted 15 satellite sites across five states, its passion for creating new churches further evidenced by Driscoll founding the Acts 29 network. By New Year’s Day, the multisite organization and the Mars Hill name will be no more.”
Two and half months following Pastor Marks resignation from Mars Hill, the church as we know it will be gone. The remaining multisites will get new names and new leadership structures and become their own autonomous churches. In the long term that might turn out to be a great thing. In the short run you have to scratch your head and say what gives? Was Mars Hill a good idea and it just so happened that the timing of Pastor Marks resignation was coincidentally at the same time this major shift was going to take place? I think not & there is NO evidence in the Mars Hill leaderships statements that alludes to it either. So was Mars Hill as it existed depended on one man (that being Pastor Mark)?
A few quick observations and questions for you to consider:
1. I was deeply saddened to see that no effort was made by the board at Mars Hill to pay tribute to Pastor Mark publicly. No banner or post set up on their website thanking God for his ministry of for people to post stories about how God used Pastor Mark to change their lives. The message posted the weekend following his resignation made no mention of his resignation either. Remember that Mars Hill’s messages may be the most downloaded sermons each week, so the audience of people effected is huge. What a great opportunity to take the week off of the series they were doing and having the staff and elders thank God and for the work Mark had contributed too.
Christians should be the most grateful people on earth (considering what God has done for us), we should never let an opportunity to thank people God has used to make an investment in our lives go by.
2. Pastor Marks gifts and personality are what God used to build Mars Hill. It appears those same gifts lead to his demise (and as a result Mars Hill’s). Brash, forceful, uncompromising- all words that where used to describe his counter-culture teaching style that stuck our like a sore thumb in the liberal leaning Northwest and spread his appeal across North America. Those same words were used to describe his controversial leadership style that eventually lead to him leaving Mars Hill.
Like Pastor Mark, we all have gifts that God has given us to use to make a mark on this world for Him. Beware that you use them well and balance them. Whatever your gifts are they are, they are incomplete to face all the challenges life presents. Pastor Mark found out that his great gifts worked really well teaching in church and for books, but those same gifts needed tempering in the board room and with his staff.