Mars Hill Churches dissolving, becoming independent churches. Are people really celebrating? Should current Mars Hill pastors assume the role of pastors in the new independent churches?
Yesterday, Mars Hill Pastor Dave Bruskas announced that the Mars Hill board decided that Marks Hill churches were dissolving:
Today, I am excited to share with you important decisions recently made about the future of the congregations of Mars Hill Church that we believe will work to accomplish these goals.
Following much prayer and lengthy discussion with Mars Hill’s leadership, the board of Mars Hill has concluded that rather than remaining a centralized multi-site church with video-led teaching distributed to multiple locations, the best future for each of our existing local churches is for them to become autonomous self-governed entities. This means that each of our locations has an opportunity to become a new church, rooted in the best of what Mars Hill has been in the past, and independently led and run by its own local elder teams.
We recognize this reorganization plan is a significant and complex undertaking on many fronts; however, our goal is to have the process completed by January 1st, 2015.
- Christianity Today’s article: Goodbye, Mars Hill: Mark Driscoll’s Multisite Empire Will Sell Properties and Dissolve
- Seattle Times: Mars Hill Church to disband, tells local branches to go independent
- KING 5 news: Mars Hill dissolving, future of 13 church sites unknown
- Huffington Post: Mars Hill Megachurch Dissolves After Investigation Into Lead Pastor Mark Driscoll
In light of these new developments, there have been many comments on articles and on Twitter. I’ve noticed that some seem to want to tell others how they should be responding:
Last night I saw this from J.D. Hall and responded to him:
I do look at personal criticisms to see if there is any truth in them. I looked through my Twitter feed and found no salivating. I asked Jordan for some examples and he didn’t respond (and he’s tweeted since my note to him). So, in this case, I have concluded that I need to make like a duck and let the criticism roll off my back.
A similar comment was found:
I’ve noticed when something very negative happens in the church, Response Referees come out advising us what we can and cannot say, how we can and cannot feel or express ourselves. I have not seen one comment “salivating” about the demise of Mark Driscoll or the Mars Hill churches.
I have, however, seen rejoicing that the wolf who was freely roaming in a pen of thousands of beloved sheep and devouring some of them, no longer has the ability to do so.
People, is that not something worth rejoicing? Don’t you think God is rejoicing when His people are freed?
The emotional and spiritual chaos has been going on at Mars Hill for nearly two decades. The pain and suffering have been horrible. Many have abandoned their faith. It has torn friends and family apart. This is no light matter. Shouldn’t we be glad that this corrupt leader can’t wreak havoc on spiritual lives anymore?
I don’t see anyone throwing celebratory parties. I see this as a scenario where there are mixed feelings: sadness and grieving for what was lost, happiness that this abuse no longer has to continue. People need the opportunity to freely express their thoughts and feelings about this. Will some people sin in doing so? Maybe. Is that our business? Probably not.
The most important thing that we can do right now is pray for those who have been harmed in the past by the leaders of Mars Hill. Pray for those who are forced to find a new church, some leaving precious friends behind. Pray for those who have abandoned their faith because of what they have gone through. Pray for those who have lost their jobs and will have to find new homes. Pray for those who are in a state of emotional and spiritual confusion.
And that brings me to another point to discuss:
What do you think about current Mars Hill pastors taking over independent churches?
Remember, these are the same men who said that Driscoll was fit for ministry.
You might want to read this article before responding: Mars Hill Church leadership – giving members the finger to the very end.
From what you understand about the Mark Driscoll/Mars Hill and how Driscoll was handled by his church leaders, are they qualified to lead? What is next for former Mars Hill members?
What would you advise them?