Given all the blogging for and against Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll over the years the most startling thing is what hasn't been discussed or researched, at all.
Here's the question, given that Driscoll's 2005 book Confessions of a Reformission Rev (Zondervan) established that Leif Moi was one of the three founding pastors, why has Leif Moi's name all but vanished from Mars Hill websites?
Now perhaps someone would say there's no news and no story. Well, given the news and blogging about the church it would SEEM like a newsworthy observation that there's a founding elder of Mars Hill whose name seems to have dropped off. Mike Gunn is obviously still working at Harambee. Any Google search could establish that. Driscoll is still doing his thing at Mars Hill. Moi? Nowhere. You may even have trouble downloading any sermons he preached over the years. Old sermons get off-loaded from media libraries all the time but Moi preached sermons as recently as last year. No sign of them.
Nothing from any newspaper or blogger about this. Zip. And yet it's an elephant in the room. What happened that a founding elder of one of the fastest growing and influential Protestant churches in America has seemed to disappear and neither the pro nor the anti Mars Hill or Driscoll bloggers have even noticed?
This is simply a matter of having Driscolls Reformission Rev book and visiting the Mars Hill websites to see how things have developed since then. There's no mention in the short history of the church now of either Mike Gunn or Leif Moi, which seems sad since it would appear that for the first decade of Mars Hill's existence these men played an extremely important role. It sounds like it was doubtful that the church would have survived without help and encouragement from these men.
It's puzzling. Has Moi had health problems? Did he resign? Why no mention of the resignation of one of the founding elders of a church this large and with a lead pastor this famous?
Now maybe there's nothing going on at all ... but there seems to be a puzzling silence about this from people who, to go by their vociferous pro or anti Mars Hill Church/Mark Driscoll blogging or news coverage, would catch a detail like this.
Me? I'm deeply ambivalent. I really like and dislike aspects of MHC and the leaders, leaning fairly strongly toward appreciating it, though, which might be an understatement. You can't notice a strange, un-reported thing like this if you don't read broadly on the subject.
So if no one else blogs about this then that's fine, maybe preferable. In journalism people like to take stock of under-reported bits of news. Where anyone with any interest in Mars Hill Church pro or con this would seem like THE elephant in the room, the thing that no one has uttered a word about. To pick some non-random examples, nothing from Adrian Warnock, nothing from Steve Camp, nothing from bloggers who seem to follow Driscoll and Mars Hill to see what is going on.
Now this blog entry is not a place where I have any plans to do anything other than point out what seems to be obvious and not discussed. Given the contentious and invasive things I've seen in how people writing against Mars Hill Church have handled themselves in the last 14 months I don't want this blog entry to be taken as suggesting people try to dig up something on what may be a non-story. I stumbled upon The Stranger's coverage of the pastor firings over the last year and CLEARLY someone compromised a bunch of proprietary information in the process of breaking that story. I find that kind of thing wrong and, no, I don't care if you think you're some Hunter Thompson type. There's something to be said for recognizing that carefully going through on-the-record, publicly accessible information can still get you a news story without necessarily always relying on some hoped for "deep throat". And I won't beat around the bush on this one, there are people whose privacy was compromised whom I have met personally that were included in that coverage. I no longer want to kick whoever did that in the nuts but it's been a year.
Anyway, to me, it would nonetheless seem like news because a founding pastor can be likened to a root from which the church, as a plant, grows out of the foundational soil of Christ. So if a root disappears where did it go?