Mark Driscoll@PastorMark 19 Jun 12
What do you call a guy expected to do what he cannot do with resources he does not have?
Fr. Andrew S. Damick@FrAndrewSDamick
@PastorMark I suspect that most pastors would be overjoyed to have your variety of resource-poverty. (What's your budget, again?)
Unsurprisingly Fr Damick's response was expunged from Driscoll's twitter feed. But since the internet is the internet it's there for people to read elsewhere.
But it's possible that the twee has some context not everyone might know about or look up.
Now in the start of the presentation of the budgeting approach there's some discussion of annual vs weekly budgets. Those things matter but it also matters if the budget was based on actual or projected growth and revenue. If a guy assesses his eligibility for dating a woman on the basis of assuming that no woman is out of his league he may be bitterly disappointed that if a woman thinks she can do better than him she'll hold out for someone better.
If Mars Hill has to tighten the belt and live within actual revenue this might require that they no longer (if ever again) do things like renting the city of Ephesus for a day.
Getting red cameras for video production might need to stop happening.
Driscoll talks about how the myth at Mars Hill is there's a money fairy and the assumption is the money fairy will take care of things. Do members of the churches actually believe someone else will take care of it? Or was there an economic model in which budgeting was based on projected growth? If there was budgeting based on projected growth then it would seem more like the leaders and not the laity believed that some kind of money fairy, as Driscoll has put it, would show up and fix things.
If the leaders have decided that this year there won't be any new church plants for Mars Hill it means they have been reading some numbers, about which there is some rambling commentary below:
Although Mark Driscoll shared a bit about joining Mars Hill for those who might be interested in joining Mars Hill. There are lengthy observations about that here:
So in April there was time to discuss what might be involved if a church wanted to become a part of Mars Hill and Driscoll shared a variety of things about what made church mergers pretty neat.
If Driscoll was plugging for why Jesus loves church mergers in November 2011 and talking about them some more in April 2012 something transpired that led him to say in June 2012 that for this year the intent is not to start any new Mars Hill churches which, of course, doesn't mean they absolutely won't.
But today if someone were to try to be a church assimilated into Mars Hill now in July 2012 the answer might be "Well, sorry, we can't afford that." That would be true. Someone mentioned about four years ago that a church that acquires faster properties than it cultivates its donor base to a level that can sustain said properties will run systemic deficits and mass lay-offs would eventually ensue and places would have to get shut down.
It's too bad that it has because it's not as though people didn't warn that this kind of thing was a risk. This blogger knows of one or two such people. The church has gotten so big since I stopped attending I can't begin to imagine how many people who have dedicated years of their lives, in some cases I know for sure more than a decade by now, have been laid off by the institution and the explanation is that the church has to live within its means. Actually, I can imagine roughly the number of people for a non-profit corporation that size but it's those years of husbands and wives and children devoted to an institution that has cut them loose that I admit to finding hard to imagine. That's a lot of heartache on the part of sincere and generous people who have sacrificed much of their lives just to get cut loose after years of a church apparently systemically living beyond its means. This kind of thing, after "God's Work, Our Witness" could be an especially bitter pill to swallow.
My prayers are with former MH employees who are not going to have an easy time lining up new jobs and careers.