Sunday, August 12, 2012

Scott Thomas: "We face a problem in the church. We're often too busy fighting with each other ... "


http://www.churchplanting.com/2012/07/23/pick-the-right-fight-for-each-other-not-against-each-other/#axzz23MiByZOx


We face a problem in the church. We’re often too busy fighting with each other and we’re failing to fight for each other. We need to learn to fight for each other with every weapon in our arsenal.
Read more here: Pick the Right Fight: For Each Other, Not Against Each Other | ChurchPlanting.com

Okay ...  I agree with the axiom in general but ...



Thomas goes on to refer to the Athenian oath for his illustration of what is good for Christians to shoot for.  Tertullian famously asked, "What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?" For a pastor who spent time at Mars Hill where it has always been said it's all about Jesus it's disappointing to see a former MH pastor spend more time quoting and discussing the Athenian oath than making any reference to the words of Jesus or the apostles.

It's not that oaths taken by heathens to defend a heathen city have no lessons for Christians, it's just that for a post that was an opportunity to say it's all about Jesus quoting Jesus on friendship and mutual love from the Gospel of John might have been better. A guy who spent years being a pastor at Mars Hill Church where it's all about Jesus could have put a teensy bit more Bible into the entry, couldn't he?

http://www.churchplanting.com/author/scottthomas/#axzz23MmwFVBl

About Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas is Pastor of Pastoral Development at The Journey Church in St Louis. He created the Gospel Coach Training and Certification system and has coached hundreds of pastors. Scott has served as President and Network Director of Acts 29 Network and as an elder at Mars Hill Church. Scott has an MA in Missional Leadership and has been married for 31 years to Jeannie, with whom he has two sons. He planted and replanted churches for 16 years as a lead pastor

Scott Thomas is now Pastor of Pastoral Development at The Journey Church in St. Louis, according to this, where he has served since June 2012.
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/scott-thomas/44/a4b/7b?trk=pub-pbmap

Here's a sermon from July 22, 2012 that Thomas preached.
http://www.journeyon.net/media/god-we-worship/god-we-worship-god-graciouswe-dont-have-prove-ourselves-west-county-audio

Now The Journey is in St. Louis.  What can we find out about them? Well, Darrin Patrick is the lead pastor there.
http://www.journeyon.net/people/darrin-patrick
He's also the vice-president of Acts 29.  Whether or not he's still Mark Driscoll's pastor per the February 2008 Q&A is not something I can particularly speak to.

http://www.acts29network.org/about/leadership/

So Scott Thomas has been billed as Pastor of Pastoral Development at The Journey, where Darrin Patrick is lead pastor.  Scott Thomas was formerly president of Acts 29 and stepped down earlier this year.

I wonder, The Journey may have to update their website if Thomas is still employed as Pastor of Pastoral Development because there's no sign of such a position in their current staff listings.

http://www.journeyon.net/get-to-know-the-elders

So if Scott Thomas moved over to St. Louis for a while to do some pastoral work is he not at Mars Hill any longer? The membership covenant a few years ago (the one I read) made it clear that you couldn't be a member of Mars Hill and do volunteer or ministry stuff with other churches.  I'm not aware if Scott Thomas resigned his membership or not, and I'm not aware of all the details of a current membership covenant at Mars Hill, but if being in ministries not affiliated with Mars Hill was a problem in the past is it okay if the ministry is an Acts 29 church affiliate?

Mars Hill is officially a non-denominational church but exchanging leadership spots seems like the kind of thing that would happen in a denomination to me.  I'm not saying that's a bad thing, by the way, just that "if" Scott Thomas took  a job at Darrin Patrick's church for a few months then it would seem that the new membership covenant at Mars Hill might provide new liberties for Mars Hill members to be a member at, say, the U-District campus while serving as a pastor at a church in St. Louis that has no formal, direct equivalence to Mars Hill.

But I don't know, seeing as I'm not a member of the church and all that.

That gets me to an observation about Scott Thomas' Linked In profile, if you didn't follow the link.  There's not a single mention of his work as a pastor at Mars Hill in there. Not even one word.

The Resurgence mentions that Thomas served as a pastor, though.
http://theresurgence.com/authors/scott-thomas

Scott Thomas created the Gospel Coach Training and Certification system and has coached hundreds of pastors. He previously served as President and Network Director of Acts 29 Network and as an elder at Mars Hill Church. Scott has been married for 30 years to Jeannie, with whom he has two sons. He planted and replanted churches for 16 years as a lead pastor.

And Thomas' content is still available at Mars Hill's site this way:
http://marshill.com/pastors/scott-thomas

Now why would Scott Thomas avoid mentioning at his Linked In profile that he was ever a pastor at Mars Hill?  Or an executive elder?  When Jamie Munson announced his resignation on September 6, 2011 none other than Mark Driscoll himself mentioned Scott Thomas' work within Mars Hill.



http://marshill.com/2011/09/06/important-letters-from-pastors

LEADERSHIP VISION FOR MARS HILL:

My proposal to the Board of Directors (BOD) is that Pastor Jamie Munson remain an elder at Mars Hill Church Ballard. Following a sabbatical through the end of the year to enjoy his family, rest up, and finish writing a book, he will rejoin us as an unpaid board member at the highest legal level of Mars Hill Church. ... 

 To fill Pastor Jamie’s vacancy on the EE, I am recommending that the BOD vote for Pastor Scott Thomas to join the EE for at least the foreseeable future. Pastor Scott has served faithfully for many years as an elder at Mars Hill, is among our most trained and seasoned leaders, is already a BOD member, and has served previously for many years as an EE member while also leading Acts 29. Pastor Dave and I both believe Pastor Scott is the best choice for this role in this season.[emphasis added] Pastor Scott has been very clear in his love and commitment to Mars Hill and has said he will gladly serve wherever he is needed, which we deeply appreciate.

Seeing as Driscoll's reference to Scott Thomas' role within Mars Hill is a bit too obvious to ignore it's something that causes a person to wonder why Scott Thomas has avoided mentioning anything at all about his work at Mars Hill at his publicly displayed Linked In profile.  (Entirely incidentally, Munson has ended up at Mars Hill Downtown)


Scott Thomas stopped being at Acts 29 in April 2012.  In February 2012 Mark Driscoll re-established himself as president of Acts 29 but, i guess, Scott Thomas ended up being president again.  In any event Scott Thomas stepped down and announced he was stepping down in late March 2012.  It also happens that he stopped being a pastor at Mars Hill.

Now if someone wanted to get a small excerpt of Scott Thomas' work at Mars Hill in 2007 a reader could go over to Joyful Exiles.  Curiously Scott Thomas announced that he was stepping down from Acts 29 and mentioned to Matt Chandler how he felt God had released him from leading Acts 29 about a week after Joyful Exiles went up.  What was over there?  Well, read at your leisure:


http://joyfulexiles.com/timeline/
http://joyfulexiles.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/10-01-2007-termination-ltr-jamie-munson.pdf
http://joyfulexiles.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/scott-thomas-10-10-2007-no-show-for-trial.pdf
http://joyfulexiles.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/scott-thomas-10-11-2007-email.pdf
http://joyfulexiles.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/10-16-2007-statement-of-the-elders.pdf
http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2012/03/scott-thomas-announces-departure-from.html



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