So there's a new elder candidate being presented at Ballard. Precisely how publicly and "always" elder candidates were presented for consideration at Mars Hill Ballard is something that could get clarified. The reason is that in the past an elder candidate might have a history of felonies, be newly married into his second marriage, and might be a relatively recently baptized convert and still get a greenlight from the elders without any of the above being significant cautions about installation. Let's keep in mind that in 2006, in April, Mark Driscoll stated in Confessions of a Reformission Rev. a few things that may be worth keeping in mind.
From page 190
The concept of ordination is man-made and finds no biblical backing in the Scriptures. Therefore,
while the concept of ordination may not necessarily be bad, it is also not necessary. The closest thing we see in the New Testament to ordination is when the elders of a church laid hands on new leaders and commissioned them into church leadership (1 Tim 4;14, 5:22).
from page 191 about elder accountability
Fortunately, we have never had to discipline an elder for any sin because the closeness of our reltaionships brings potential issues to the surface before they manifest. Should an elder ever sin grievously, we would quickly discipline him according to the biblical directives (1 Tim 5:19-21).
Oh what a difference a year made, eh? Two pastors managed to get fired even though Munson explicitly said there was no sexual or moral impropriety involved that was grounds for their termination.
Then there's page 192 of Confessions of a Reformission Rev:
Practically, this means that someone desiring to be an elder at Mars Hill must first be a faithful member of the church. Then he speaks with one of the elders about his desire, and that elder assesses wehther he is qualified for leadership according to the biblical criteria. If the elder does believe the man is qualified to be an elder, his nomination is brought before the entire group of elders, who must unanimously agree that the man is called of God and qualified to be brought through a slow process of testing (1 Tim 3:10, 5:22). This process takes at least one year and requires that the potential candidate study ... After the lengthy process is concluded, the candidate is considered for eldership only if all the elders agree that he should be an elder. ... is then brought before the church, and if anyone should for any reason believe he is not qualified, we cancel his nomination if there are grounds to do so.
Okay, so can people establish that this was how things worked in the eldership of Bill Clem, James Noriega, and Scott Thomas? These were men who seemed to have been grandfathered in from Acts 29 affiliations (Clem and Noriega from Doxa, Thomas from some unspecified board role on Acts 29 Network). That Clem and Noriega were sitting on a piece of real estate Mark Driscoll said he had wanted to launch Mars Hill at in 1996 has been documented amply here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Not that you'll necessarily be interested in reading all of that unless you're interested in the history of how someone newly married and a relatively new convert with a history of felonies was vetted as an elder candidate in what seems to have been less than a full year. That men could be grandfathered into leadership in less than a year due to Acts 29 affiliations is not exactly a surprise, but it also completely subverted public testimony on the part of Driscoll about how long elder nomination would take if Clem, Noriega and Scott Thomas were able to just be grandfathered in without being subject to the investigative procedure and vetting processes alluded to by Driscoll in his 2006 book.
So for those who have come to Mars Hill since any time past about 2007 it may help to know a little more about how the elder nomination and vetting process has worked in the past and this series can comprise a set of case studies that may be helpful.