Friday, July 11, 2014

Update on Mars Hill Global only 4 or 400 who signed an outside petition gave to Mars Hill Global

Seen anything like this recently?

Update on Mars Hill Global
We are very thankful for what Jesus has done through our global family since 2009, with many disciples made and churches planted in the US, Ethiopia, and India.

As we strive to communicate the vision of Mars Hill Church, there has been an outside petition asking questions of Mars Hill. However, of the nearly 400 signers, only four have ever given to Mars Hill Global. We sent letters this past week to over 6000 Global donors giving them the option to designate their funds solely for international work if they wish. We received many replies of encouragement, as well as a few people who asked to change their designation, and we have gladly made those changes.

If you have any questions regarding Mars Hill Global, we have recently posted updates to our Global FAQ online page that you might find helpful.

Something like this seems to have made rounds recently.

So somebody cared enough to find out that only four of four hundred people ever gave to Mars Hill Global.  This sort of resembles another situation in which Mars Hill folk seem to have been informed that only a tiny ratio of respondents to a survey responded and even those respondents had nothing of note.

It got discussed over at this blog post:

As noted at that blog post, the letter that was sent never got any substantial description from Van Skaik.  If more than a hundred letters were sent out in response to formal charges the letter published at Wenatchee The Hatchet betrayed no indication the letter was in response to or in any way prompted by any formal charges of any kind.  It was only in 2014 that Michael Van Skaik offered an explanation that a bunch of letters were sent to assess the legitimacy of charges made against Mark Driscoll, not in the actual body of any letters we can be sure about.

and for more direct consultation of Michael Van Skaik's description of 100+ letters .... :

Dear Mars Hill Leaders,
I wanted to take the opportunity to give you, the current leaders of Mars Hill Church, an update as to the status of some of what we’ve been working on as a board over the course of the past year. Thank you for all that you do. We know it is extra difficult right now, but good fruit is coming out of these trials!

On May 10, 2013, a now former elder filed formal charges against Pastor Mark Driscoll and other leaders at Mars Hill. While stating that he had not personally been sinned against by Pastor Mark, he had at least seven unnamed witnesses who would testify to the offenses and hurts he claimed, which if found to be substantiated, could result in disqualification. We requested the names of the witnesses to exercise Matthew 5:23-25, but he refused to disclose them. While the issues cited as evidence from these charges came from anonymous sources, the issues all revolved around the theme of mistreatment of fellow leaders and staff. As the governing body responsible for the accountability of Mars Hill’s senior leaders, the Board took these charges extremely seriously.

In an effort to substantiate the validity of the anonymous charges, we immediately sent out over one hundred letters to former elders and staff at Mars Hill Church from the previous two years, inviting their feedback and perspectives regarding their time on staff at the church, particularly their interactions with Pastor Mark and the Executive Elders. We received eighteen responses. [emphasis added] While some were very positive, every response was read and reread, looking for anything that would disqualify Pastor Mark and any other Mars Hill leaders from serving, or that would require further investigation. Additionally, the Board looked for repetitive patterns that may also lead to potential disqualification. After a thorough review, the charges were determined to be non-disqualifying. [emphasis added] However, the Executive Elders were individually and corporately given corrective direction by the Board. Those corrective actions have been followed and have been bearing fruit over the last seven months. We have been very encouraged to see the Executive Elders learn, grow, and repent where needed.

However, we are hungry for reconciliation and are continually grieved that many offenses and hurts are still unresolved. We want to seek out and hear the hurts in a biblical manner. A Board-approved reconciliation process is currently underway and is being overseen by Dr. Paul Tripp who flew to Seattle and recently spent a day with the Executive Elders. He has also been in conversation with a person who is very capable of facilitating these reconciliations. Additionally, each of the Executive Elders has taken the initiative to reach out to people with whom they may need to reconcile. Our prayer is that as a church we can learn from this experience as we continue to grow in love and grace.

You need to know that I and the other Board members have witnessed the Holy Spirit’s work in Pastors Mark, Dave and Sutton as they’ve grieved deeply over the hurts and sorrows that they’ve been the source of. Their hearts yearn for repentance and reconciliation with those that have been hurt and offended.

By God’s grace, the reconciliation process will continue to move forward one person at a time.
Michael Van Skaik

Board of Advisors and Accountability

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