Wednesday, September 03, 2014

a few brief thoughts about Dustin Kensrue's letter and two modest proposals about what rank and file members may be able to do to get the attention of leaders

Normally Wenatchee The Hatchet does not make suggestions.  This blog post is going to be unusual and in light of the likelihood of it being misunderstood in spite of the obvious cue to Swift ...

but before Wenatchee The Hatchet gets to those two modest proposals, let's recap the news of late.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/09/03/mars-hill-church-director-of-worship-dustin-kensrue-resigns/

https://www.dropbox.com/s/sy6xwa5wp4mhhsf/Dustin%20Kensrue%20Resignation.pdf?dl=0

It would appear that Kensrue has worked out how little governing power the full council of elders actually has and that there are stratified layers in the governance of Mars Hill in which the three executive elders see themselves as, in Kensrue's accounting, above the campus elders.

Kensrue has some suggestions about what members may opt to do.

It appears that Adam Ramsey, Gary Shavey, and  .... Josh Clayton have also reportedly tendered resignations.  Of those who recently resigned only Shavey was on the team in 2007 that voted in the by-laws that started the trajectory that has taken hold.  Seeing as Shavey was on the EIT, perhaps he could field what evidence there was for the two trials?  Or maybe later.

In any case, let's proceed to the two modest proposals.  As Kensrue has noted it appears that even among the full council of elders there is not a lot of formal power.  If only the three executive elders consider themselves to be elders for Mars Hill as a whole as Kensrue has recounted then all the other elders might as well be what the by-laws seem to imply that they are, at-will employees employed at the sole discretion and authority of the executive elders.  It would be difficult to overstate the significance of that and also of the significance of attendance per campus as a variable in justifying the compensation of campus staff.

The point seems to be, lately, that not even the elders are considered able to outvote the top three.  If that is true then there are only two kinds of power that the rank and file members can employ. 

1.  A financial embargo

Don't give a solitary penny to Mars Hill until there is a full and transparent accounting of where all the money goes.  All salaries, all housing allowances, all capital investments, all operating expenses, etc.

Mars Hill executives were clearly used to laying off more than a hundred people in a two year period so there's no reason to presume they won't be used to doing more of the same and not accounting for what salaries the executive elders have been making.  They have a history of laying off or firing people anyway.  If Mark Driscoll's goal is to just be a local church pastor who just preaches the Bible then nobody within Mars Hill should need to pay anything to just hear the Bible preached.  Don't bother buying his books.  In light of the plagiarism scandal of the last year it has increasingly become apparent his intellectual punches have been unfortunately second-hand anyway.

2.  Take a cue from Ukrainians.  A sex strike. 

Sure, Driscoll has said in the 2008 Spiritual Warfare series that not-enough-sex in marriage is demonic and satanic (still probably available here) but that wasn't even how he was willing to broach the subject of not-enough-sex-for-him-in-marriage with his own wife.  And besides all that, the leadership of MH has been assuring members that Mark has had a change of heart and is totally growing compared to the past.  Perhaps, that means he's become repentant of things from the past like viewing sex as a god (though precisely how remains to be seen), which means that now would be the perfect time for a sex strike because Driscoll and company, seeing as they pulled the 2008 spiritual warfare series taught to leadership at MH in which Driscoll denounced withholding sex as demonic ... must now have a change of heart about that, er, position, too.

If the two things that speak to Mars Hill leadership as a culture are money and sex then perhaps they need to have both of those withheld from them ... "for a season" so that they can grasp the magnitude of the concerns being expressed about the decisions and character of the leadership. 

If a leadership culture is willing to promote the idea that withholding sex is demonic that might be a tip-off that it's something valued.  A double embargo on both money and sex to bring attention to a lack of transparency about finances and governance with Mars Hill might be the only set of options rank and file tithing members and even people married to staff at Mars Hill may have at their disposal. 

...

But it would only need be "for a season."