Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mark Driscoll and the power of the sob story: part 2b--12-06-2011 having no team meant everyone expected Mark to be there ... except there was a team
Pastor Mark Driscoll
December 6, 2011

2. Lead from the pulpit.

Another problem that came from not having built a great team is that everyone expected me to be their pastor in a therapeutic model where we had 1-on-1 meetings every week. In a smaller church, this works because, as the average church is 70 to 80 people, the pastor has time to meet with everyone and still lead the church’s vision. As a church grows, however, it becomes physically impossible for the pastor to meet with everyone for coffee and still lead the church through vision. For our church to grow and for me to survive, I needed to transition from being everyone’s pastor to being a missiologist preacher who led the church from the Bible in the pulpit.

well ... according to Mark Driscoll in a book he published in 2006

Confessions of a Reformission RevMark Driscoll, Zondervan

page 54

... The church started as an idea I shared with Lief Moi and Mike Gunn. Lief is a descendant of Genghis Khan and his dad was a murderer, and Mike is a former football player. They proved to be invaluable, except for the occasional moments when they would stand toe-to-toe in a leadership meeting, threatening to beat the Holy Spirit out of each other. Both men were older than I and had years of ministry experience, and they were good fathers, loving husbands, and tough.  [emphasis added]...
That looks curiously like a team.  It seems that Mark Driscoll by late 2011 not only forgot that there was a team at the start of men that he'd personally recruited, but that by late 2013 Mark Driscoll was starting to say stuff from the pulpit about how there was no kids' ministry at Mars Hill because there were no kids in spite of having publicly declared  that Mike Gunn and Lief Moi are fathers.  Did Driscoll forget the co-founding team members and their children to boot?  That seems a bit incredible if that's what happened.

Meanwhile, from an earlier Driscoll account in which he seemed to remember who his co-founding pastor/partners were ... :

page 69-70

... Lief was running a construction company, and Mike was running a campus ministry at the University of Washington, so I was the only person focusing full-time on the church.  I really wanted to just take the pulpit and figure out how to preach by doing it every week, but I also wanted to respect these older, more seasoned, and very godly men. In time, they sat me down and said that they believed in me, wanted to cover my back, and wanted me to take the pulpit and lead the church.

... To some degree I had been wrongly allowing Mike and Lief to shoulder the burden because I feared failure and hoped to share the blame if things went poorly. [emphasis added]

Learning by doing isn't the best way to approach homiletics.

Setting that aside now that it's mentioned, Gunn and Moi were both heavily involved enough in things more closely resembling stable day jobs compared to Driscoll at the time that they may not have had the time to spare for preaching anyway.  After all, if they were full-time employed and raising families while Mark and Grace Driscoll were a recently married couple with no children Driscoll would have had the time to spare, in theory, even if not entirely in practice.  And he was already the vision-caster by having come up with the idea of planting what became Mars Hill Fellowship and later Mars Hill Church.

But that sentence, set in bold, is striking.  If Mark Driscoll didn't have a team according to his late 2011 account of things, then what's with the 2006 account about the early years of Mars Hill where Driscoll said that he feared failure and hoped to share the blame of that failure if things went south with Mike Gunn and Lief Moi.  Was ... that actually a rationale for letting Gunn and Moi preach early on as Mark Driscoll recounted things?

The statements Driscoll made in chapter two of Confessions of a Reformission Rev could be construed as Driscoll saying that Gunn and Moi were doing preaching at the time and that Mark Driscoll wanted to be able to just take over the pulpit entirely and preach every week so he could learn how to actually preach.  Driscoll has sometimes come across as the guy who "learns by doing".  In any event, it was, according to Mark Driscoll in his 2006 book, when Gunn and Moi sat him down and basically said "You can do this" that Driscoll started doing all the preaching.  The second of ten hard lessons from the early years of Mars Hill could be interpreted as another case of Mark Driscoll describing in 2011 some tough spots he encountered not because there was no team but because the team was made up of guys who were already very busy and the guys apparently let Driscoll do what he wanted even when it was not a particularly good idea.