Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Warren Throckmorton publishes March 2012 memo on Mars Hill in financial trouble: part 2 the memo as a possible prelude to some leadership changes in MH and A29?

As has been noted already the memo published by Warren Throckmorton, apparently from Sutton Turner regarding the bad financial situation Mars Hill was in in 2012 in the aftermath of Munson's resignation, was dated March 17, 2012.

About ten days after the date of this memo ... a big change-up in Acts 29 leadership got announced.  It would have been under the radar for outsiders but this was roughly the period in which Scott Thomas vanished from both Acts 29 leadership and leadership at Mars Hill.

The content may be hard to find these days so, as is increasingly usual with purged or altered or outdated content dealing with the history of Mars Hill, Wenatchee The Hatchet ends up self-quoting materials preserved from Mars Hill past.  This material was originally made available via Phoenix Preacher.

From Pastor Matt Chandler

I am greatly humbled by the opportunity to serve our great God and King, as well as our movement, in the capacity of president of Acts 29. Our meeting in Seattle couldn’t have been more Spirit-empowered and unifying than it was, and I flew home excited and invigorated by the opportunities that are before us. There are few things that excite me like planting churches and seeing people come to know, love, and mature in Christ. So, this task allows me to serve in an area of my passion. I want to update you on what’s in our immediate future.

We are in the process of transitioning Acts 29 from Seattle to Dallas. At present that involves gathering all of the information we can on Acts 29’s budget, processes, setting up Acts 29 legally in Texas, etc.

Tyler Powell is relocating to Dallas and will continue to handle assessments and his other duties. Tyler and his family are excited about the move and the direction of the network. I personally can’t wait to get him to Dallas. He is a godly, hard-working, Spirit-led man, and I’m grateful he’s coming to DFW.

Scott Thomas is taking this transition as a chance to pursue other opportunities he has before him and will not be making the move to Dallas. Scott and I are on very good terms and had dinner just this past weekend, where he informed me of his deep love for you and the network but felt like God has released him from leading Acts 29. He is excited about what God has next for him. [emphasis added]
We are in the process of looking for a new executive director for A29 and plan on being meticulous, prayerful, and patient about getting the right guy. Once we’ve identified and hired the new director, we will finish out the national board and introduce the full team to the network.

I have asked all the network captains, as well as a few other men I love and respect in the network, to meet me in Dallas on May 14 and 15 to look closely at Acts 29 and pray about how we might get better at planting churches, coaching our pastors, communicating more effectively, etc. Please be praying for our time together.

We will report on any changes and our future hopes and plans at the pastors retreat in Newport in June. There is much to do between then and now, so I would deeply appreciate your continued prayers for not just the board and me but also for all involved.

Men, I really believe we have been positioned by God to be a part of a spectacular move of his Spirit in our day. It’s with great anticipation and holy fear that I step out to help lead us into what God would have for us. Please let me know how we can serve you.

Scott Thomas also made a statement of his own over at Acts 29, which has since been expunged but, again, Wenatchee The Hatchet kept the material around for reference.

I am thrilled that Acts 29 is moving to Dallas and will be led by my friend, Pastor Matt Chandler. I think it is good for the network that other leaders will add different perspectives, nuances, and emphases. It will only be a better network as healthy, reproducing churches will continue to plant churches for the glory of God.

I was honored to serve in Acts 29 as God allowed some amazing outcomes in spite of man’s feeble efforts. I never deserved the opportunity. I never deserved the love of so many planters. I never deserved the fruitfulness God enabled.

But I wasn’t planning to stay forever. I was anticipating a change for my ministry in the future, and the move to Dallas makes it a perfect time to allow new leadership to emerge. I am looking forward with great anticipation how God is going to shape the network and the planters to effectively pursue His mission with greater Spirit-empowerment and clearer gospel purposes.

[Updated March 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm]

I am deeply thankful for the generosity of Mars Hill Church, the unity of the Acts 29 Board, and for the friendship of Mark Driscoll. I am especially grateful for the hundreds of church planters in Acts 29 who I had the honor of pastoring and leading.
Now an anonymous commenter noted some time ago that Wenatchee The Hatchet's observation that Scott Thomas vanished in the wake of the publication of Joyful Exiles was an erroneous one.  Well, touche, if the memo Throckmorton has published somehow refers to a Scott with a last name of Thomas.  The Scott being referred to could be someone else who was on staff as a pastor at the time, perhaps?  In any event, that Mark Driscoll recommended Pastor Scott (Scott Thomas) replace Jamie Munson has already been documented by Wenatchee The Hatchet from Mars Hill online statements. 
As noted here before, it took a while before Scott Thomas was no longer a member at Mars Hill in spite of having taken a formal ministerial role at The Journey
Having revisited that the March 2012 memo published by Throckmorton was about a week and a half before it was announced Scott Thomas was out of Acts 29 and quietly and unofficially out of Mars Hill in eldership, there are a few other things about the memo to consider..

At this point whatever transpired in 2012 (or 2007) if Scott Thomas is willing to state something for the record now might be a good time to clear up how he ended up out of leadership at both Mars Hill and Acts 29 on the one hand, and what was going on with the conciliatory process/trial in 2007 on the other.  Anonymous commentary a while back indicated some kind of "rampage" undertaken by Sutton Turner without providing much by way of explanation.  It increasingly seems that what needs to happen is for people who were there to start making statements on the record.  In Scott Thomas' case if he doesn't take a risk in speaking up there could be some speculation as to whether the recently published memo was in some way referring to him. 

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