Tuesday, April 21, 2015

setting the stage for Sutton Turner post "Good Decisions Made By the Right People",

Posted by Sutton Turner on April 20, 2015

In April 2011, I joined Mars Hill as the General Manager and reported to the Executive Pastor. I had enjoyed the teaching via podcast from overseas since 2007. My family and I looked forward to attending and serving in the church that we had enjoyed from afar, a church that loved Jesus and preached the gospel. I looked forward to using my gifts and experience to further the mission of Jesus through the local church.

...  I was notified that my advice was not taken and the plan to use ResultSource was approved. I don’t know who approved the plan. I don’t know what process was conducted concerning the decision. I do know that it showed that the process of making big decisions was broken and it needed to be fixed.

It's worth noting that if Sutton Turner had been listening via podcast to Mark Driscoll's sermons then he may well have heard "The Rebel's Guide to Joy in Humility"

Mark Driscoll on November 4, 2007

... The last one is James. He was running a drug and alcohol treatment center, I think for the Union Gospel Mission. He was an elder at Doxa Church in West Seattle. He and Pastor Bill were there and I approached them and said, “I think we should partner together,” and turned that building into Mars Hill West Seattle. I don’t know what the building’s worth – $4 million, whatever. He said, “Well what’s the deal?” I said, “Give us the building, resign as elders, work through the membership process, work through the eldership process. I guarantee you nothing – no power, no job, no eldership. If you meet the qualifications and the men vote you in, we’ll make you an elder, but I guarantee you no job. Nothing. If you believe it’s right for Jesus, give us the building, resign, give up all power of authority, give up your position. Walk away from it all for the cause of Jesus.”

He said, “Okay, I think it’s best for Jesus.” He resigned, voted to hand us the building and the people. Humbly went through the eldership process. After he finished the membership process, oversees our drug and alcohol addiction recovery. We just voted him onto the Board of Directors. Why? Because God opposes the proud and he gives grace to the humble.

This would have been a reference on the part of Mark Driscoll to James Noriega being part of the Board of Directors and Noriega may have been on the board in mid-2011.  He was no longer listed as a pastor in any capacity by about September or October 2011, though the reason for this absence has never been explained yet.  As General Manager it seems difficult to imagine that Sutton Turner wouldn't have been able to figure out who was on the old Board of Directors.  If Turner had been listening to Driscoll sermons since 2007, however, he would have heard Mark Driscoll reference not only James Noriega as having gained a role on the old BoD, but Tim Beltz, too.

Another man we appointed to that board is a man names Tim. I’ll tell you his story. He has an MBA in not-for-profit management. He has 20 or 30 years, I can’t remember, of not-for-profit manage experience. He’s run some very large, very significant ministries. He’s consulted for very large, very significant ministries. He nominated himself for eldership. Was a faithful member of this church. And he said, “You know, I think I can help. I think my management background will help organize Mars Hill.” We said, “Okay, well what’s your proposal?” He said, “I’ll work 50 hours a week for six months free of charge. I’ll quit my well paying job. I’ll shut down most of my consulting business. I’ll reduce my expenses, live off of my savings. I’ll nominate myself for eldership. I will work for free for six months, and I’ll come under Pastor Jamie, who’s young enough to be my son, and has none of the experience or education that I do so that I can humbly serve him so that Mars Hill can become a better church.”
God opposes the proud. Gives grace to the humble. The elders vote and say, “He should be an Executive Elder and on the Board of Directors.”
Beltz' departure from executive eldership remains shrouded in mystery.  There's some more details on what Beltz did to implement financial controls to keep MH solvent over at this blog post:

Beltz' role as a consultant prior to his executive eldership and his role in conveying the end of Lief Moi's time as a Mars Hill pastor is covered at some length in the following set of tagged posts:


Turner would understandably have not had total access to that kind of background.  But what Turner probably would have been able to see were the by-laws from 2007 that were probably the ones in place when he arrived. 

The 2007 by-laws drafted by Munson (and/or Mark Driscoll, another topic in itself), appointed the lead pastor as president of the organization.  Since the Lead Pastor was Jamie Munson, Sutton Turner's observation about the problems in the governance that led the church to the brink of financial failure and rubber-stamped Result Source indicate that Turner found the fiscal competence and the general approach to stewardship on the part of Mars Hill leadership doubtful. 

That was just ResultSource 1, now we finally get to ResultSource2.

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