Thursday, July 02, 2015

Driscoll distinguishes between "the Lord's calling and there's the Lord's timing ... " revisits the wish that he had a mentor or two--let's revisit the older guys he kept bragging were in his life circa 2000

I've made a lot of mistakes and one of them was going too fast. There's the Lord's calling and there's the Lord's timing and I should have waited longer. I should have been under godly spiritual authority, for Grace and I to be under a godly couple, that was [a] senior pastor, so that we could learn and grow. [emphasis added] I, I, my character was not caught up with my gifting and I did start to young. And I believe God called us to start the church and he was very, very, very gracious to us, uh, but had I to
do it over again I would not look at a 25-year old and say, "Do what I did."

... We went into the urban core and we felt, specifically, called to go after young, college-educated males. That was really my heart. I wanted everybody to meet Jesus but I felt particularly if we were gonna make in the city and the legacy of families and, you know, the way that women and children and culture treated, that getting young men to love Jesus would be paramount. So that was really the focus and I didn't think the church would amount to much. The first three years we didn't

collect a salary; it was very small; we met at night; we moved a lot because we kept losing our rental location; the offices were in our house, so it wasn't a big deal and we didn't anticipate that it would become what it ultimately did.

So this comes up again and it makes it worthwhile to revisit that for those who kept tabs on Mark Driscoll's public ministry over the last 18 years he kept assuring us how many older and wiser spiritual men he had mentoring him at various stages in his career. 

But we've discussed problems in this narrative before.  For instance, if there was no older spiritual guy of whom Mark Driscoll could say "he is my pastor" was there no Antioch Bible Church? Remember when Driscoll said this?
Pastor Mark Driscoll
James 1:1
January 12, 2014

I’m not just in authority; I’m under authority. I have pastors do my performance review, can rebuke me, can terminate me, whatever the case may be. It’s important to know that everyone needs to be under spiritual authority, including those who are in spiritual authority.

When I felt called to start Mars Hill, I went and met with elders. When I felt called into ministry, I went and met with my first pastor. I said, “I think this is what God’s telling me to do.” He said, “I think that’s right, but you’re nowhere near ready. It’s going to be a really long time.” “OK, I’ve got a lot of work to do.” When I felt called to plant, I went through a full assessment. Pastors oversaw me, a team interviewed me, a church sent me, an overseer had authority over me.

So by Driscoll's account some elders believed Driscoll was called but that he was nowhere near ready and it would be a long time before he was.  Let's put some emphasis here, by Mark Driscoll's own account WHEN HE FELT HE WAS CALLED TO PLANT A CHURCH he went through a full assessment; pastors oversaw him, a team interviewed him, a church sent him; and an overseer had authority over him.

So how on earth can Driscoll tell Brian Houston that he wished he'd, oh, done all that sort of thing that it's implied he didn't do when he did all that stuff? 

And lest we forget how many older guys and elders seem to have played a role in assisting or instructing Driscoll in the earlier years of his ministry, how about the public roll-out of the collaboration between Mark Driscoll and Acts 29 founder David Nicholas?
Leadership Journal, Spring 2000
 Generation to generation
 How mentoring works for pastors
 Mark Driscoll

I'm a 29-year-old church planter in Seattle. A couple years ago I met David Nicholas, who lives in Boca Raton, Florida. He pastors a large church, Spanish River Presbyterian, that he planted 35 years ago, and he still has a heart for church planting. We developed a close mentoring friendship. I fly down

Then there's this written account of how financial and personal accountability was something required of those churches participating in the nascent Acts 29 Network.


Tom Telford
copyright 2001 by Tom Telford
Published by Baker Books

ISBN 0-8010-6381-7

Spanish River Church has listed as its "Most valuable missions agency: Acts 29 Network"
from page 63

page 66 David Nicholas' "Acts 29: Churches planting Churches" gets a reference from Telford.  Is that message still accessible for consultation?

from page 69

Acts 29 Network. With things moving well with the network of church-planting pastors, Pastor Nicholas felt led of God to start a new network of churches that wasn't directly part of the denomination. He decided to call it the Acts 29 network and wrote up guidelines: the planted churches should be theologically Reformed, have a heart for church planting, and prmoise that when they become self-supporting, theyw ill pay back the amount that was given to them to initially begin, and put 10 percent of their income into new church plants.

As he shared the idea with the church and others, almost right away, ten established churches responded enthusiastically and committed to the Acts 29 Network, agreeing to sponsor church plants. A Network agreement was drawn up to show the relationship between Spanish River Church and the church plant. The agreement requires reports for financial and leadership accountability.

How do you do this over such long distance?
Driscoll: We talk all the time. David is my pastor [emphasis added]. He prays for me. He invests in me. He doesn't tell me what to do, but when he sees things in my character or theology that need to be challenged, he speaks to that very directly. I desperately need that. I tend to be stubborn and aggressive. I need someone strong speaking into my life, saying, "Think about this." But it has to be predicated on friendship and love.
So Driscoll was talking profusely about how David Nicholas was his pastor and a great mentor and how Nicholas spoke into his life.  It's not possible for Mark Driscoll to plausibly say he didn't have older godly mentors and men in his early years of ministry. 

And then there's this other problem, being that the other two co-founding pastor of Mars Hill were both guys older than Mark Driscoll with more ministry experience.

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]...

So by Driscoll's account the idea to plant a church was one he shared with two other men who helped him co-found the church.  Crucial in his recruitment of them was they were both older men with years of ministry experience and he considered them to be good husbands and fathers.

Mike Gunn's not only about a dozen years older than Driscoll but had that M. Div from Talbot seminary.  Leif Moi's about eight years older than Driscoll and had the Street Talk radio program.  Driscoll was the spring chicken and in the early years Mars Hill was a collaborative/community church plant sent about by Antioch Bible Church.  We can consult Mike Gunn's own account of how he met and began to collaborate with Driscoll and Moi to found what was once Mars Hill.

The Harambee story is a bit wrapped up in my (Mike Gunn’s) story. The vision began around 1992 as I began to feel the need to plant a church that represented the diversity of God’s creation, as well as a gospel that centered on God’s glory and not our own needs. I was prompted by the Spirit to engage the culture in a more meaningful and direct way, so God decided to send me and my family on an unknown journey to Seattle to begin a campus ministry for athletes at the University of Washington. This began to hone our skills in apologetics, evangelism, and discipleship, creating a desire to reach the next generation with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

At that point, Antioch Bible Church in Kirkland and Mark Driscoll entered our lives. My family began attending Antioch in January of 1994, and we started helping the college group, which was run by Mark Driscoll, at that time, a 23-year-old intern recently graduated from Washington State University. [emphasis added]. It became obvious that we had similar backgrounds and ministry callings, so we began to explore the possibilities of our vision (reaching truly postmodern, post-Christian people for Christ), and it became abundantly clear that we were to begin a new work in the city of Seattle.

With the blessing of Antioch and the exodus of about 30 of the students, Mark, Lief Moi, and I began Mars Hill Church in October of 1996. [emphasis added] We watched God work His mosaic miracle as He began to put together the matrix that became Mars Hill Church. The church grew to more than 1,200 people in five years, and because of facility limitations at the time, we were running seven services at three different locations in the Seattle area. One of these was Mars Hill South, which began as an evening service in October of 2001 with about 40 people. During that time it became evident that God was calling us to a different work, and that we needed to plant as an autonomous church. Subsequently, as of October 6, 2002, we became Harambee Church and began meeting at the Tukwila Community Center. [emphasis added]

You'd think that after all this time Mark Driscoll would find it impossible to have avoided mention of the Rev. Gib Martin, since the man was not only a pastor but the father of his wife, Grace.  It's ridiculous to claim, as Driscoll has, that he wished he had older and spiritually more mature men to guide him and help him.  They abounded.  The question is not what might have happened differently "if" there had been older and pious men to help him learn how to plant a church, the question is more how, given the abundance of older and godly men who initially seemed so invested in the aim of planting a church that would revitalize Christian life of a particularly evangelical strand within the Puget Sound area, Mark Driscoll seems to have had little use for any of them. 

As if all that weren't strange enough, if Mark Driscoll's lament was that he wished he'd submitted to older and wiser men in leadership when he started out, it's not just that he talks as though these older guys weren't around.  What's stranger is that in 2002-2003 he began to recruit younger types to help him vision cast.  Jamie Munson ended up being president and Lead Pastor of Mars Hill.

There was this whole termination/trial thing that was going on because Paul Petry and Bent Meyer were accused of not respecting Munson's authoritah.  Well, okay,  so if for himself Mark Driscoll regrets that he didn't submit to older and wiser gents then for him to not publicly address the terminations of Petry and Meyer makes Driscoll look pretty bad.  Not only did Driscoll seem to not notice the older guys in ministry who helped him, he's skipping over that two of them were subjected to trials for not respecting the authority of someone who became a Christian because of Driscoll's preaching.  If Mike Gunn and Lief Moi were "young and new and green" Jamie Munson might as well have been a seed barely in the ground. 

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