Saturday, July 04, 2015

Driscoll to Houston, "there was an internal governance struggle". This only showed up in Driscoll's account after Sutton Turner said for the record the BoAA wanted to scapegoat him alone for the PR problem of Result Source

on the resignation letter, this is a transcript of the audio, though thanks to coughing people and garbled voices and murmurs it's not always easy to make out every last little syllable. There may be some inaccuracies but the audio link is available.  Transcription is not necessarily one of Wenatchee The Hatchet's great gifts.

I never got to say good-bye to the church and the people and so what went public was actually the resignation letter that went to the legal governing board that was in authority over me and so, uh, i uh, I know under the circumstances there wasn't a way to do that that would have been, uh, clean or easy. I don't have any criticism of the board. I think that, for the people, that there wasn't closure and I didn't, we didn't get to say anything.

And we didn't expect to resign. I met with the board. There was a whole list of things that were charged by current and former leaders and there was an internal governance struggle and threats of legal action that it got very complicated. And a lot of it was anonymous through the internet so you don't know who is saying or doing what. And so I invited the board to do a full examination, interview anybody, anything, and we woud submit to whatever verdict that they determined.
... When I think about eight weeks we met Friday and Saturday, October 10 and 11. I remember because the 11th was my birthday and so Grace and I were present with the board and they said: "We see in your history of leadership, less in more recent years but particularly in the past, pride, anger and a domineering leadership style." That would be the exact words they used.  "We don't see anything disqualifying. These are areas we want you to grow. We want you to leadership at the
church soon." They wanted to do some clean up internally. "We want you back on January 4 in the pulpit, give you time to heal, things to cool down, and for some changes to be made."

It's kind of amazing that Mark Driscoll only saw fit to mention that there was an internal governance struggle in the last week but not mention anything as to what it might have been about.  The reason it's so bad that that's how Driscoll broached the topic of a split within top level Mars Hill leadership is Sutton Turner has explained that there was a situation here the Board was split, and it was over whether or not to scapegoat him alone over the Result Source controversy.  Why would that be a problem?  Well, according to Sutton Turner, he voiced an objection to the effectiveness and rightness of the Result Source campaign being used at all.  He signed the contract anyway because, as he claimed, if he didn't sign it someone else would have signed it.  But then when news hit the internet if Turner HADN'T signed it then it would have been impossible for him to have been a scapegoat candidate.  Wenatchee The Hatchet discussed the statements of Turner at the following blog post, with relevant quotes:
Posted by Sutton Turner on April 20, 2015
In July 2011, a new marketing proposal was already in the works at Mars Hill: ResultSource. I learned of the project from the manager who was overseeing it. ResultSource was a marketing practice that purchased books through small individual bookstores that would qualify the book for the New York Times Best Seller List. Then, these books would be shipped to Mars Hill and sold in our nine church bookstores. It was proposed that being listed on the New York Times Best Seller List would increase the awareness of the church, support the upcoming sermon series, and increase church size.

I had a couple of meetings with the manager who was working on this project and at the time he stated his concern with the marketing proposal. I was not invited to any meetings to discuss ResultSource in my role as General Manager overseeing finance. However, I wrote several memos to my supervisor sharing my concern and lack of support for this marketing practice. I was relatively new to the staff and obviously not on the Board of Directors, nor was I asked to be a part of this particular decision. But due to my adamant disagreement and desire to best serve the staff and church, I wrote a memo on August 26, 2011 to my supervisor saying the following:

•The plan was poor stewardship.
•If the plan were to be revealed, it would look poorly on the stewardship of Mars Hill Church.
•If the plan were to be revealed, it would look poorly on Pastor Mark Driscoll.

A week later, 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.
Shortly after the decision to execute the ResultSource marketing plan was made, my supervisor resigned. After him, I was the highest-ranking employee in administration. The decision had been made but the contract hadn’t yet been signed. On October 13, 2011, I signed the ResultSource contract as General Manager a full month before being installed as an Executive Elder. After signing the contract, I emailed an elder, stating my frustration with having to be the one to sign the contract when I had voiced my disagreement with it. But few in the organization (or in the media since then) knew of my disagreement. When you stay in an organization and you do not agree with a decision, you have to own that decision as your own. Unfortunately, I will always be linked to ResultSource since my name was on the contract even though I thought it was a bad idea. If given the same opportunity again, I would not sign the ResultSource contract, but honestly, my missing signature would not have stopped it. Someone else would have signed it anyway since the decision had already been made.

To date Turner has not explained why he had to be the one to sign the contract.  He would not have been the highest ranking officer ... although in the wake of Munson's resignation he could have been the highest ranking employee in the organization. But under Munson's bylaws (or Driscoll's, we've discussed the ambiguity of whose creation the 2007 bylaws ultimately was over here earlier this week) if Munson resigned as president the vice president was the preaching pastor, Mark Driscoll.

Still, there's a sense in which we should remember that Turner describes himself as willing to comply with policies he disagreed with.  So in a sense while his name will always be attached to the Result Source Contract we should move forward a bit.
Posted by Sutton Turner on April 24, 2015
When the criticism of Mars Hill Global began in the Spring of 2014, I wanted to communicate about what happened with Global, its history, the financials, and my mistakes. Unfortunately, I was not permitted to discuss these things just as I was not permitted to discuss the ResultSource situation in the detail that I felt it deserved. There was actually a division on the Board of Advisors and Accountability (BOAA) as some men wanted to put all the blame for both Global and ResultSource on me, but I am thankful for men who did not allow that. [emphasis added]

Eight difficult, grievous months have passed since I resigned; four sad, yet hopeful months have passed since Mars Hill held its last service. I began to work on each of these topics through blog posts several months ago with the wisdom, counsel, prayer, and blessing of many friends who are former elders and staff members at Mars Hill.

So if Mark Driscoll just lately decided to share there was an internal struggle on the board (whichever board that was) but not explain what it was Sutton Turner's account is more specific about what and when.  Of course had Mark Driscoll not decided, as president of Mars Hill around the time the Result Source contract got signed, that the contract was a great way to promote Real Marriage, the internal struggle he seems to merely allude to which may have been what Turner described could not have taken place.

If Driscoll were one of the men who did not want Sutton Turner scapegoated we'll never know.  Then again, considering that Mark Driscoll told Christianity Today he and Grace were both virgins when they met in contradiction to the testimony of Real Marriage itself ... .

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