Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Throckmorton posts an old video interview question from Tim Gaydos to Mark Driscoll, a few thoughts on risk liability variables


Driscoll said in the interview, for those who listened to it, he was concerned he'd gum up the works through pride.  Well, no worries about whether that was going to be an issue, it seems, here in the first official year without a Mars Hill to speak of.

But what's interesting is that Driscoll mentioned the next level of risk was the campus pastors.  If the campus pastor was "a good guy" then there was no trouble but campuses and their leadership could, as Driscoll put it, go rogue. The year of the interview wasn't specified but it'd be interesting to verify whether Mars Hill had campus budgets distinct from central operational activity at the date of the interview.  One of the things people attested to over the years to journalists was that the farther along Mars Hill got the more centralized everything became. 

Historically speaking, it seems that within the culture of Mars Hill worries about a potential rogue campus went back as far as at least 2007.  Jonna Petry's account of her last years at Mars Hill indicates that an executive elder from 2007 indicated that the nascent Wedgwood campus could be a prime candidate for a campus that could split off because of the popularity of people in leadership. 

Then something happened in late January or February. There was a shift. Mark had been seeking all kinds of information and strategy help for another reorganization plan in order to “grow the church to the ‘next level’” and had recently had meetings with Larry Osborn[e] in California amongst others. Paul had one meeting with the executive elders about taking on the lead pastor role at Wedgwood. One Executive Elder, Steve Tompkins, insinuated that Paul had many people who looked up to him in the church and that could potentially lead to a church split. Steve asked Paul what he had to say about that. Paul was really shocked and hurt at the poison of this remark and no doubt this had something to do with the outcome. [emphasis added]

Many drastic changes occurred in the spring of 2007. Mark pressured all the elected executive elders [with the exception of Jamie Munson] to resign their posts, saying a new structure was necessary.
Jonna Petry's account went on to clarify that Petry was bumped from being pastor at Wedgwood and James Harleman was made campus pastor there, instead.  Whether or not that assuaged any concerns that Wedgwood could be a rogue campus has never been clarified because the campus, obviously, closed years ago.  Still, ,in the trenches, so to speak, there were some surmises that if any of the campuses was capable of being financially self-sufficient enough to be its own church the Wedgwood/Lake City campus seemed like a candidate.

For as  long as Driscoll was telling Gaydos he worried about himself going off the rails the history of Mars Hill seems to have more cases where top level leadership was worried that campus pastors could have enough influence and popularity to defy the executive level leadership.

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