Sunday, May 20, 2018

a Larry Osborne conversation with Mark Driscoll from 2016: Part Five: A quick overview of 2012-2014 comments about and by the BoAA

During the 2012 period there was also a period of reorganizing the governance of Mars Hill and, once again, the topic of how Mark Driscoll would be held accountable and who would hold him accountable got addressed.  In the 2012-2013 period there was a new board, a Board of Advisors and Accountability, that would play a supervisory role.

Given that Pastor Mark serves as the most visible representative of Mars Hill Church, we have put in place an accountability structure that includes both internal accountability and external accountability. Internally, Pastor Mark is held accountable to every elder at Mars Hill Church, through the Executive Elder Team, the Full Council of Elders as well as the Board of Elders. He also has external accountability among church leaders outside of Mars Hill Church.

In the event that a formal charge and/or accusation is made against Pastor Mark that, if investigated and found to be true, would disqualify him from his position as an elder in Mars Hill Church, a group of five men consisting of both elders within Mars Hill Church and Christian leaders outside of Mars Hill Church, will investigate the charge or accusation and determine if it is true. This group currently consists of Jamie Munson, Dave Bruskas, James MacDonald, Darrin Patrick, and Larry Osborne. If the charge or accusation is found to be true, this group can rebuke Pastor Mark or, if warranted, remove him as an elder at Mars Hill Church. If Pastor Mark is removed as an elder, he automatically ceases to serve on the Board of Elders, on the Executive Elder Team, and as president of Mars Hill Church.

What is not clear is whether Osborne had an advisory role in 2010 or 2011, a critical year in the history of the now former Mars Hill, the year in which the church contracted with Result Source to secure a No. 1 place for Real Marriage on the New York Times bestseller list.

Given how frequently Osborne’s name has come up in the quoted materials one of the simplest yet most salient questions is what connection Osborne maintained with Mark Driscoll between 2004 and 2012.  How often were the men in contact?  This is a pertinent question because if it turns out that Osborne maintained a connection to Driscoll from before the 2007 re-org up through the controversies Mark Driscoll was embroiled in in the 2012-2014 period on through and beyond his October 2014 resignation there is reason to ask whether Osborne played any meaningful advisory role.    

For instance, not everyone who was on the Board of Advisors and Accountability was on said board for very long and yet … :

Dr. Paul Tripp joins Mars Hill’s Board of Advisors and Accountability
By: Mars Hill Church
 Posted: Nov 23, 2013

... In recent years, the Board of Advisors and Accountability has been an incredible source of wise counsel for which we are very grateful. We are so excited to announce that we have now added our friend Dr. Paul Tripp who has accepted our invitation to join our Board of Advisors and Accountability! He is a great brother and partner in ministry. He preached at Mars Hill last the summer for our Best Sermon Ever series and brought the Word with power. Dr. Tripp has been teaching at Mars Hill for many years in various capacities, and we also greatly appreciate his writing ministry especially, Dangerous Calling.

In regards to his acceptance, Dr. Tripp says, “I have a deep respect and admiration for churches that preach a courageous and liberating gospel into the brokenness of the culture around them. Mars Hill is one of these churches and I am glad to use my gifts and experience to assist it in its gospel mission.”

Dr. Tripp joins the current Board members: Michael Van Skaik, Dr. James MacDonald, Dr. Larry Osborne, Mark Driscoll, Dave Bruskas, and Sutton Turner. This Board of Advisors and Accountability was voted upon and installed by an overwhelmingly supportive vote from the entire eldership, with every single elder who voted doing so in approval.

By 2013 Mark Driscoll managed to be a member of the BoAA that was supposed to keep him accountable.  The significance of what, if anything, the BoAA did to advise has to be at least partly understood in light of the Result Source contract and the formal statement made by the Mars Hill BoAA in light of that discovery.


Result Source
In 2011, outside counsel advised our marketing team to use Result Source to market the Real Marriage book and attain placement on the New York Times Bestseller list. [emphasis added] While not uncommon or illegal, this unwise strategy is not one we had used before or since, and not one we will use again. The true cost of this endeavor was much less than what has been reported, and to be clear, all of the books purchased through this campaign have been given away or sold through normal channels. All monies from the sale of Pastor Mark’s books at Mars Hill bookstores have always gone to the church and Pastor Mark did not profit from the Real Marriage books sold either at the church or through the Result Source marketing campaign. ...

Among those on the Board, as we have seen, was Osborne. As we’ll see, Osborne was on the Mars Hill BoAA when Mark Driscoll resigned.

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