Wednesday, September 14, 2011

And Jamie Munson has stepped down from executive eldership

Yeah, I saw this ... though I confess I have more pressing things to consider in many ways. When Driscoll says Munson has always been above reproach I wonder if he just pretends that Munson never said "There are no righteous poor in America" way back in 2002. Somebody told Munson that was a skunk thing to say because a week afterward Munson said "There are righteous poor in America," and then with a slight smirk in his voice, "I just don't think there are very many of them." Thanks, Jamie, it was nice to hear you thought there were at least some righteous poor in America after someone obviously talked to you about your categorical denial from the previous week.

Then again, considering that one of the big spiritual influences in Munson's life has been Mark "The real issue under a lot of issues" Driscoll what chance did the guy have? It's not like Driscoll thought he actually had to apologize for this year's bit about effeminate worship leaders. For that matter a lot of Driscoll's apologies have amounted to "I'm sorry that I said something that was offensive to you." The apologies have not always been of the "I was wrong to have said or even thought what I just said." Driscoll's not even the only person I've met who is a master of the "I'm sorry you're offended but not for what I said" apology; one of the other masters of the form has sworn off churches without realizing he shares the non-apologetic trolling nature of the church leader for which he's sworn off churches. Anyway, with a spiritual mentor like Driscoll around would it have been any surprise Munson would go from "There are no righteous poor in America" to "there just aren't very many of them"?

But I don't see any reason to subscribe to a conspiracy theory that Munson got the boot. He may have really resigned. I don't have much to say here on this blog about that. I know people make mistakes and I mention some because not all mistakes are intentional. I do think it is useful to keep in mind that despite a propensity in neo-Calvinist land to assume sin is motivated by pride and is conscious that a lot of sins are motivated by fear and are inadvertant. Since I have written at such length on that elsewhere in this blog I won't repeat myself too much there.

I do, however, have something to say about "The numbers aren't important but we're restructuring to reach the next growth barrier." When Driscoll blogs this it's a puzzle. I have said for years that my concern about Mars Hill (back when I was an attender and now even when I'm not) has been simple--the church has a history of committing to exponential growth of a sort that constantly outstrips 1) the competence of its leadership and infrastructure and 2) the stability of a well-cultivated donor base.

When the Lake City campus closed due to a diffusion of church members to both church plants and Anchor Church (don't misunderstand me, I REALLY like the folks I know at Anchor, they're wonderful people) it pretty much proved my point. A church that devotes itself to non-stop growth will do so at the expense of the financial viability of campuses. I've seen friends lose jobs because Mars Hill couldn't simultaneously afford to keep them employed while pursuing new campuses and renovating existing properties. For a few years in a row I'd hear news of a wave of lay-offs due to not making budget all while the pastors kept up the growth strategy. In terms of church growth it can come off like the pursuit of a "too big to fail" church in a recession that may be double dipping into a depression for all we know.

But Driscoll assures us the numbers aren' t important, though he has a vision of 25,000 people. You know what? That makes about as much sense as some guy telling me, "Hey, I don't have to marry a woman who looks like a supermodel ... but I want the girl I marry to look kinda like so-and-so [insert name of supermodel here]." There was a guy who used to say he wanted to marry a woman with measurements along the lines of 36-32-36 who wore a size 7 dress and had a D cup. God only knows how such a woman could exist in real life. My brother met this guy and once asked aloud where they even make such women and a woman he was friends with said, "You're right, they make those kinds of women." But I've already written about the kind of man who can aspire to that sort of woman as his ideal who then complains about the shallowness of women. Well, if Driscoll can keep shilling his stuff I can try to emulate his example. If you'd like to read an article by an actual nobody talking about the plight of nobodies who have discovered they're never going to be even as famous as the nobody who wants to tell you about somebody ...

1 comment:

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

From the following:

In the fall of 2011, we undertook yet another restructuring as we planned for more churches in more states to serve more people. As part of the restructuring, we researched the governance structure of other large churches across the United States. We sought counsel from outside attorneys with practices devoted to providing legal services to large churches. With this background and research in mind, Mars Hill’s in-house legal counsel, who specialize in corporate law and came to Mars Hill as a partner in a national law firm, together with our Executive Elder Team, proposed a revised organizational structure for the church that would allow us to plan for, rather than react to, the rapid growth we have experienced by God’s grace.

Anyone who read the bylaws from 2007 will recall that by definition the preaching pastor had to be vice-president and not president (unless the president stepped down or was incapacitated). Perhaps Driscoll and Munson talked and Munson had to step down so that Driscoll could become president and then a new set of bylaws could be drafted?