Wednesday, August 14, 2013

new candidate for Mars Hill Church Ballard Elder presented for consideration, Matt Repucci.

Ballard | New Discussion Topic
Pastor Scott Harris
From Pastor Scott Harris:
This past Sunday at all of our services, Matt Repucci was presented to the congregation as an elder candidate. Matt has been married to his wife Rachel for 14 years and has three kids at home. Matt has been in the process regarding the qualification for eldership for that past two years.
Matt serves as a Head Coach for Community Groups and will continue in that capacity as a Ballard Elder. He has been approved by the Executive Elders along with the local Ballard Elders for presentation to the Church.
We always bring elder candidates in the final phase before the church so that anyone with affirmation, questions or concerns can voice them before Matt is officially installed as an elder of Mars Hill Church. Our prayer and hope is that the Ballard elders will install Matt as a pastor of this congregation on Sunday August 18, 2013.
If you have any encouragement, questions or concerns regarding Matt and his pending installation as an elder over this congregation, you may email If not, we ask that you pray for Matt and his family over the next week as our good God makes Matt’s calling clear to leadership and confirms it through his church.
[file attachment online]

So there's a new elder candidate being presented at Ballard.  Precisely how publicly and "always" elder candidates were presented for consideration at Mars Hill Ballard is something that could get clarified.  The reason is that in the past an elder candidate might have a history of felonies, be newly married into his second marriage, and might be a relatively recently baptized convert and still get a greenlight from the elders without any of the above being significant cautions about installation.  Let's keep in mind that in 2006, in April, Mark Driscoll stated in Confessions of a Reformission Rev. a few things that may be worth keeping in mind.

From page 190

The concept of ordination is man-made and finds no biblical backing in the Scriptures. Therefore,
while the concept of ordination may not necessarily be bad, it is also not necessary.  The closest thing we see in the New Testament to ordination is when the elders of a church laid hands on new leaders and commissioned them into church leadership (1 Tim 4;14, 5:22).

from page 191 about elder accountability

Fortunately, we have never had to discipline an elder for any sin because the closeness of our reltaionships brings potential issues to the surface before they manifest.  Should an elder ever sin grievously, we would quickly discipline him according to the biblical directives (1 Tim 5:19-21).

Oh what a difference a year made, eh?  Two pastors managed to get fired even though Munson explicitly said there was no sexual or moral impropriety involved that was grounds for their termination.

Then there's page 192 of Confessions of a Reformission Rev:

Practically, this means that someone desiring to be an elder at Mars Hill must first be a faithful member of the church. Then he speaks with one of the elders about his desire, and that elder assesses wehther he is qualified for leadership according to the biblical criteria. If the elder does believe the man is qualified to be an elder, his nomination is brought before the entire group of elders, who must unanimously agree that the man is called of God and qualified to be brought through a slow process of testing (1 Tim 3:10, 5:22). This process takes at least one year and requires that the potential candidate study ... After the lengthy process is concluded, the candidate is considered for eldership only if all the elders agree that he should be an elder.  ... is then brought before the church, and if anyone should for any reason believe he is not qualified, we cancel his nomination if there are grounds to do so. 

Okay, so can people establish that this was how things worked in the eldership of Bill Clem, James Noriega, and Scott Thomas?  These were men who seemed to have been grandfathered in from Acts 29 affiliations (Clem and Noriega from Doxa, Thomas from some unspecified board role on Acts 29 Network).  That Clem and Noriega were sitting on a piece of real estate Mark Driscoll said he had wanted to launch Mars Hill at in 1996 has been documented amply here, here, here, here, here, here and here.  Not that you'll necessarily be interested in reading all of that unless you're interested in the history of how someone newly married and a relatively new convert with a history of felonies was vetted as an elder candidate in what seems to have been less than a full year.  That men could be grandfathered into leadership in less than a year due to Acts 29 affiliations is not exactly a surprise, but it also completely subverted public testimony on the part of Driscoll about how long elder nomination would take if Clem, Noriega and Scott Thomas were able to just be grandfathered in without being subject to the investigative procedure and vetting processes alluded to by Driscoll in his 2006 book. 

So for those who have come to Mars Hill since any time past about 2007 it may help to know a little more about how the elder nomination and vetting process has worked in the past and this series can comprise a set of case studies that may be helpful. 


Anonymous said...

Practically, this means that someone desiring to be an elder at Mars Hill must first be a faithful member of the church.

That concept went by the wayside years ago.
(or should I say, "under the bus"?)

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Joking aside, how long did the vetting and assessment process really take for Bill Clem, James Noriega and Scott Thomas when they were added to the team in 2006? Anyone want to field that? Who nominated them? Who recruited them? Who vetted them? Were there any concerns about any of these men raised at the time? Seven years on and none of them is at Mars Hill and apparently none of them was a pastor at MH at the time Confessions of a Reformission Rev was published. If the concept was thrown under the bus it was done in 2006 by a group of men that included the two that would eventually be fired in 2007.

Just pointing that detail out for folks who feel like making anonymous jokes. :)