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.”
So, if it ever came to the point where someone made accusations against Mark Driscoll then they would be investigated. The way things are worded it sounds as though first an investigation would have to take place and that "if" the charges were true and that Driscoll turned out to be unfit for ministry THEN a group of five men consisting of elders in Mars Hill and Christian leaders outside of Mars HIll Church would investigate and determine whether the accusation or charge were true. A bit fuzzy.
What's not fuzzy are the names listed. Let's consider them in order with the caveat that this list of five may have little or anything to do with who would be conducting and investigation NOW if one were, in fact, under way.
Let's start with Jamie Munson. Munson was appointed Lead Pastor of Mars Hill Church in the by-laws Jamie Munson drafted in 2007. When two pastors disagreed with the by-laws Munson formulated charges against them. One of the charges was a lack of trust or respect for Munson himself. Munson stated Scott Thomas was in charge of the investigation and Scott Thomas stated the investigation process was not a witch hunt and informed a member that "a conciliatory process" had been completed. As Wenatchee The Hatchet has discussed here Scott Thomas responded to the member enquiry through his Acts 29 Network email.
If Munson were part of a team to assess whether Driscoll is fit for ministry it's important to keep in mind that Mark Driscoll has described Munson as Mars Hill 1.0, one of the earliest converts under Driscoll's preaching and teaching. Nearly the entirety of Munson's professional life can be summed up as being in Mars Hill. Currently Munson is co-president at Storyville Coffee. He has a 5% ownership along with Kris Rosentrater. But the majority ownership is Jon Phelps.
So, who is Jon Phelps? Here's one account.
Jon Phelps is the founder of Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL. Jamie Munson will be involved in day to day operations, leadership, sales, management and community engagement. Kris Rosentrater is a coffee specialist and is involved in roasting and production. Jon Phelps is an investor and consultant to the business.
And here's the corporation listing in Washington state.
|Member||PHELPS , ESTHER||1100 S ORLANDO AVE |
MAITLAND , FL 32751
|Manager||PHELPS , JON||1100 S ORLANDO AVE |
MAITLAND , FL 32751
What else can we find out about Phelps? He's co-credited with Mark Driscoll for Reverse-Engineering Your Life, copyright 2005. And here starting at page 6.
This appears to be the Jon who is reference in Real Marriage, chapter 11 as helping Mark Driscoll get his life together (page 208 Real Marriage). It's evident the reverse-engineering your life process in the 2012 book is a development on the 2005 material.
Then there's footnote 35 on page 202 of Confessions of a Reformission Rev. Here for an on-line sampler.
footnote 35, page 202 Confessions of a Reformission Rev
I took the concept of shooting our dogs from a conversation I had with a friend named Jon Phelps, who is the president of DC-3 Entertainment and the founder of Full Sail College.
So Jon Phelps is a friend of Mark Driscoll, an investor, and someone who seems to some roots at Mars Hill. If someone like Jon Phelps were selected to consider accusations against Mark Driscoll could Phelps be considered a major donor to Mars Hill? Does Phelps have a history of contributing large sums of money to Mars Hill? So Munson works at a company owned by Phelps who is himself credited with the reverse-engineering your life approach Mark Driscoll has been promoting and apparently implementing since somewhere around 2005. It was certainly part of the mens' retreat materials in 2006. Phelps seems to be the one referred to in Real Marriage.
But let's move on to the next name.
Dave Bruskas is Vice-President of Mars Hill Church and thus an employee. Bruskas was at City on a Hill Church, an Acts 29 plant, before it became Mars Hill Albuquerque. And here.
May 3, 2009
about 4:30 into the sermon
City on a Hill is a church planted through the Acts 29 Network by Pastor Dave Bruskas. He's a great guy. Really great guy. Years ago he was actually on staff in the building our Lake City campus actually meets at. He has planted his church in Albuquerque. It's going really well. There are over 400 people. Great church. Doing very well. Bilingual, multiethnic, eldership. Really cool things happening. And they have agreed to partner with us. We praise God for that. We rejoice in that. So they have announced to their people officially today that they're becoming a Mars Hill campus.
And what this means is that we hope to establish them as a regional hub to plant campuses of Mars Hill and churches of Acts 29 all over the Southeast, including into Mexico. Some of their elders are bilingual and are able to minister across cultural contexts and we praise God for that. As well at least one of their primary leaders is part of a Native American nation, tribe, and has full rights to potentially even plant a church in that context so it opens up some wonderful opportunities that we praise God for.
If Driscoll is President of Mars Hill and Dave Bruskas is Vice-President would Bruskas be in a good position to assess accusations that Mark Driscoll is not qualified for ministry? Wouldn't it be preferable that a person assessing charges not technically be employed so as to not be in a potential conflict of interest? What happened to this guy, Michael Van Skaik? He used to be referenced but no longer shows up in the listing of pastors here. And here.
Michael is passionate about helping others live the life that God intends for them. He enjoys guiding others through the various areas of our lives, searching the scriptures for wisdom regarding those areas and then seeing them implement and do what the Word says (James 1:22-27). He also serves as Pastor at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA as Chair of the Board of Advisors and Accountability.
Looks like it's more like he was chair of the board of advisors and accountability and now there's hardly a trace of him. Anyway, moving along from Bruskas we get to
James MacDonald is a guy described by Mark Driscoll as having a spiritual gift of real estate acquisition, a fascinating gift not attested in most manuscripts of 1 Corinthians. MacDonald's Harvest Bible Church has some substantial real estate debt and in the last year MacDonald's gambling became a matter of public concern. MacDonald and Driscoll kicked off 2012 with a friendly gesture toward T. D. Jakes, whose alleged shift away from modalism to traditional Trinitarian thought has not , to put it nicely, convinced everyone. There have been enough questions about MacDonald's approach to pastoral office that it's hard to be sure this is someone who would know whether or not Driscoll had really said or done anything to imperil his own qualifications for ministry.
Then there's Darrin Patrick, in leadership at Acts 29 Network. Patrick's church gave Scott Thomas a job as a pastor while Scott Thomas had not bothered to resign his membership from Mars Hill. Given that Scott Thomas described the 2007 trial process as a "conciliatory process" to a member let's just suppose Darrin Patrick was never told that Scott Thomas was still a covenanted member of Mars Hill while preaching at The Journey. That seems like a fair concession to make. Nevertheless, the documents of Scott Thomas' conduct and speech during the 2007 termination of Bent Meyer and Paul Petry is out there at Joyful Exiles for anyone to read. There's also this, a summation of the transition by Thomas. There's apparently another set of transitions with Scott and his son Derrin Thomas having shifted out of The Journey. Darrin Patrick is another good friend of Mark Driscoll. It would seem as though the group of five consists pretty much of Driscoll's friends, and in a couple of cases men who played an advisory or participatory role in the 2007 re-org that involved firing Bent Meyer and Paul Petry, and a re-org during which 1,000 members left the church.
Which gets us to Larry Osborne, referenced by Jonna Petry in her account of how the build-up to the 2007 re-org took place and mentioned by Mark Driscoll early in the 142-page document (page 3 over here). If Munson formulated charges and drafted by-laws that made himself Lead Pastor and if Osborne gave advice that Driscoll implemented in making Mars Hill multi-site then these two are men who were involved in the 2007 re-org that inspired so much controversy possibly half of the members of Mars Hill left.
One of the things of note about a number of men who served as pastors on committees intended to keep the executive elders accountable is that a few of them don't seem to even be at Mars Hill anymore. Where did Michael Van Skaik go? What about Chad Toulouse? Where did Will Little go? Bubba Jennings and Jamie Munson still seem to be around. Justin Holcomb is still around but Brad House has transitioned out. Kerry Dodd still seems to be around. Chris Pledger transitioned out the weekend the eviction of Mars HIll from Orange County happened and it's not clear he was ever licensed to practice law in any states where Mars HIll has a presence anyway.
At this point if there were a formal charge against Mark Driscoll what was shared about the committee of men who would assess the charge is that they are described variously by Driscoll as friends or men who had a role in the 2007 re-org. It would be, to go by everything available in public so far, seem to be a very partial jury.
Finally, it is worth noting that all the cited material from Governance as published by Mars Hill in 2012 is gone from the currently available version.