Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sutton Turner says Jesus wants Business Leaders and plugs for the Lead & Executive Pastor residencies at MH

While Mark Driscoll 2.0 touts his master's in exegetical theology from Western Seminary yet digs at nerds who care about Hebrew and Greek, Sutton Turner takes a more Mark Driscoll 1.0 case of saying that seminary training's not particularly necessary for a man to be called to be a pastor.  He makes a case for more business-minded men entering ministry.  Precisely what Turner's corporate experience has been and how successful the companies he's run in the past actually are now would be a wonderful question to investigate but American journalistic outlets and business papers don't seem to go in much for covering the welfare of corporations in the Middle East.  Perhaps someone can comment away on how Turner's companies and managerial tenures have gone in the past some time ... .

Turner builds up to this:

Did you see anything about how many verses you’ve memorized or what degrees you’ve earned?
No! Exactly.

Because virtually nobody cares if you mistakenly refer to Jacob Arminius as the son-in-law of John Calvin if you talk a good game, for real. You could even do something like propose that Boaz must have familiarized himself with the Psalms and throw in a reference to a Psalm of David that, if we're going to be biblical literalists here, Boaz couldn't have read because David was a couple of generations down the family tree.  People would not generally care. 

Turner continues:

You may already be qualified

The qualifications of an overseer have little to do with what a man does at church, and everything to do with how he conducts himself “in his home with his family and in his world with his neighbors and coworkers.”

But as even Mark Driscoll noted in the Esther series, a man may convince himself he's not a monster because he's a good family man. Turner's not quibbling about that sort of point, though.  He concludes with

If you are interested in being trained and equipped further in ministry, please consider the Mars Hill Executive Pastor Residency Program.

So, about the Lead Pastor Residency Program and the Executive Pastor Residency Program, there's links for them.  There's also this for the Lead Pastor Residency stuff.   There's this thing about leaders of leaders:

Last year, nearly 200 men applied for the Lead Pastor Residency and we only took five. The program is highly selective because we don’t just need any man. We need the right man. Are you one of those men?

There's a profile of Ed Choi, one of the lead pastor residents. There's also a couple of other introductory posts here and here. Looks like Matthias Haeusel is lead pastor at MH Downtown and AJ Hamilton's gone from interim lead pastor to lead pastor back to just plain old pastor. If you'd like to read why Dave Bruskas loves the Lead Pastor Residency program go here. If you want to read the introduction of the program go here. If you want to find out why they even have a Lead Pastor Residency Program Ryan Kearns can explain that here. Of particular note is what Kearns had to say about the first class that came through this residency program:

This year will be the Lead Pastor Residency Program’s second. This last year has been an incredible learning experience for the four gifted men—Alex Early, Drew Hensley, Ryan Welsh, and Ryan Williams—who have participated [links added by WtH and not original]

Oh, yeah, Alex Early came and went in a matter of months.  So there's no assurance after all that labor that you'll necessarily stay lead pastor at a campus.

Now, for the Executive Pastor Residency program.  There are a few vacancies.

Shoreline (wow, have they even had an executive pastor at Shoreline since Chad Toulouse disappeared from the job after taking the job when James Harleman stopped doing it?)
U-District (another case of semi-musical chairs)

For some reason if you refine the search for Mars Hill Church jobs by salary down to $120,000+ you spot the Executive Pastor Residency Program. If you low-ball for numbers and go $90,000 you get the lead pastor residency program.  But the speed of change at Mars Hill Church is so fast it'll be interesting to see what the salaries end up being if ever MH would disclose that on an employee-by-employee basis.  And then there'd be royalties pastors get for publishing books through and sold by Resurgence Publishing but that's some other topic.


AndrewP. said...

"If you are interested in being trained and equipped further in ministry, please consider the Mars Hill Executive Pastor Residency Program."

And after you go through that and have the audacity to "question" something that Driscoll or Turner are doing that may be questionable, prepare to be maligned, subject to slander, "thrown under the bus," and your writings and sermons forever erased from the church archives.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone here actually read the book that someone ghostwrote for Sutton? Do we know if it has as terrible theology as his blog posts do? Looking on Amazon, it's sad how many of the 5-star reviewers are clearly "in house."

Regarding the residency program, and what happens if you get through it and then start to question things; perhaps there's a reason that Alex Early isn't at Mars Hill anymore.

Anonymous said...

"Pastor" Alex Early and "Pastor" Nate Burke, all smiles 10 months ago:

Where are they now?

<Hint: They're not at Mars Hill.)

Anonymous said...

Mark has lied in the introduction videos where he says sutton has an MBA from Harvard. He doesn't.

He hires a bunch of made up executive pastors who really just fill out forms and manage volunteers...not much executive type work at all. But they are all theologically ignorant because sutton is.

I don't know how sutton passed all the Eldership tests they have at mars hill. He doesn't know his Bible at all. He must've had the same guy/gal who wrote his book write all his Eldership essays.

It's pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Since Sutton has been in charge everything has gone downhill.

Attendance has dropped. The only reason it looks like it hasn’t is because in 2013, for the first time ever, MH counted children in the attendance. Before then, they only counted adults. But since the attendance was so bad they added in the children to cover the fact that 3,000 adults left.

Giving is down. The only reason they made budget is because Sutton made up Mars Hill Global, which brings in $4million/year from people outside the church giving so MH can print up bibles for cheap and fund a few church planters in Ethiopia. It probably costs between $85,000-$115,000 for everything MH Global does. But they pitch that thing all the time to “tap” the on-line audience.

Staff morale is in the tank. Since Sutton has been in charge there has been a 95+% staff turnover rate…in just over 2.5 years. Sutton is famous at MH for his horrible emails in which he rants, threatens, and yells. Apparently, he has a bad temper and takes it out on everyone. All the real leaders left: Bill Clem, Adam Sinnett, Matt Jensen, Tim Gaydos, Jamie Munson, Tim Beltz, Scott Thomas, Brad House, Samuel Choi, Steven Mulkey, Justin Holcomb, Nick Bogardus, Alex Early, Matt Johnson, and more. Those are just the leaders people heard about, but there are lots of leaders behind the scenes that resigned too. Even non-staff elders are resigning: Will Little, Jeff Bettger, Jon Krombien, and more. All these people cared about people and theology. Now, the only way you stay on is because you will do whatever Mark and Sutton say because 1) you’re blind, 2) you’re holding on until you find another job, 3) you like getting paid $120k to be a MH eunuch, or 4) you have no conscience.

Everyone on MH staff knows Sutton had a ghostwriter. He doesn’t know most of the theology in his own book. He hasn’t done any interviews because he knows he can’t answer any questions about some of the theological content in his own book.

Mark will never get rid of Sutton because Sutton does Mark’s dirty work and because since Sutton got there Mark’s salary has probably doubled. Why don’t they disclose salaries? Because it is probably an obscene amount.

Sutton also set up an “investment” group: the Lucas group. They invest money in the church and get a guaranteed rate of return. They have pamphlets on it. One of my friends was given one from a pastor.

Sutton has turned MH into a business that sells the product of a wannabe celebrity.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

and for the touting Driscoll has done of Turner's business background finding out how companies Turner has been associated with have actually been doing is not entirely easy. It took a while to dig up this one headline blogged about recently.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: "Sutton is famous at MH for his horrible emails in which he rants, threatens, and yells."

Hey Anonymous,
How about posting some of those emails here at WTH? Inquiring minds want to know!

Anonymous said...

Please post one of the investment pamphlets

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Actually, the pamphlets would be interesting to look over if they're available somewhere.

What happened with that tax forfeiture with the CHCC - MGA that Sutton Turner was part of might be a slightly more interesting, though. It's still not completely settled that Turner's any more a business golden boy than Driscoll said Jamie Munson was just yet.