Saturday, February 01, 2014

CT interview from 1-1-14, about that assistant history ... Driscoll has had assistants since at least 2005, full-time or not

...  Put my head down, worked seven days a week. I preached, gosh, 48 or 50 Sundays a year, five or six times a Sunday, an hour or more per sermon. And I traveled to speak, to make ends meet, because I was still supplementing my income. I didn't even have a full-time assistant until we hit 6,000. And by then my wife and I had five kids. [emphasis added]

It was go, go, go, and at some point my body just couldn't go anymore. I once had an old car and the ignition would get stuck. You'd have to literally pop the hood and disconnect the battery to make it stop. I was like that car. I couldn't shut down. I couldn't sleep. I'd fall asleep for an hour, wake up, and then be up all night. I'd be exhausted but unable to sleep. I had adrenal fatigue.

It bears mentioning that Driscoll emphasizes that he didn't have a full-time assistant until Mars Hill hit 6,000 people.  That's an interesting distinction because as early as 2004 somebody was an executive assistant at Mars Hill:
copyright 2004 by Mars Hill Church by permission from Acts 29 Network
A. J. Hamilton, Executive Assistant at Mars Hill Church

He may not have been Mark Driscoll's personal executive assistant at the time, but Hamilton was an executive assistant to someone(s) or something.  A. J. Hamilton shared how an executive assistant could handle tedious details like corporate credit card reconciliation

The 2004 material concepts reprinted with permission from Acts 29 Network reappeared in 2010 in the following way.

Turns out A. J. Hamilton had quite a piece written up about how he became Mark Driscoll's assistant in 2005.  While it remains to be cleared up at what point Mars Hill Church hit 6,000 people this would seem to have been in the zone of 2006-2008, so the general timeline makes it plausible but not clear that Hamilton was full-time or part-time just from these articles.

In 2005 I received the incredible offer to become Pastor Mark Driscoll’s executive assistant. [emphasis added] I had been on staff at Mars Hill Church for four years already, serving in a variety of roles, so I had insight into nearly every aspect of church leadership up to that point. But it was nothing compared to the next season of serving Pastor Mark and seeing where God was taking this church.

[WtH: Now it's very likely he wasn't full time because it was informally stated in a number of circles Hamilton took care of managing real estate Driscoll rented to others.  This LinkedIn profile, if Hamilton's would also explain why Hamilton wasn't in a position to be full-time]

Uncertain expectations 

Prior to becoming Pastor Mark’s assistant, my interaction with him had been limited, so I had no idea what would be most helpful to him. Instead of tossing me into the position to figure it out as I went, Pastor Mark prepared a document for me without which I would not have had a smooth transition into my new role or been helpful to him as his assistant.

A well-defined new role

What Pastor Mark handed me was a sixty-five-page document. [emphasis added, and this was for a part-time position?] He detailed his spiritual gifts; professional resume; priorities in his life, home, and work; his personal workflow techniques; church growth articles; homework for me in order to grow in my understanding of assisting in general; and the first iteration of a job description. In addition to explaining his ministry, he explained what would be my ministry.

Preparing the pastor and assistant to be fruitful together 

When I talk with pastors struggling under the weight of church leadership and church planting, the topic of hiring an assistant comes up often. Pastor Mark created that original sixty-five-page document for me, but most pastors have not taken the time to work on their ministry because working in their ministry is monopolizing their time.

Now who is currently listed as Mark Driscoll's executive assistant?  Someone named Frank Park.

Executive Assistant to Pastor Mark Driscoll

Mars Hill Church

Nonprofit; 51-200 employees; Religious Institutions industry
January 2012Present (2 years 2 months)

Administrative Assistant

Mars Hill Church

Nonprofit; 51-200 employees; Religious Institutions industry
May 2011January 2012 (9 months) Seattle, WA

Executive Assistant to Pastor Tim Beltz (Executive Pastor)

Mars Hill Church

Nonprofit; 51-200 employees; Religious Institutions industry
August 2010May 2011 (10 months) Seattle, WA

Youth Pastor

Federal Way Central Presbyterian Church

June 2005July 2009 (4 years 2 months) Federal Way, WA

Who also happened to be executive assistant to former Pastor Tim Beltz.

Now who had the job of being Mark Driscoll's executive assistant earlier than Park?  Nathan Burke

Executive Pastor Mars Hill Ballard

Mars Hill

Nonprofit; 51-200 employees; Religious Institutions industry
January 2012August 2013 (1 year 8 months) Greater Seattle Area
Oversaw operations at Mars Hill Church in Ballard. Mars Hill is a multi-site church with 12,000 attendees at 14 locations across the states of Washington, California, New Mexico, and Oregon. The Ballard location was one of the largest, running an average of 1800 per Sunday, in addition to mid-week programming and activities.

Executive Assistant to the Lead Pastor

Mars Hill

Nonprofit; 51-200 employees; Religious Institutions industry
May 2008January 2012 (3 years 9 months) Greater Seattle Area 
During this time I acted as assistant to the founder and lead pastor of Mars Hill and the Acts 29 Church Planting Network. This was a time of exponential growth...groing from a church of 5,000 at 6 location to a church of over 10,000 with a dozen locations across three states. I managed calendar and communications working across all departments of the church, but also other ministries throughout the country and internationally. I planned and coordinated a very busy travel schedule, and went on many trips during this time throughout the U.S. and abroad to England, Ireland, Turkey, and South Africa, and developed and led a support team to match the increased volume and complexity of work.

Executive Assistant to the Worship Pastor

Mars Hill

Nonprofit; 51-200 employees; Religious Institutions industry
May 2006May 2008 (2 years 1 month) Greater Seattle Area

Somewhere along the line before May 2008 Hamilton had the job
This Sunday will be a big celebration of God’s grace at Mars Hill Albuquerque. The church, led by my former assistant and now lead pastor, AJ Hamilton, is our fastest growing church. 
Mars Hill Albuquerque began as a result of a merger between Mars Hill Church and City on a Hill in the summer of 2009 with two services and just under 400 adults and 65 kids in attendance each Sunday. Since then they’ve grown to three services, over 750 people, including 125 kids, and have witnessed almost 300 baptisms. This growth, as indicated by the 300 baptisms, is mostly through conversions, and by God’s grace they have the highest conversion rate percentage of any Mars Hill church.

By Jamie Munson's account AJ Hamilton and his family moved out to help with the assimilation of Dave Bruskas' City on a Hill Church into the Mars Hill Church orbit.
... Having been around Mars Hill Church for the last 12+ years, I’ve seen this play out time and time again. Many churches and campuses have been started out of Mars Hill, and in the process many dear friends have moved on—either to a different campus or in some cases to an entirely different state. For example, last summer Pastor AJ Hamilton and his family moved to Albuquerque to help start our campus there. The Hamiltons were close friends with my wife and I, and our kids hung out regularly.

Why it's even a big deal that someone like Mark Driscoll didn't have a full-time assistant until the church hit 6,000 is inexplicable.  That Driscoll has had assistance constantly since at least 2005 in some form or another is easily established. 


Anonymous said...

Good grief,

What can you really trust from Mark Driscoll? His works are full of plagiarism, and just about anything he says seems to be exaggerated or not true, many of which do what plagiarism does. Creating the impression that what you present was your own work.

The reality is that Mark Driscoll had a personal assistant in 2003 (Karen Schaeffer). The church has not even reached 1500 at that time. So again he has lied.

Every reference from Mars Hill, his publishers, Resurgence, state that he founded the church. In fact, he did not found the church, he co-founded it. Wikipedia is more accurate than Driscoll. Again, like plagiarism, taking the work of others (Lief Mio and Mike Gunn) and attributing it to yourself. It is simply lying.

Mark Driscoll says he was not paid for first three years. He was paid by Antioch Church.

The lies just keep rolling in. THe least of his deception is plagiarism.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Actually, if he just claimed he wasn't paid a salary by Mars Hill Church that would, technically, be true. But if that is true then it becomes impossible for Mark Driscoll to have been the founder of The Paradox, which was bought and remodeled by Lief Moi between 1998 and 1999, during precisely the period in which Mark Driscoll says he was not paid a salary by MHC because they couldn't afford it. Parcel number and excise numbers from King County listings will be forthcoming in a post so stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

He does say both that he worked three years unpaid (not true) and three years unpaid by Mars Hill Church (might be true). If he was being paid by Antioch then like mist church planters he was bring paid. The implication, seemingly intended to imply something untrue, was that he labored three years planting Mars Hill Church without pay. This induces a false understanding to the hearer that, like plagiarism, leads to a conclusion about Mr. Driscoll.

We now have to take everything we read it hear from him and wonder if it is I'd a half truth or outright lie that seems intended to build his stature.

He seems to be trying to become a somebody who tells everybody that he has needed nobody in his quest to become somebody. It is all about his fame.