Saturday, August 23, 2014

a history of MH attempts at record labels 2009-2013 postlude: the problem in Driscoll saying "not even close" in his March 2014 statement on The City, the music label was part of the vision at the beginning

On (or maybe before?)March 14, 2014 one Mark Driscoll posted a letter on The City to Mars Hill Church, which Warren Throckmorton has linked to via two different avenues.
For those of you who have been around for a while, it is amazing for us to see all that Jesus has done. People often ask if our church today resembles what I had originally planned. Not even close. The smallest location of a Mars Hill Church is bigger than what my total vision was for the whole church when we started.
In the second paragraph of that letter posted to The City (which has been widely and erroneously interpreted as and presented as a public apology of any kind for anything), Mark Driscoll stated that people had often asked if Mars Hill today resembles what Mark Driscoll had originally planned.  There's a problem with "Not even close."  The problem is that in both Confessions of a Reformission Rev from 2006 and the fundraising film God's Work, Our Witness from 2011 Mark Driscoll explicitly said he had dreams of starting a school and a music label from the earliest stages of planting Mars Hill.  You might have to hunt a bit to find the pertinent clip.  A chapter or heading "Launching Mars Hill Church" may be of help.

God's Work, Our Witness Part 1
Pastor Mark Driscoll

about 12:30 in
You know, and I thought, for sure, we’d probably tap out at two hundred. I thought if we can get this
thing to two hundred, that would be amazing.

And I had big vision for more. I put together a forty-page vision statement. I said, “We’re going to
start a school. We’re going to plant churches. We’re going to do a record label.” I had this whole vision, and I handed it out to, like, fifteen people, and they’re like, “Are you kidding me?”

So I had big dreams. But to be honest with you, man, if we could just get up to two hundred, I thought that would be amazing.
 About 200?
From "Seasons of Grace" by Mark Driscoll

In the fourth season, we launched the church in October 1996 at 6pm with an attendance around 200, which included many friends and supporters. The attendance leveled off shortly thereafter, somewhere around 100 adults, and we continued meeting until the Christmas season.
So at the launch of Mars Hill Church, according to Mark Driscoll's "Seasons of Grace" they had already launched at the number that Driscoll was saying in the 2011 film would be "amazing".
With that in mind, let's revisit the 2006 book

Confessions of a Reformission Rev
Mark Driscoll
Copyright (c) 2006 by Mark Driscoll
ISBN-13: 978-0-310-27016-4
ISBN-10: 0-310-27016-2
CHAPTER ONE: Jesus, Our Offering was $137 and I Want to Use it to Buy Bullets
0-45 people

from pages 53-54
So in an effort to clarify our mission, I wrote down on paper the first of what would eventually be many strategic plans. I shot for the moon rather foolishly and decided that our church that was not big enough to fill a bus would plant multiple churches, run a concert venue, start a Bible institute, write books, host conferences, and change the city for Jesus. I started handing out these goals printed on boring white paper without any graphics, colors, or cool fonts, naively assuming that it would all happen eventually just because it was what Jesus wanted.

To get leaders in place for world domination, I also spent time trying to articulate the vision in my head to good men who would be qualified to rise up as fellow elders-pastors. So, as Jesus did, I spent time in prayer asking the Father which of his sons should be trained for leadership. The church started as an idea I shared with Lief Moi and Mike Gunn. Lief is a descendant of Genghis Khan and his dad was a murderer, and Mike is a former football player. They proved to be invaluable, except for the occasional moments when they would stand toe-to-toe in a leadership meeting, threatening to beat the Holy Spirit out of each other. Both men were older than I and had years of ministry experience, and they were good fathers, loving husbands, and tough. ...
So now this year Driscoll has said, "The smallest location of a Mars Hill Church is bigger than what my total vision was for the whole church when we started."  For Driscoll to have made that statement in March 2014 is to say something that flies in the face of things he's said on record in print and in film over a period ranging from 2006-2011.  There was a vision of starting a music label since either the launch of Mars Hill Church or to go by the numbers and the timeline laid out in Confessions of a Reformission Rev to a period even before the official launch of Mars Hill Church.

"Not even close" is hard to sustain based on Mark Driscoll's own testimony.  If anything it is only right now that Mars Hill Music has been in partnership with Tooth & Nail (after Re:Sound failed and after Mars Hill Music was announced) and on the eve of Mars Hill Schools launching (after the disappearance of the 2005 Capstone Institute and the dormancy of the Resurgence Training Center) that Mars Hill is on the cusp of things Mark Driscoll envisioned since the dawn of Mars Hill Church.

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