At this point speculation that Driscoll has contemplated a return to public ministry as soon as practical has been making the rounds. Since Driscoll was given a sorta clean bill of spiritual health by the BoO (which included the Matt Rogers who had already lined up the UBI registration for Bellevue Church by the time MH announced its dissolution) it's possible that Driscoll could have been planning his resignation during his leave of absence.
Driscoll was scheduled to speak at the Gateway conference earlier this year but that got rescinded. Driscoll still showed up as an attender and shared a few stories at the conference. Notwithstanding that some 14 years of incendiary public rhetoric a la "I'm no pans-ass therapist"; "Pussified Nation" and the other writings of William Wallace II; and the 2011 jibe about effeminate anatomically male worship leaders Driscoll's appellation to sympathy on behalf of his family has to date never acknowledged that in the long run the greatest catalyst for emotionally unstable people seeking to confront or challenge Mark Driscoll has been the public persona of Mark Driscoll. Did Driscoll share a story about how a sex offender showed up at his house? Okay, but former member of Mars Hill Mark Yetman explained how Driscoll publicly said that because the sex offender seemed truly repentant it was okay. A Mark Driscoll who neglects to mention that part of the story that was shared from the pulpit over the years is a Mark Driscoll who has deliberately omitted his own permission and agency in permitting his family to have contact with a child molester in one of the two generally referenced cases.
But it may be in that in Mark Driscoll's mind he's never done or said anything that ought to incite any strange reactions from people. If that's the case then to the extent that Driscoll's public persona has incited negative reactions Mark Driscoll was willing to insist that his dedication to ministry rendered moot the question of quitting for the safety and welfare of his family.
Well, except that Driscoll quit. He quit citing the safety of his family. If his family was not safe and Driscoll never addresses his own active role as a public figure then the issue will simply come up again in some other form if Driscoll continues to seek a ministry role that involves mass media. Driscoll would be better off not being in the spotlight for a few years.
And who knows whether or not that may be planned?
After all, Orange County, though it's popular to suggest Driscoll may go there, was where the eviction happened and Firstenberg's testimony seems to have suggested that the executive elders knew the eviction was likely and opted to play chicken and presume the eviction wouldn't happen. Turns out that MH miscalculated. Driscoll, now that the bylaws of Mars Hill have become public access, can no longer have any plausible deniability of the sort he invoked in 2012 about not getting why the eviction was happening. Driscoll may "want" to go to Orange County but it would make sense if he spent a "season" in Texas under the "covering" of Robert Morris before launching a church plant in California under that covering/sending. This would be a shrewd PR move and largely eliminate most public concerns about Driscoll's persona and activity and since not a single one of the authors who have been alleged to have been plagiarized by Mark Driscoll have seen fit to raise any public concerns or charges they're going to let Driscoll have an empire to start down South.
A "season" in Texas and under Morris would make it possible for Driscoll to benefit from Texan laws and customs about churches (one can only surmise Benny Hinn moved his HQ over there for reasons) and then shift over to California when there's less heat associated with the activity of the corporation that will be formerly known as Mars Hill Church. It's not even impossible that Driscoll could collect "a whole new core" and re:launch a re:branded Mars Hill of some kind and re:vive what he'd had going earlier.
The only thing that won't happen is Driscoll resigning from ministry altogether after having come to the conclusion that he was never fit or suitable for ministry and went about it the wrong way. He's going to stay in the game and thanks to the power of the sob story should be able to make himself look like a victim if not through direct appeals then, all the more, through appealing to the welfare of his wife and children. Never mind that in the history of Mark's public ministry career his willfully inflammatory persona has been the seed from which the peril of his family has arguably sprung, Driscoll is apparently not scrupulous enough or honest enough to concede that since the days of William Wallace II people finding out what he's been willing to say when he had no thought that there'd be consequences for it would cause trouble.
These days if Driscoll can't even remember that the co-founding elders of Mars Hill were fathers and claimed against his own testimony there were no kids at the start of Mars Hill then Mark Driscoll's mental competence should be open to at least some sliver of doubt. After years of saying that charismatics were nutjobs Driscoll's most powerful option for rehabilitation in public ministry might end up being precisely through the sorts of ministry circles he dismissed as "nutjob" seven years ago.