I have written some articles about the issues and problems that are plaguing Mars Hill Church. While a lot of these posts were intended to be confrontational and informative, I realized I hadn’t specifically stated what I would like to see happen (other than calling for Mark Driscoll and Sutton Turner’s resignations, at least for a season). Here is a post seeking to encourage action that should be taken.
First off, I’m not claiming to be the final authority or any kind of authority on what repentance should look like for the senior leadership of the church. After all, I was only a part of Mars Hill for a small amount of time (March 2008 through June 2011). There are many who were there longer than me and had higher positions of leadership than I did who may have other ideas regarding repentance and reconciliation. That being the case here are some initial thoughts on the matter:
1) The repeal of the current by laws and a return to an elder process where all members of the board bear responsibility for accountability and have recourse to hold others who are elders. I don’t have a problem per se with an executive elder board in a larger organization but the regular elders should have a clearly defined process for corrective action in the case of an executive elder doing questionable things.
2) The exoneration of Bent Meyers and Paul Petry and their families. These men initially challenged the changing of the by-laws in 2007 and were subsequently fired and shunned by the church. I pray for the clearing of their names (which were smeared) and a process of reconciliation to be offered to them. (More information regarding their stories: http://joyfulexiles.com/)
3) That Mars Hill senior leaders and the Board of Accountability (BOAA) would move forward with the mediation process regarding the 20 pastors who have grievances. Former Pastors Kyle Firstenberg and Dave Kraft have both led this process. These men should all get to share their accounts of what transpired during their respective tenors. I also pray for repentance and reconciliation. (More information: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/05/30/mars-hill-leaders-may-enter-mediation-with-group-of-20-former-pastors/)
4) Driscoll’s personal apology for plagiarism in all of his books where passages have been compared with other work and called into question. An apology to the authors should be in order as well as proper citation added. There has already been some movement on this point albeit quietly. (Source: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2013/12/02/on-the-allegations-of-plagiarism-against-mark-driscoll/)
5) A full and specific disclosure to Mars Hill members and regular tithers regarding the finances of the church. This should include the pay range of the executive elders and not just base pay, but any other expense accounts from the church.
6) A full disclosure to the entire Christian community of the Mars Hill Global Fund INCLUDING a line item break down and detailed account of what people in Ethiopia and India receive (or have received) from this fund. (More information: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/06/03/globalfundgo/)
7) A personal apology to each member of the local Orange County board who were falsely accused by Driscoll of persecuting Christians. (More information: http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/2014/04/kyle_firstenberg_mars_hill_chu.php)
8). And not to be taken lightly…. Ideally I want Driscoll, Turner, and other perpetuators of abuse (defined as spiritual manipulation or being shunned and thereby cut off from friends and family) to be seated in a room. Anyone who has ever been abused at Mars Hill should be able to go in and tell their story directly to these men without interruption. For those who don ‘t want to personally face them, there can be audio and/or video recordings of testimonies. Of course, no one has to share. The goal here is for the senior leaders to feel the weight of the system and organization they have built and the damage it has caused people.
I hear rumors that there is a full council elders meeting tonight at Mars Hill Church at 6pm. I pray that the above actionable items would be seriously considered. #invitethelight #MHelders