A well-respected pastor on the staff of the Seattle-based church Mars Hill Church has resigned his leadership position. Members were informed this week that Biblical Living Pastor Mike Wilkerson was stepping down.
Wilkerson is responsible for launching the popular counseling ministry, Redemption Group, an intense small group that digs deep into difficult and seldom-discussed areas of life, such as abuse, addiction, and trials of various kinds.
“Mike has been a part of Mars Hill for many years, and we are grateful for his leadership, particularly in helping us build our biblical counseling and Redemption ministries across all 15 churches, wrote Pastor Scott Harris in a letter to the congregation. “We love Mike and wish him well as he will continue to run The Redemption Group Network which exists to help churches develop their own Redemption Groups ministries.”
Pastor Mark Driscoll, founding pastor of Mars Hill, has been under fire in recent months for spending at least $200,000 with a firm that guaranteed to get his most recent book "Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together," on the New York Times bestseller list.
Dr. Warren Throckmorton, professor of psychology at Grove City College and Fellow for Psychology and Public Policy at the Center for Vision and Values, has been tracking the controversy.
“What seems unusual about this announcement is that the announcement came only a week before he plans to move,” Warren wrote on his blog, Pathos. “Given his level of leadership at Mars Hill (a ministry director – just under the executive elders) and his popularity at the church, it seems abrupt to announce one week and be gone the next.”
The mega-church spans its reach across several states has experienced high staff turnover in recent months.