More than 30 former elders of the now-defunct Mars Hill Church are calling on Mark Driscoll to resign from his new church due to “unrepentant” sin, although they acknowledge they have no authority over him in his new role.
Driscoll co-founded and served as pastor of the Seattle-based Mars Hill Church but stepped down in the fall of 2014. The church was disbanded weeks later. He now serves as pastor of the Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Ariz.
A total of 39 former elders of Mars Hill signed the statement, which was released to Christianity Today. Christianity Today has documented the history of Mars Hill Church in a new podcast series, The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill.
“We are saddened to learn that Mark Driscoll has continued in a pattern of sinful actions towards staff members and congregants as he pastors The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona,” the statement says. “These sinful leadership behaviors appear similar to what he exhibited in his leadership role at Mars Hill Church in Seattle.
“We are troubled that he continues to be unrepentant despite the fact that these sins have been previously investigated, verified, and brought to his attention by his fellow Elders, prior to his abrupt resignation,” the statement says.
The 39 former elders say they believe Driscoll is “unfit for serving the church in the office of pastor.” The statement mentions “domineering leadership, harsh speech, and angry outbursts.”
“We hope and pray, by the grace of God, that Mark will submit himself to a prolonged season under the Godly leadership and direction of a local church body and elder team. Many of us stand willing and ready to pursue reconciliation with Mark and assist others who also would like to do the same,” the statement says.
“... Our hope is that after being restored in the future, Mark will find an appropriate place to serve and be served in the Body of Christ,” the statement concludes. “However, we don’t believe that it would be prudent or healthy for him to be in a position of spiritual authority in a church or ministry setting for the foreseeable future.”
Photo courtesy: ©James Gordon/Flickr/Creative Commons
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.