Prayer for Mark Driscoll and Family

A few months back I noticed I was receiving emails from Mark Driscoll, especially about what he and his family were doing in their relocation to Phoenix, AZ.

These emails would contain book studies, family anecdotes, and ministry updates.  In other words, I’ve been keeping up with the former pastor of the Mars Hill Church.

driscollNow it seems that Mark Driscoll and his family are about to be involved in a new church plant, in Phoenix, AZ.

If you’ve ever been involved in a new church plant, you know how challenging it can be.  Your resolve will be tested, and you will need all the support you can get, both in manpower and monetary means.

If God is about to do a new thing in the life of Mark Driscoll and his family, who am I to stand in God’s way and say like many that Mark Driscoll is not fit for public ministry (cf. Acts 5:33-39).

Instead, feel led by the Lord Jesus, I will pray for this brother and his family–as they embark on this new adventure.

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19 Responses to Prayer for Mark Driscoll and Family

  1. Simon says:

    I don’t like how Driscoll was treat by the Reformed inner sanctum. But there was obviously much wrong with his ministry and pastoral care. My opinion is that someone who has fallen from grace, in a very public way like Driscoll has, should not be involved in pastoral care again, or at least not after a considerable break. This is the scriptural position I believe. Anyone who brings the Christian faith into disrepute should be disqualified from positions of teaching and authority.

    Furthermore, because anyone is free to plant a church, it seems like there is no accountability, no authority. There is no one to tell Driscoll “no, you can’t do this”. This is the great problem with American evangelicalism. I think Mark should be accepted in the Christian community and find an appropriate way to contribute. I’m sure he’s been humbled by his recent experiences at Mars Hill, but that humility should have led him to seek a quieter role. Perhaps as a teacher or professor at one of the many evangelical seminaries. But certainly not to start another church after leaving his previous one in tatters.

    • TC Robinson says:

      Simon,
      I appreciate your feedback. Consider this: Isn’t it also possible that the good Lord is calling him back to public ministry?

      • Simon says:

        TC, with all due respect, I think that is unlikely. Consider the NT passages from Paul that describe those fit for office in the church. I don’t think Driscoll qualifies, if he ever did. He was good at creating a mega church and selling books and so on. But that is not the same thing as being qualified for church office. In a consumer driven American evangelical culture, he may be “successful”. But I’m convinced that this is not right. To be fair, I think Evangelicalism in general is wrong.

  2. TC Robinson says:

    Simon,
    If we’re talking strictly about someone running off to their own corner of the globe to start a church, without being sent, without any accountability, then I quite agree with you.

    I’m approaching this from a church planting perspective, not an established church – perhaps this is lost upon you, since you care little for the Reformers and their children.

    I will also concede that this is not the preferred way.

    • Simon says:

      TC,

      I’m not quite sure what the difference between “start a church” and ” church planting”. I think they are one in the same.

      In any case, the issue is not just starting your own church. It is also about whether Driscoll, given his character and history, is fit for church leadership. But we’ve seen many worse examples than him, which should be very worrying for evangelicalism.

  3. nwroadrat says:

    I was not a fan of the MH network, mostly because of its leaderships behavior (not referring to Driscoll in this instance). Driscoll appears to have learned a lot from his prior experience. I suspect he will be back in the mainstream soon. I believe his lessons learned have been genuine.

  4. Simon says:

    Is Driscoll still Reformed?

  5. TC Robinson says:

    Simon,
    Yes, there’s no difference between “start a church” and “church planting.” Within American evangelicalism, Driscoll gets a second chance. Is it possible that you may be on the wrong side of this?

    I will still consider Driscoll “reformed.”

    Nwr,
    Lest hope that Driscoll has learned valuable ministry lessons.

  6. Colin says:

    I guess there are 2 stages to the questions here.

    Firstly can Mark or any other leader be forgiven and resorted to fellowship as a principle. If we really believe what we preach, and as an Anglican I often use in the introduction to a general confession, “if we confess our sin…..” you know what comes next. So yes of course he can be restored if he is fully repentant of whatever he needs to be repentant.

    THe second stage is whether that forgiveness and restoration makes it appropriate for the individual to pick up again whatever ministry they had been undertaken. The answer to that is again surely it might be. But I am less sure it would of necessity be proper, decent and in order to do so. From this side of the pond and not moving in the same circles, I cannot and will not form a view of the situation here or take sides – those of you near it must form your own understanding before God. It appears as if Simon is of a view that he has gone beyond the point there taking up a similar ministry is right. Either way I hope there are suitable “elders of the church” working with him to help his through.

    I recall similar debates over Todd Bentley after the Florida episode. On that I always had significant doubts about what was happening there and in the knock on effect here in the UK. Perhaps the latter was not as marked as the Toronto effect became in 1994/5. So when I learned of his problems I was deeply saddened for him, his family and the Church. And I admit to some personal questions as to whether the issues have been fully addressed as they should, and I am still equally uneasy when I have watched him in action on God TV. And I would hesitate to advise anyone to attend one of his events. But again we should surely be able to forgive, and be open to a possibility that restoration might (as in Todd’s case it has) result in a resuming of a similar ministry. He and those who have advised him will one day answer to God for their decisions, and we for ours.

  7. TC Robinson says:

    Colin,
    Simon has asked a fair question about the wisdom of Driscoll returning to public ministry as church planter/pastor. I believe these types of questions have a lot to do with one’s tradition. So I understand where Simon is coming from. Others coming from similar traditions might venture the same questions.

    Then they are those traditions who would have no problem with a Driscoll re-start.

    • Simon says:

      TC,

      Being a sola scriptura guy, wouldn’t you say that scripture should have the final say? I think that Mark should absolutely be welcomed back into fellowship and that his talents should be utilized in Church. However scripture sets apart certain attributes for leaders. These men are to be beyond reproach according to Paul. This is very highly questionable in Driscoll’s case. He is basically rebounding straight into ministry whereas I would argue that it should take perhaps a decade or more before he should assume this kind of role. The fact that a minister can go from disgrace straight back into leadership in evangelicalism is surely a sad indictment of their Ecclesiology or lack thereof.

  8. Jon Hughes says:

    TC,

    In the article that you provide a link to, it quotes Driscoll as recently as July 27th last year stating:

    “There are no concrete plans for ongoing local ministry as of yet. This remains a calling and desire, but my plan is not to rush into anything.”

    And yet here we are…

    Simon’s right in that this is something of a quick rebound.

  9. TC Robinson says:

    Simon/Jon,
    As you know in American evangelicalism, our ecclesiology needs some serious attention. For the most part I’ve conceded your contention. It’s fair. It’s good. But is it still possible for God to use Mr. Driscoll and this new venture? That’s my point here.

  10. nwroadrat says:

    LoL…Regarding returning, coming back, etc., he didn’t leave and he was not removed from MH, nor was there any post disciplinary or official assigned recommendations for counseling. He resigned from a “word” in prayer. (though getting the h-ll out of dodge was a good idea!) His primary offense of not choosing his word wisely he’s marvelously put into check. That I think has been the most valuable ministry lesson learned.

    • Jon Hughes says:

      It’s going to be interesting to see whether he deliberately courts controversy, reverting to type, or chooses instead to fly low under the radar and get on with the local ministry in hand. I hope it’s the latter, and may God bless him!

    • TC Robinson says:

      Again I appeal to Acts 5:33-39. But let’s pray for our brother, his family, and this new ministry venture.

  11. Craig Benno says:

    The Scriptures say that the gifts and callings of God are not taken away. All through the Scripture we find stories of men and women who God called, gifted and sent out. They fell, abused their positions, abused others around them – and yet, God continued to call them, and eventually they obeyed and become heroes of the faith. Abraham sold his wife. Samson had a big mouth. Solomon was a whore. Peter denied he knew Jesus.

    I like Paul’s style in Ephesus when he writes to a church at logger heads at each other. He prays that they will be filled with God’s spirit of wisdom and revelation. That they will grow in the knowledge of Christ and his ways. That together, the church will knit together and comprehend the depth, the height, the width of God’s love for us, and his incomparably great power for those of us that believe.

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