As some of you may be aware, the founder and pastor of Mars Hill Church – Seattle, Mark Driscoll resigned today.
This is the culmination of several months worth of investigation and negotiation, and I’m genuinely saddened by the result. However, based on Pastor Mark’s resignation letter, it is evident that this process has been incredibly taxing for him and his family, and he believes that resigning is the best way forward for his family and Mars Hill.
During this entire process, I’ve read some pretty horrible things written about Pastor Mark – some of which Pastor Mark would readily admit and confess to, but some of which being outright slander. It is pretty painful observing a (in my opinion) great pastor being hung out to dry before the public. I think because of his personality, he is one of those figures whom people will love when convenient and leave out to bleed when inconvenient.
As flawed as he may be, I don’t believe the Christian community has responded with the kind of love and grace that we should be marked by. Although Pastor Mark has (as some has described) gone a little ‘haywire’ in the recent years, the evangelical community cannot underestimate Driscoll’s influence in the past decade.
Personally, Driscoll was the one who opened up the world to Reformed Theology to me. I picked up ‘Confessions of a Reformation Rev’ in 2010, fell in love with his writing style, and started to read more of his books and listen to his sermons. His engaging preaching and writing style made me think about things that I wouldn’t have otherwise thought about and drove me to read my Bible more. By 2010, Mars Hill was already well on the way with their Gospel of Luke series so I vividly remember downloading stacks of his previous sermons and listening to them everywhere I went. There was a period during my undergraduate studies when my iPod had 2 music albums and the rest was Mark Driscoll sermons. He opened my eyes to expository preaching, sometimes literally spending 1 hour preaching on the meaning of one word. During a time when my church didn’t have a particularly strong teaching ministry, Mark’s sermons and books helped me grow spiritually and encouraged me to serve my faith family even more effectively. Furthermore, his para-church ministries opened up a whole new world to me. Through the Resurgence and ACTS29, I was introduced to R.C Sproul, Matt Chandler, Judah Smith, David Platt, and was pushed to read D.A Carson, John Piper, Tim Keller, and Charles Spurgeon. He kept talking about these guys and saying how good they were! Over the years, I’ve found many other men and women who have similarly been profoundly influenced and shaped by Driscoll’s ministry.
So in honour of Pastor Mark, I thought it’d be great if we can all share a particular sermon, book title, soundbite, or quote from Pastor Mark’s long service of preaching and writing that has been particularly impacting and memorable for you. I hope that during this process we can all change our tones a little bit on how we respond to the recent events and be reminded of how much this brother has done for us, and push us to pray harder for Mars Hill, Driscoll, and his family so that there can be restoration and prayfully, a new season of ministry in the future.
Here is mine.
Thank you Pastor Mark.