Mark Driscoll Steps Down While Mars Hill Investigates Charges

Driscoll gives Seattle congregation ‘an update on what God is doing in my life.’

In Mark Driscoll’s first public statement since Acts 29 rebuked and removed him from the church planting network he founded, the embattled Seattle pastor announced a six-week sabbatical from his position as lead pastor of Mars Hill Church while charges submitted by 21 former pastors against him are investigated.

Patheos blogger Warren Throckmorton broke the news, citing tips from attendees of Driscoll’s church service this morning. Mars Hill has told CT that the full announcement will be made available later today. [CT will update this space as soon as possible.]

“I hope Mark Driscoll feels a tidal wave of hope-filled prayer for a new day and a new man in this season,” tweeted John Piper in response to the news. “Pray for @PastorMark Driscoll and wife Grace and their precious children in this season of trial. And the fine people at Mars Hill Church,” tweeted Jack Graham. RNS also notes Throckmorton’s tip.

The decision by Driscoll, whose current challenges made the front page of The New York Times yesterday, echoes past sabbaticals by two other popular Reformed pastors—Piper himself and C. J. Mahaney—amid concerns not of sexual or financial sins, but of pride and other character flaws.

“I know that many continue to be curious where we are at in this season,” Driscoll wrote last Monday in his church’s weekly newsletter, “and I look forward to giving you an update on what God is doing in my life when I am back.”

“Pastor Mark continues to focus all his energies for the next season on the well-being of Mars Hill, while learning, growing, and serving his family well,” Mars Hill told members in the same newsletter. “His relationship …

Source: CT Gleanings