Nine Current Mars Hill Pastors Tell Mark Driscoll To Step Down from All Ministry

Letter from 9 of megachurch’s 65 pastors: ‘While the current bylaws greatly restrict our authority, we believe we must act like elders none-the-less.’

Nine of Mars Hill Church’s 65 pastors, including the lead pastor of one of its 16 multisite campuses, have called for Mark Driscoll to step down and for church elders to play a more prominent role in restoring the health of the Seattle megachurch.

“It is time to take responsibility for our church, regardless of how much our current bylaws prevent us from exercising that authority,” they wrote in a 4,000-word letter (full text at bottom). “It grieves us that the only voice that has never been heard in all of this is the voice of the current elders.”

The letter was circulated within Mars Hill last Friday, before Driscoll’s Sunday announcement of eight next steps while the church investigates charges against him. The letter was first obtained by Patheos blogger Warren Throckmorton, and published as part of a Religion News Service report today.

Despite a current governance structure which places disciplinary authority in the hands of a hybrid internal/external Board of Advisors and Accountability (BOAA), the letter argues that Mars Hill’s elders “are called to lead our people and the church from a position of truth and love,” and consequently “do not believe that looking for answers, asking questions, and trying to discern the truth is a divisive or sinful thing.”

“To ask us not to do so would only be to further exasperate the ‘culture of fear’ that we so desperately want to move away from,” they continued.

The nine pastors emphasize six points:

  • We, the elders of Mars Hill Church, love Pastor Mark and truly desire his full restoration to preaching Pastor of this church.
  • Whether he were planning to step down or not, we direct that he steps down from ministry, submitting himself under the authority of the elders of the church, who will oversee the details of his restoration plan.

Source: CT Gleanings