There has been a lot of buzz around the internet about the removing of Mars Hill and its founding pastor Mark Driscoll from the church network he helped to create Acts 29. There are ideas, theories flying and everyone it seems is picking a side and digging in for virtual battle.
I won’t go into the details of the situation because that is covered in detail by other posts. Basically the Acts 29 Board felt sufficient cause for concern for Mark Driscoll, his church and the Acts29 that they have chosen to remove Mark and his church from any affiliation with the Acts 29 network.
This is a pretty significant step. You don’t typically see this type of action in many churches or church organizations particularly by an organization towards its co-founder. Mark Driscoll is a very polarizing person he says things strongly and clearly. I don’t know Mark but I do know that isn’t necessary a bad thing. We need leaders, particularly as orthodox viewpoints of theology are under assault from every side, to stand up and speak boldly. I do know a couple of people who have worked for him and none of them have ever said anything disparaging concerning his behavior.
I have been part of the leadership of a local church and have been part of the leadership of para-church organization for many years. I have been in on many meeting where difficult decisions were made. I will tell you that those decisions were not made lightly. Leadership is not easy.
In this whole controversy I think people are asking the wrong thing. It seems online people are asking what side are you on? Who was right? We should be asking What can we learn? Here are a few things we should learn from this situation.
1. Leadership is not easy we need to understand both side have made mistakes. We need to not cast stones fashioned in 140 characters but rather extend grace to and pray for both sides.
2. Stop thinking you need to know everything. The internet has made more information available one of the results of that is we get this idea somehow that we have a right to know. We don’t have a right to know. If you don’t know you probably don’t need to know. The less you know in many cases the better off you are. Once you know you are required to act. That’s part of the problem we prefer bringing awareness rather than taking action. We deceive ourselves in thinking they are one in the same.
3. Do your self a favor. Don’t pick a side. Most of the time both sides are right both sides are wrong. If there is no clear violation of biblical principle you don’t need to pick a side to speak truth to both parties.
4. Refine our view of grace and love. One thing that has disturbed me is this idea that Grace is always fluffy and soft. Sometimes grace is harsh sometimes it’s not. It’s in God’s application of grace that we are able to apply Grace appropriately to others.