The dust is settling after beleaguered pastor Mark Driscoll resigned this week from his role as lead pastor of US mega-church Mars Hill.
On Tuesday, the Mars Hill board of overseers announced on the church’s blog that Driscoll had submitted his resignation, asking for prayer for the challenge of planning pastoral transition in a church “that has only known one pastor since its founding”.
Religious News Service published Driscoll’s resignation letter, where Driscoll acknowledged that he was an “imperfect messenger of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“I have confessed to past pride, anger and a domineering spirit. As I shared with our church in August, “God has broken me many times in recent years by showing me where I have fallen short… I believe He has brought me a long way from some days I am not very proud of, and is making me more like Him every day,” he wrote.
Driscoll stepped down from his pastor role at Mars Hill in August to make room for an investigation of a series of formal charges brought against him by a group of Mars Hill elders. The charges included a lack of self-control and discipline, demonstrated by verbal assaults, anger and arrogance displayed to members of Mars Hill’s staff. The investigation, conducted under the church’s bylaws, had the power to disqualify Driscoll from leadership, were they found to be true.
In their statement, the Mars Hill board said the investigation found that Driscoll had, at times, “been guilty of arrogance, responding to conflict with a quick temper and harsh speech, and leading the staff and elders in a domineering manner”.
However, while the Board believed Driscoll needed to continue to address these areas in his life, it stated “we do not believe him to be disqualified from pastoral ministry.”
They also stated that some of the accusations against Driscoll were found to be “altogether unfair or untrue” and said that Driscoll had not been asked to resign.
“… indeed, we were surprised to receive his resignation letter.”
In his resignation letter, Driscoll wrote his decision is based on what is “best for the health of our family”. He said he did not want to be the source of further detraction from Mars Hill’s mission to lead people to faith.
“It would be my hope to convey to the wonderful members of the Mars Hill family how deeply my family and I love them, thank them, and point them to their Senior Pastor Jesus Christ who has always been only good to us.”