Okay, not dead, but at least out of Mars Hill Church. Mark Driscoll has resigned from the megachurch he founded after months of controversy and allegations of wrongdoing. Sarah Pulliam Bailey has a copy of his resignation letter and the details of what went down.
Mark Driscoll, the larger-than-life megachurch pastor who has been accused of plagiarism, bullying and an unhealthy ego that alienated his most devoted followers, resigned from his Seattle church Tuesday (Oct. 14), according to a document obtained by RNS.
The divisive Seattle pastor had announced his plan to step aside for at least six weeks in August while his church investigated the charges against him. Driscoll’s resignation came shortly after the church concluded its investigation.
“Recent months have proven unhealthy for our family — even physically unsafe at times — and we believe the time has now come for the elders to choose new pastoral leadership for Mars Hill,” Driscoll wrote in his resignation letter.
Right, it’s all about your family’s safety, not at all about your behavior or anything. *eyeroll*
In his resignation letter, Driscoll noted that he was not being disqualified from future ministry.“You have also shared with me that many of those making charges against me declined to meet with you or participate in the review process at all,” Driscoll wrote. “Consequently, those conducting the review of charges against me began to interview people who had not even been a party to the charges.”
Driscoll hinted, though, that his continued presence would be a distraction.
“Prior to and during this process there have been no charges of criminal activity, immorality or heresy, any of which could clearly be grounds for disqualification from pastoral ministry,” Driscoll wrote.
“Other issues, such as aspects of my personality and leadership style, have proven to be divisive within the Mars Hill context, and I do not want to be the source of anything that might detract from our church’s mission to lead people to a personal and growing relationship with Jesus Christ.”
There are two obvious questions. What will happen to Mars Hill Church? It might go on with another pastor at the helm or it might fall apart, with the satellite churches becoming independent and finding their own ministers. And what will happen to Driscoll? I predict that he’ll start another church at some point, probably after a brief period of silence from him. He’ll pronounce himself a new man who has been sanctified by the blood of the lamb and build another megachurch. It’s what con men do.