One of the nine elders who called on Mark Driscoll to enter an elder directed restoration process has resigned from Mars Hill Church. Director of Worship Dustin Kensrue resigned on Monday and issued a statement today. Reportedly, two other signers of the letter addressed to their peers at Mars Hill have also resigned. Sources in a position to know tell me that Gary Shavey and Adam Ramsey have also resigned. With these resignations, four of the original nine have now either resigned or been relieved of their position.
Kensrue was the leader of the band Thrice and also led worship at Mars Hill Orange County until he moved to Seattle in 2012 to take on the job of leading Mars Hill Music. Kensrue’s artist profile remains up on the Mars Hill website but his pastor profile has been removed (see it via Google cache).
The statement is at the link and provides an explanation for why Kensrue is resigning now. Rather than take parts of it here or reproduce the whole thing, I recommend that you click through and read it for yourself.
Mars Hill elders and members, here is a link to my explanation of my resignation from staff and eldership. https://t.co/3Xm8Mn37M1— Dustin Kensrue (@dustinkensrue) September 3, 2014
UPDATE: After having read the letter, I want to punctuate it with several segments. Kensrue essentially validates the concerns I have expressed repeatedly as have others. The Mars Hill Church Full Council of Elders has almost no authority and cannot bring accountability to the situation. Kensrue wrote:
So, what’s the answer to the question “what can your elders do?” Simply put, sadly not much. This is why we’ve looked pained when you’ve have asked us what we are going to do about all of this. There is nothing we’ve been able to do except bring the issue to our lead pastor. He in turn can bring it to his lead pastor coach. The coach in turn can bring it to the EE. As far as I’ve seen, if it ever reaches this point the concern is generally ignored and floats away into the ether. At other times recently, we have been told that certain subjects (e.g. the church’s
polity in general) were off the table completely.
This should concern you. Your pastors, who are on the ground with you, who know you, who care for you, who pray with you, and in whom you trust – these men have essentially no voice and no vote in what happens with your church as a whole, and the leadership is actively trying to limit the voice that they do have. If your pastors had a voice and a vote, do not think that the last year would have looked a bit different? Do you not think they would have done something? While the problem with the lack of transparency is huge, the problems with our broken view of eldership and our broken bylaws are more foundational problems.
The clear message from Kensrue is that nothing has changed and the process is rigged. I didn’t say it, he did.