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Mark Driscoll
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Mark Driscoll

Acts 29 to Mark Driscoll: Resign and seek help

Religion | The church-planting network board calls on its co-founder to step down as pastor of Mars Hill Church

The church-planting network that Seattle megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll helped found has asked him to “step down from ministry for an extended time and seek help.”

The board of directors of Acts 29 sent Driscoll a letter expressing gratitude for the “leadership, courage, and generosity of both you and Mars Hill in not only founding the network but also sustaining it.” But the letter went on to say the board could no longer support Driscoll because of what its members consider “ungodly and disqualifying behavior.”

The letter was signed by Matt Chandler, Acts 29’s chairman of the board and the pastor of a large Dallas church, as well as Darrin Patrick, Steve Timmis, Eric Mason, John Bryson, Bruce Wesley, and Leonce Crump.

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The board said it wrote the letter “in sadness and hope” and only after waiting to see what Driscoll and the Mars Hill Board of Advisors and Accountability (BOAA) would do to resolve what the letter called “countless shots and dozens of fires directly linked to you.”

But the Acts 29 board’s letter added, “We no longer believe the BOAA is able to execute the plan of reconciliation originally laid out. Ample time has been given for repentance, change, and restitution, with none forthcoming. We now have to take another course of action.”

In addition to asking Driscoll to step aside from ministry, the board also said it has “no alternative but to remove you and Mars Hill from membership in Acts 29. Because you are the founder of Acts 29 and a member, we are naturally associated with you and feel that this association discredits the network and is a major distraction.”

The letter concludes by assuring Driscoll, “We tell you this out of love for you, Mars Hill, Acts 29, and most significantly, the cause of Christ, and we would be irresponsible and deeply unloving not to do so in a clear and unequivocal manner. Again, we want you to know that we are eternally thankful for what you as a man and Mars Hill as a church have meant to our network. However, that cannot dissuade us from action. Instead, it gives added significance and importance to our decision. We hope and pray that you see this decision as the action of men who love you deeply and want you to walk in the light—for your good, the good of your family, and the honor of your Savior.”

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., is vice president of WORLD News Group and the host of the radio program Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.

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