Reaction to the dissolving of Mars Hill Church called for by its elders two weeks after the resignation of its founding pastor, Mark Driscoll, has been varied, including high praise for the controversial pastor's impact on the lives of people who attended his church, a letter of repentance to two former pastors signed by 18 former elders, and fond memories of an edgy congregation meeting in the Seattle area and taking on the world around them.
"Eleven years ago, I walked into a dimly lit former warehouse with crazy art hung up everywhere, tattooed and pierced guys and girls handing out pamphlets, hard rock reverberating through the dark-painted walls, and a short, kinda thick guy up on stage yelling at everyone," wrote Seth MacGillivray, a former long-time member and deacon at Mars Hill, in a post on his Facebook page Friday evening.
"The place was called Mars Hill Church. I was a new Christian, and had a view of most Jesus-followers as a cross between Ned Flanders and high school girls who listened to DC Talk. Here was something new: an ultra-orthodox view of the bible combined with a liberal view of the world," he continued. more >>
The Seattle-based megachurch Mars Hill, once led by pastor Mark Driscoll, has begun the process of dissolving, and its 13 regional congregations have been asked to either go independent, merge with another church, or disband entirely, announced Dave Bruskas, the church's teaching pastor while in transition, at noon on Friday.
Although Driscoll was not mentioned in the "Local Mission, Local Churches" blogpost on the church's website released as a letter to Mars Hill by Bruskas, the normally outspoken pastor resigned on Oct. 14 from the multi-city megachurch he and his wife helped found 18 years ago after a series of calls were made for him to step down from ministry due to his admitted "divisive" leadership style.
In the letter, Bruskas writes that the elders recognize that the "reorganization plan is a significant and complex undertaking on many fronts; however, our goal is to have the process completed by January 1, 2015." more >>
NEW YORK — The founder of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York, pastor Pete Scazzaro said he knew that an 80-hour work week with no rest was one of the issues holding his church back, in the past, from experiencing change for the better.
At this year's Movement Day leadership conference held last week in New York City, one of the tracks, hosted by Scazzaor, addressed the issue of burnout and focused on helping pastors find healthy rhythms to sustain church planting.
"I've yet to meet a pastor whose life is balanced, rhythmic, whole, centered, anchored who is not practicing Sabbath," said Scazzaro to those in attendance for the Track. "I'm talking about globally." more >>
NEW YORK – Pastors and Christian leaders should be unashamed to call out a city for its sin while at the same time working towards peace, said Tim Keller, the lead pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, at the Christian leadership conference called Movement Day.
"We're supposed to be concerned about the peace of the city," said Keller to the crowd. He pointed out that every dimension of a city's existence, including economic and social peace, can only truly be brought by a leader who knows the Word of God.
"Jesus is looking at a city about to kill him and he's calling out their sin," said Keller. In the same way, he encouraged local pastors and leaders attendending the annual event in New York City held at the Marriot Marquis hotel on Thursday to call out the city's sin without gloating or boasting. more >>
In order to last in ministry, church planters need to adhere by certain guidelines that change the mold of how they build their church structure, said Pastor Rick Warren during the Exponential West conference this past week.
Warren addressed conference goers to utilize his experience as a leader in ministry of over 40 years. He told church planters that about half of them were not going to make it, according to statistics, unless they started doing something radical.
"You must be very careful how you build. Some build with gold, silver, precious stones even wood, hay and straw but the day will come when fire will reveal the quality of your work and if what you build survives, you will receive a reward," Warren said on Thursday of the three-day conference. more >>
Pastor Craig Groeschel discussed the importance of moving from a self-reliant style of leadership to one of being empowered by the Holy Spirit during the Exponential West conference at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, on Wednesday.
Groeschel's message focused on his experience as pastor of Life Church, a multi-campus congregation in Oklahoma, and the trials he had to endure before realizing that the Holy Spirit needed to work in his life before he could lead a church.
"Church planters have a choice to be self reliant or spirit empowered ... Sometimes we try to lead out of our own ability but we forget about the power, the presence and the voice of God," Groeschel said. more >>