Theologian and pastor James Emery White argues that turmoil within churches regarding the pastor, such as what has transpired at Mars Hill Church with Pastor Mark Driscoll, is not just a problem for the individual congregation, but for all churches.
"Without going into the saga that is Mars Hill Church … let's just say that it's a mess. And not just for Mars Hill," White recently wrote in his blog, Church & Culture. "It's a mess for all churches as such things unfold before a watching world. Every time something like this happens locally, or nationally, I groan. Not simply because it grieves me, not simply because of the damage to our collective witness, but because it makes it so much harder for so many men and women in ministry who don't create messes."
White, the founding and senior pastor at Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, fears that others will "get painted with the same brush." more >>
One of the nine pastors who wrote an open letter to Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll, in which they complained about his lack of accountability, was terminated indefinitely on Wednesday from the church's staff.
Mark Dunford had served as an unpaid lay pastor at Mars Hill Portland and community groups pastor at the Mars Hill Ballard campus. According to Washington-based ABC affiliate, KING 5 News, Dunford was fired because of "rebellion against the church."
Neither Dunford nor anyone from Mars Hill has come forward with a statement regarding the termination. Meanwhile, Driscoll's parents have spoken out in defense of their son. more >>
After 22 years of marriage Phil Schubert, president of Abilene Christian University, ranked among the top 10 Christian colleges in the United States, and his wife, Jamie, are getting a divorce citing "irreconcilable differences."
And despite the move that can get employees at a number of Christian colleges fired, the school's board says Schubert still has their full support in remaining at the helm of the university.
Barry Packer, chairman of ACU's Board of Trustees, revealed in an email to faculty and staff cited by ACU's student publication The Optimist, which broke the story, and The Christian Chronicle, while the board was disheartened by the breakdown of Schubert's marriage, members remained confident he is the right man to continue leading the school. more >>
Nine current pastors at Mars Hill Church, the Seattle-based ministry led by Mark Driscoll, have written a letter to their fellow elders expressing their concerns and listing critical points of information regarding the "abusive and coercive" culture long fostered by their besieged senior pastor.
Their aim in the letter, written just days (August 22) before Driscoll announced a 6-week break from pastoral duties, is that the Mars Hill Church leader would step down, to eventually one day be restored to a stature of God-honoring leadership.
The Mars Hill Church campus pastors who signed this letter are: more >>
A Mississippi school district has agreed to stop having prayers and sermons at mandatory faculty convocations after an atheist group threatened to sue them.
The Washington, D.C.-based American Humanist Association announced that the Jackson Public School District had agreed to stop the religious practices.
JoAnne N. Shepherd, district counsel for the Jackson Public School District, responded to AHA via email that the convocation was meant to be "an inspirational and motivational event for employees returning to start the new school year." more >>
The Southern Baptist Convention, hoping for both a dramatic and unifying agent for change, announced Wednesday the election of 36-year-old pastor and Radical ministry founder David Platt as president of its International Mission Board.
"I believe Southern Baptists want to come together for the spread of the Gospel," said Platt, who leads a movement called Radical that is devoted to platforming and disseminating disciple-making resources, so that the Gospel "might be made known to the ends of the earth."
"I'm living and leading for the day when the IMB is needed no more because there are no more unreached people groups," Platt. senior pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama, said during a telephone conference for the press on Wednesday. "I want to trumpet the Great Commission, disciples made, God glorified here, and God glorified among unreached people around the world. I am exhilarated about the possibilities ahead." more >>