After resigning from the Board of Advisors and Accountability (BOAA) of the Seattle-based Mars Hill Church led by embattled Pastor Mark Driscoll in June, former board member Pastor Paul Tripp said Tuesday that the church's governing authority "can never work well" because it is not designed to help the pastor with spiritual direction and protection.
Tripp who is executive director of the Association of Biblical Counselors's Center for Pastoral Life and Care, as well as the author of 15 books on Christian living revealed in a statement on his website that the accountability board of Mars Hill Church can't work well because it isn't a "firsthand witness" of the life of the church.
"I love working with churches to help them form a leadership culture that is shaped by the same grace that is at the center of the message that they preach," explained Tripp in his statement.
"It's because of this love that I accepted the position on Mars Hill Church's BOAA. But it became clear to me that a distant, external accountability board can never work well because it isn't a firsthand witness to the ongoing life and ministry of the church," he noted.
"Such a board at best can provide financial accountability, but it will find it very difficult to provide the kind of hands-on spiritual direction and protection that every Christian pastor needs. Unwittingly, what happens is that the external accountability board becomes an inadequate replacement for a biblically functioning internal elder board that is the way God designed his church to be lead and pastors to be guided and protected," he added.
Tripp said it was this tension that forced him to resign after less than a year on the board.
He noted however that: "I would still love to see the leadership community of Mars Hill Church become itself a culture of grace and I am still willing to help, but not through the means of a board that will never be able to do what it was designed to do."