On March 17, Dave Kraft and Kyle Firstenberg sent a letter to Mars Hill’s executive elders requesting mediation on behalf of themselves and 18 other former pastors. Yesterday, Dave Kraft posted an update on the process on his blog. After describing the process, Kraft wrote:
I am glad to report that the process described above is now underway. A reputable professional team, experienced in matters of significant conflict in churches, has been retained by the BOAA. This team is doing initial interviews and getting the lay of the land regarding what has transpired over the last seven years or so at Mars Hill Church. This will be a long process, so patience will be the need of the hour. Once the team has done its initial round of interviews, recommendations will be given to the BOAA as to next steps.
So the news part of this post is that Mars Hill leaders have entered into talks with twenty former pastors with a mediation team.
Kraft says he is cautiously optimistic. However, in my opinion, it is fair to point out that events of recent weeks strain optimism. Mars Hill continues to dismiss staff when they question leadership or decline to sign a non-compete clause. Instead of transparency, Mars Hill leaders stealthily change information on their website without explanation. Reasonable requests for accountability are ignored, and Mark Driscoll preached recently that the cycle that has been taking place is normal and biblical. In other words, some of the same issues the pastors wanted to talk about seem to remain the same.
Kraft acknowledges in his post that the process may not work out. However, the fact that the executive elders and Board of Advisors and Accountability have entered the process seems to recognize that there is conflict which must be addressed.