Ryan Welsh is one of the nine pastors who called on Mark Driscoll to submit to an elder directed restoration. He is also one of the pastors recently laid off. Today, he posted a brief statement on his public Facebook page which both expresses concern for the church and leaders while at the same time standing by the letter he signed and delivered on August 22. His statement:
My time at Mars Hill Church has come to an end. I want to briefly explain my feelings and convictions regarding Mars Hill and what’s next, as many have asked me to explain. I do not intend to add any fuel to the very hot fire that is burning in and around Mars Hill right now. So I will first share this:
1. I love Mars Hill Church
2. I love the visitors, members, deacons and elders at Mars Hill Church
3. I love and deeply care for Mark Driscoll, Dave Bruskas and Sutton Turner
4. I believe in the vision and mission of Mars Hill Church
5. I praise Jesus that He has used Mars Hill Church to bring, literally, thousands of people to salvation.
6. I pray for Mars Hill Church to be healthy once again
7. I hope and pray that Mark Driscoll has 30+ years of preaching ministry ahead of him
8. I believe that Jesus is still on His throne and that He remains not only sovereign, but also good
9. I feel blessed that I was given the opportunity to serve alongside some great and godly men and women over the past two years
Do I have concerns? Of course I do! Eight other elders and myself wrote and signed a letter of concern to the elders in late August. This letter presented in detail the convictions and concerns we held. I remain behind every word that we wrote in that letter. In the simplest form, the issues are surrounding repentance and church structure. I long for the day when the Holy Spirit’s conviction is what leads Mars Hill to repentance, rather than negative media coverage. I wait eagerly for the functional Trinity of Mars Hill Church to return to Father, Son, Holy Spirit from what seems to have become Father, Son, Holy Media.
I am a sinner. I am a horrible sinner. I am worse than any of you think I am. I, in no way, deserve God’s grace. I do not, therefore, share my concerns and convictions with Mars Hill to throw stones, but rather as a plea from one sinner to another, “to see our sin, to acknowledge our sin, to be transparent and to ask for forgiveness.”
Here is what I commit to do:
1. I will pray for the leaders of Mars Hill Church
2. I will pray for the people of Mars Hill Church
3. I will continue to repent of my sins and thank Jesus for His undeserved grace
4. I will continue to anxiously wait for Jesus to return and take us home
Many of you have asked me “what’s next?” My answer is very simple, I don’t know. Kate and I are praying and discussing and processing through some different possibilities right now. Please continue to pray for us and please continue to pray for Mars Hill Church.