On Wednesday, Mars Hill Church let the world know that Mark Driscoll submitted a letter of resignation the day before. According to Driscoll, he stepped down because he was being divisive. Specifically, he said:
Other issues, such as aspects of my personality and leadership style, have proven to be divisive within the Mars Hill context, and I do not want to be the source of anything that might detract from our church’s mission to lead people to a personal and growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
That is why, after seeking the face and will of God, and seeking godly counsel from men and women across the country, we have concluded it would be best for the health of our family, and for the Mars Hill family, that we step aside from further ministry at the church we helped launch in 1996.
Driscoll also implied that controversies have taken a toll.
Recent months have proven unhealthy for our family—even physically unsafe at times—and we believe the time has now come for the elders to choose new pastoral leadership for Mars Hill.
For their part, the Board of Advisors and Accountability said Driscoll had not disqualified himself but was at times arrogant and domineering. About his resignation, they concluded:
Finally, Mark Driscoll was not asked to resign; indeed, we were surprised to receive his resignation letter.
There may be more to this story.
After the letters from Driscoll and the BoAA, Driscoll’s sister Melanie Thompson commented on her public Facebook page (under the name Erma Gauthier). Her narrative adds a new wrinkle. According to Thompson, “they” (I presume the BoAA) would not let Driscoll preach. Yesterday, she posted Driscoll’s resignation letter and followed it with comments about the BoAA (image of the thread).
Erma Gauthier They would not let him preach
Reading between the lines, it sounds like Driscoll’s sister is suggesting that the BoAA was not going to allow Driscoll to preach. She could have been referring to the Board of Elders report, but the simplest explanation is a decision by the BoAA. More about the BoE later. In any case, Thompson is not impressed with the work of those who decided what to do about Driscoll. To reinforce her opinion, she points out that the church has the Ballard campus for sale which to her implies that the leadership would keep Driscoll from preaching again.
Erma Gauthier If they were going to let him come back …ever…then why would they sell mars hill Ballard behind his back.
Erma Gauthier Yeah. The people would have to bring him back. The Pastors have blocked him without disqualification.
Erma Gauthier I want Ballard back. We are the body. We want our church and pastor