I can’t say that I was surprised, but I was saddened to learn of Mark Driscoll’s resignation as the lead pastor of Mars Hill Church based out of Seattle. Driscoll’s uncompromising views and often provocative presentation of those beliefs has earned him many “enemies” over the years. But before lining up to take shots at a guy who’s down, I would encourage you to wait.
Mark Driscoll is a man who loves the Lord, but he is just a man (obviously). As a pastor, I know in some measure the pressures Driscoll faced day-to-day. It’s not easy being a pastor, carrying the weight of the responsibility to faithfully teach what God’s Word says, to the best of your knowledge and ability, hurting with and for your people when they suffer loss, even getting angry when a church member returns to sin. The spiritual powers of darkness often target pastors and their families – if you can bring down a pastor, you’ll create havoc in the church. I’m not whining – God calls, we answer, he equips. I’m simply saying I can relate in part to the challenges Driscoll faced in ministry, and those must be greatly compounded as his church grew to enormous size and he became a “celebrity pastor.”
So, the pressure builds and Driscoll isn’t perfect. Neither am I. Neither are you. Before we throw stones, let’s remember Paul’s words to the Corinthians.
On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. (1 Corinthians 12:22-26, NIV)
It must be incredibly difficult to be a celebrity pastor. Will you join me and say a prayer for Mark Driscoll and his family?