Good news for besieged Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll may have arrived in the form of current Franklin Graham and former Mitt Romney adviser Mark Demoss who will advise the vast congregation during the preacher's leave of absence, according to the Religious News Service today, Monday, Aug. 26. DeMoss attended the Sunday services yesterday in Seattle after flying in from his Atlanta base.
Although Driscoll has been attacked by 21 former leaders of Mars Hill and the Acts 29 network in recent weeks, DeMoss sounded very upbeat in discussing the famed New Calvinist preacher. He said he attended Sunday's service on his own dime as a friend of the high profile pastor.
"I think he's a great biblical communicator who has done effective church work in an unchurched part of the country. I like him, I believe in him, and if I only worked with ministry leaders who were faultless I would be out of business tonight," Demoss said.
Renowned preacher John Piper also tweeted his support for Driscoll as follows: "I hope Mark Driscoll feels a tidal wave of hope-filled prayer for a new day and a new man in this season."
Under Driscoll's dynamic though controversial leadership, Mars Hill Church has risen from a handful of members to 14,000 members at 15 locations across five states. Piper has mentioned that he's seen people attracted to Driscoll's church that probably would never enter the doors of many other churches.
However, Driscoll's position was seriously challenged within the past week with the allegations made by 21 former Mars Hill pastors that focused mainly on the issue of "spiritual bullying." The charges filed in the ecclesiastical court claim Driscoll "has engaged in a pattern of abusive and intimidating conduct."
He sounded humble as he offered his church followers a list of eight steps he intends to take. He admitted some of the charges were his fault. Driscoll said in regard to several of the charges that ".....I will own it, confess it, and move on from it as God continues to redeem me."
He further said Sunday, "I have requested a break for processing, healing, and growth for a minimum of six weeks while (Mars Hill leaders) conduct a thorough examination of accusations against me. I believe that review can best be performed without me being in the pulpit or in the office."
Jack Graham tweeted, "Pray for Pastor Mark Driscoll and wife Grace and their precious children in this season of trial. And the fine people at Mars Hill Church."
Demoss previously advised the late Jerry Falwell, Sr., in addition to Romney and Graham. He offers advice to many faith-based organizations. His website asks the rhetorical question, "What is public relations?" The answer is "Everything." The website further says, "We believe our thinking has helped us become the nation's largest PR agency serving faith-based organizations and causes since 1991."
The website also says, "Every day we make decisions about schools, churches, careers and where to donate money......"
Can Demoss help put the pieces back together again at Mars Hill and help Driscoll navigate the turbulent waters of an ecclesiastical trial? If any human can do it, Demoss certainly has the resume. For his part, Driscoll says his ultimate source of strength is Jesus Christ.
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