Megachurch Leader Mark Driscoll Resigns From Mars Hill Church

Driscoll ssSEATTLE — Controversial Seattle megachurch founder Mark Driscoll has resigned from Mars Hill Church, stating that he does not wish to continue to be a distraction to the ministry although a six-week review of charges lodged by others within the church cleared him of moral wrongdoing.

Driscoll submitted a letter to Michael Van Skiak, the chairman of the Board of Advisors and Accountability over Mars Hill Church, on Tuesday.

“By God’s grace I have pastored Mars Hill Church for 18 years. Today, also by God’s grace, and with the full support of my wife Grace, I resign my position as a pastor and elder of Mars Hill,” he wrote. “I do so with profound sadness, but also with complete peace.”

Driscoll thanked the board for concluding that he “had not disqualified [him]self from ministry” following an official review of his leadership, while also acknowledging aspects of his personality that he has needed to repent of through the years.

“There are many things I have confessed and repented of, privately and publicly, as you are well aware. Specifically, I have confessed to past pride, anger and a domineering spirit,” he explained. “As I shared with our church in August, ‘God has broken me many times in recent years by showing me where I have fallen short, and while my journey, at age 43, is far from over, I believe He has brought me a long way from some days I am not very proud of, and is making me more like Him every day.'”

But Driscoll said that while he was innocent of any moral failures or heresy, he did not wish to be a source of contention and thus take away from the church’s focus on evangelism and discipleship.

“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,” he wrote.

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The author and speaker requested prayers for the days ahead, and wished his best the for the future of Mars Hill.

“[I]t would be my hope to convey to the wonderful members of the Mars Hill family how deeply my family and I love them, thank them, and point them to their Senior Pastor Jesus Christ who has always been only good to us,” he concluded.

As previously reported, Driscoll temporarily stepped down from his leadership position at Mars Hill in August during a six-week review of charges lodged by 21 former pastors who accused him of abusing his power. He expressed his regret for his actions at that time.

“God is not honored by conflict, strife, disunity, arguing, slander, gossip, or anything else that is inconsistent with the fruit of the spirit, and I am deeply sorry, genuinely sorry, for the times I have not lived peaceably with all men,” Driscoll said.

The church-planting network Acts 29 also had asked him to step down and “seek help.” LifeWay Christian Resources then pulled Driscoll’s books from their shelves.

“I want to say to my Mars Hill family, past and present, I’m very sorry. I genuinely mean it,” he told the congregation on Aug. 24 through a pre-recorded message. “I’m very sorry for the times I’ve been angry, short or insensitive. I’m very sorry for anything I’ve done to distract from our mission by inviting criticism, controversy or negative media attention.”

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  • Zach

    Still has had a great impact for the Gospel. We all mess up, he messed up, but there is complete redemption through Jesus’ blood. I pray Pastor Mark is able to pursue future ministry with a humble heart and continues to be a light for God’s kingdom.

  • jmichael39

    I think he’s taking the right path here. I am sure he’ll find another opportunity to minister and hope he finds the support he needs to overcome the issues he spoke of in his own life.

  • christeen

    Go with God speed…’re forgiven

  • CyberServant

    He was a “Professing” Christian. Obviously Mr. Driscoll never experienced the new birth and therefore, he should never have been in the Pulpit in the first place. Humbly submitted.

    • Jeff Zahorsky

      Humbly submitted? Is there a good reason in the vicinity, perhaps any wisdom from the Holy Spirit, as to why you’d slam a gavel on this servant of Christ, God’s son & child … with such a dangerous comment? We read: “Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” —Romans 14:4

    • Kevin

      That’s a pretty bold statement, CyberServant. But, that is a benefit of cyber anonymity; freedom to make statements without concern of being held accountable for accuracy or truthfulness. In this case, your username is appropriate. 🙁

  • Michelle Domingo

    May God be with you always.

  • Nora Shaw

    He’s made the right choice, none of us are immune to failures. You shall know them by their fruits, Mark is displaying fruits of repentance by resigning from this position. The rest is between him and God. Praying for you Mark and Mars Hill Church:)
    Let us all fix our eyes on Jesus. The author and finisher of our faith.

  • Sonny B.

    Please my friend free yourself from the dirty lies of Calvinism.Super Heresy !

  • OldArkie

    I wonder if he felt that even more trouble was coming to Mars Hill because of their Global Fund troubles & lies & that if he resigned right now it would free him from any responsibility & that those left in charge would be the responsible parties? Plus with him resigning he gets, so they say, over $500,000.00 over the next 12 months.

  • Melody Rainer Tregear

    Rom 8:28
    And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

  • Amazing

    nothing new here… person builds the ministry then the dork ups take over and run the founder out while enjoying the fruits of his labor and efforts. more like a hostile takeover in this situation.