'Corrective actions' at Mark Driscoll's church 'bearing fruit'
Charges against Mark Driscoll and other senior figures at Mars Hill Church are not serious enough to merit disqualification but have led to "corrective actions" that are "bearing fruit", a Board member has said.
The charges related to supposed mistreatment by Driscoll and Mars Hill leaders, and were made by former elder Dave Kraft among others.
Patheos columnist Warren Throckmorton published a statement from Kraft earlier this month explaining the reasons for his resignation from the church last year and specifically criticising Driscoll.
Kraft wrote: "On September 19, 2013, I resigned my membership and Eldership, because I have serious questions about the ministry and leadership philosophy/practices of the Executive Elders of MHC, no longer trust them and, therefore, cannot submit to their authority.
"Mark Driscoll's sin(s) (for many of us who know him and have worked with him) are about clear violations of I Timothy 3, Titus 1 and I Peter 5."
While he said he did not expect Driscoll to be "flawless", he nonetheless listed several objections to the pastor, accusing him among other things of being "domineering" and "verbally violent".
The Board of Advisors and Accountability in its letter to elders and leaders at Mars Hill on Wednesday elaborated that it had carried out a "thorough review" to substantiate the claims, according to The Christian Post.
Board chairman Michael Van Skaik said in the letter as part of the review, over a hundred letters were sent to former elders and staff at Mars Hill Church from the previous two years inviting them to feedback on their time as staff at the church and "particularly their interactions with Pastor Mark and the Executive Elders".
The Board concluded as a result of the review that the charges were "non-disqualifying", although Skaik added that some changes have been made.
"The Executive Elders were individually and corporately given corrective direction by the Board," he explained.
"Those corrective actions have been followed and have been bearing fruit over the last seven months. We have been very encouraged to see the Executive Elders learn, grow, and repent where needed."
Skaik went on to say that Mars Hill leaders were "hungry for reconciliation" and that a Board-approved reconciliation process was underway and being overseen by Dr Paul Tripp.
In addition to this process, individual Executive Elders are taking the initiative to "reach out to people with whom they may need to reconcile".
"Our prayer is that as a church we can learn from this experience as we continue to grow in love and grace," Skaik concluded.