A former elder of Mars Hill has urged those who have left or been removed from the church to return and help "rebuild the crumbling walls".
In his blog, Musings from under the bus, Rob Smith calls on "the thousands of Mars Hill members who left bleeding and hurting to set aside your pain and rise up to rebuild the crumbling walls of Mars Hill Church."
"I am calling on current members who have be waiting for the BOAA [Mars Hill's Board of Advisors and Accountability] to do the right thing NOT to leave in dugust [sic], but to stay to rebuild the walls of the broken church," he continues.
"I am calling to every man and woman who has heart for the hurting, to pray and support the changes needed to see Mars Hill Church rise up and demonstrate the true power of being all about Jesus."
The right response to lead pastor Mark Driscoll's resignation, Smith contends, is to offer love to those who have been left hurting by the controversy that has besieged Mars Hill in recent months.
Nehemiah "returned to the broken mess of Jerusalem" and helped rebuild the city, he notes.
"I beg you to leave the comforts of your new church and rush back into the ruins. People are hurting. Even people who may despise you are hurting...Set aside your pain, your anger, your theological differences, and your comfort."
Written on Friday, the blog post also encouraged former Mars Hill members to return to the church, not to gloat, but to "roll up our sleeves and tend to their wounds".
"It is my prayer that I am not the only bruised and wounded soldier limping back to be an encouragement to a church filled with stunned and hurting members," he says.
"Jesus left the ninety nine sheep to seek and find the lost sheep. I believe that in the aftermath of the news of the departure of Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church, and in the light of the crippling condition of the church he has walked away from, that Jesus would encourage true shepherds and caring people to leave the one and return to tend to the ninety nine sheep that are scattered and bleeding in the fold.
"It is time to rebuild the crumbling walls."
Driscoll resigned from ministry last week, confessing to "pride, anger and a domineerin spirit". His surprise announcement followed a six-week break during which 20 misconduct charges brought by former elders of Mars Hill were investigated.