Former Mars Hill Pastors Requesting Mediation
Several former pastors from Mars Hill Church are requesting mediation which they believe will help with reconciliation and repentance. Their request was targeted at the executive elders and Board of Advisers and Accountability of the Seattle mega-church.
The dispute began when Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll was accused of plagiarism and unethical marketing practices regarding his book, “Real Marriage.” Driscoll admitted to hiring a firm called RealSource Inc., which had Mars Hill disguise the purchase of enough copies of the book to establish it as a New York Times bestseller.
Driscoll has received a great deal of criticism during his leadership. He recently pledged to reset his life and expressed regret over the book scam. He claimed he would never use the strategy again and would refrain from social media activity and travel for the remainder of 2014. Says Driscoll in a letter he recently drafted, “I don’t see how I can be both a celebrity and a pastor, and so I am happy to give up the former so I can focus on the latter.”
Recent accusations have also arisen that several minutes of a controversial sermon given by Driscoll at a May 4 service were edited from video recordings.
One of the 20 pastors requesting the mediation is Dave Kraft, former pastor of leadership development at the church. Kraft has asked that Driscoll publicly acknowledge that the charges levied against him are true and that he will take a sabbatical to resolve the issues, if necessary. He also requested that Driscoll give a public apology, admit that he sinned, and make himself accountable in the future.
The former pastors are hoping mediation can facilitate communication and bring peace to the situation. The requests of the pastors will likely be addressed during the mediation proceedings.