“I like to be admired from afar, and then complimented up close.” ― Gena Showalter link
Post undated at 2:30 EST
Recently, there have been some pundits who say that blogs have no business in pointing out problems with certain pastors or churches. We should "let the leadership and the members" deal with it.
- So, when a pastor markets himself to the world via books, speeches and other resources, we should just shut up?
- When pastors use placement services to get their book to "Number 1" and then tell us to buy it, we should hush?
- When the group formerly known as Campus Crusade invites Driscoll to speak to a large university and Deb's daughter, instead of asking about the gospel, starts talking about anal sex after she attends the talk, we are supposed to zip the lip?
Nope- when churches and pastors export their nonsense, they have lost the right to "deal with it quietly" and we have the right to discuss, recommend or pan Driscoll and the stuff he, and you, wants us to buy.
Members of Mars Hill need to ask themselves some questions. Update4/3: I now see how this could be read and I wish I had said it differently. Here is what I wish I had said. Where were the enablers of Mark Driscoll during this time? How could leaders sit back and see person after person take hits? Where were these leaders when 1000 people walked out? What in the world were the leaders of seminaries, churches and conferences doing inviting this man ? Is it all really about who draws the people and the bucks?
- Why is it that two women who live clean across the country were amongst the ones to spot the problems with Driscoll and to call him on it almost 5 years ago? Where were you-Christian leaders?
- Who were the Mars Hill leaders that allowed this craziness to continue-not only allow it but spent church money to promote it?
- Why after years of controversy after controversy, did you not act? The 2006 book Confessions of Reformission Rev was a harbinger of things come at Mars Hill and you apparently ignored the clues. Why? Did you think he was cool because he talked about cage fighting and got people with tattoos to come to church?
When we learned about the events surrounding the firing of Bent Meyer and Paul Petry, we knew that there were serious problems with Mark Driscoll. The arrogance of Driscoll i
s evident in this video as he discusses attitude towards elders who disagree with him. Mars Hill enablers: where were you? Perhaps laughing along with everyone else in the video? Yeah-it was really funny…Then you give this guy $200,000 to promote himself. What is wrong with this picture?
Well, the inevitable revolt has occurred and Mark "I See Things" Driscoll didn't see it coming, maybe because it had nothing to do with sex. If this mess is not handled properly, there will be continuing conflict at Mars Hill and it will get worse. It is time for decent men and women to step up to the plate and deal with it.
Two years ago, Bent Meyer told his story at TWW. Paul Petry told his story shortly thereafter. These are two wonderful men who were godly assets to Mars Hill. Their firings stand as living testimonies to the lack of real gospel leadership at Mars Hill.
Oh yeah, while I am at it, Mars Hill has lots and lots of videos and audios. Can anyone in Mars Hill share with the world the video of the man with the machete rushing Mark Driscoll in the pulpit? We have been asking about this for years and Driscoll has discussed this incident on a number of occasions…
Today, Bent Meyer addresses what to do if you are asked to meet with Mark Driscoll for reconciliation. Bent is an expert counselor and has training and experience in working with situations that involve conflict resolution. However, in this post he is speaking as a private citizen, not in his role as counselor. Listen to him very carefully. In our opinion he is a wise man as well as being far nicer than this adorable blogger.
I learned an important lesson when I went to business school. There are explicit rules of the game and implicit rules of the game. The explicit rules of the game are those which are stated up front, usually in writing. The implicit rules are not expressed; they are insinuated. Unfortunately, these implicit rules can dominate the tone and direction of the conversation and seriously affect the outcome of your meeting…
At the end of this post is an article I think might be helpful in understanding what we, and other congregations, have experienced from Narcissistic pastors. Narcissistic pastors sometimes align themselves with other Narcissists. The post provides some useful information on how to confront the issue. It also exposes the part we (past pastors) contributed to the harm perpetrated on others. We did this personally. Also, we failed by not did confining Mark Driscoll to strict accountability.
My network is small. Joanne and I have felt like we had vanished from the lives of so many; especially from those in whom we had invested so much of our time and friendship. It appears from some sources that Mark and others have been telling people that all was well between the two of us. This implies that I have no objections to what has happened or what has emerged since. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
My concern is that Mark is likely meeting with various people secretly. This would give him cover along with the appearance of repentance and no proof of content discussed. Thus, the encounter will devolve into dismissing the account of those that have been harmed. Remember, he has the only access to the microphone.
I would strongly recommend to anyone that will be drawn into talking with Mark, face to face, to bring a witness or witness to the meeting. Never be alone! Be clear what your repentance expectations look like. Be prepared to give Mark a clear list of repentance expectations.
Here are some ideas:
- There are personal awareness expectations. He needs to be able to describe, in detail, his conflicted internal world. This will likely take years of help from a professional therapist. Remember, even though this will be wrenching for him and for those who put him on a pedestal, in the end, if real change occurs, it will be life giving, not only to him but for those that could be influenced by him many years from now.
- There needs to be attitude changes in how he relates to all of the people he encounters, particularly women. He marginalizes many of those with whom he relates. He needs to show mutual respect within every venue: private, public and in his own mind.
- There is expected behavior. He must resign from all positions that provide him with power and control. Because he employs power and control to shame others and his future, he must not be allowed to avail himself of it.
- Make the following perfectly clear. He must remove himself from all public and leadership influence immediately. Others must deal with an orderly succession process.
- He must be accountable to local men and women not chosen by him.
Then write a contemporaneous account of the meeting immediately after the meeting and send a copy to Mark and your witness/s. Give them the opportunity to correct the content. Tell him upfront that you will be doing this. State, " A no reply will be understood as validating the content of the transcript and will be made available for others to read."
The following link is to the well articulated article that I referred to above: Responding to the Narcissistic Personality Disordered Pastor.
I am writing this as a private citizen, not as a professional therapist. Thus, what I have written is opinion only.
Back to Dee
For our readers, I have included some quotes from the above linked post.
Why do NPD pastors seem to operate with impunity for so long? First, it’s because most people, congregations, and denominations do not know about or understand the dynamics of NPD. Secondly, the Church is a place of ongoing attitudes and practices of graciousness, kindness, and forgiveness. The only problem is, these do not ever really help or heal the person with NPD; they only serve to hide and protect them.
A central characteristic of NPD is the consistent craving the individual has for others to react to them.
It therefore becomes important not to react to the NPD, but it is also very important not to ignore them, as this will usually result in their rage.
In church settings, the majority of NPD pastors are covert in their displays of narcissism. This covertness often leads to a pattern of secrets: secret meetings, secret interactions, secret dirt digging, and secret decisions. All this secrecy comes about because the covert NPD is always working to preserve the honorable, perfect pastor image while continuing to engage in what is essentially sick and sinful behaviors.
Resisting the urge to simply take an NPD for their word is fundamental to avoiding being deceived by their pathological confabulations, exaggerations, half-truths, and red herrings.
Once identified, the NPD pastor will require a strong and decisive lay leadership that responds in a timely manner in order to contain and halt the damage.
An expected development is the attempt of the NPD pastor to shape committees and councils into passive bodies that engage in ‘group think’.
…informed, positive, and assertive response by lay leadership and denominational leadership is imperative if the great damage of NPD pastors is to be contained and healed.
If you get a chance, Google "Narcissistic Pastors." You will have weeks of reading ahead of you.
You might find these links helpful in keeping up with developments at Mars Hill. The stories and confessions are amazing.
Also, TWW want to take this opportunity to applaud the work of both Dr. Warren Throckmorton who blogs at Patheos and Dr. James Duncan who blogs at Pajama Pages. They have been a most welcome addition in observing the "goings on" at Mars Hill and other mega-churches. Cue applause.
Lydia's Corner: Lamentations 3:1-66 Hebrews 1:1-14 Psalm 102:1-28 Proverbs 26:21-22