Last week, the Acts 29 Network officially disassociated itself with its co-founder Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church. Now, Mars Hill's board is speaking out about a letter it received from Matt Chandler, the president of Acts 29, notifying the church board of its decision.
Michael Van Skaik, Chairman, Board of Advisors and Accountability, and board member Larry Osborne, published a letter it shared with the church elders.
The text of the letter suggests no one from the Acts 29 church-planting network contacted Mars Hill before going public and that the board is "deeply saddened" about the "divisive" conclusion to disassociate from Driscoll without a conversation. Here is the text of the letter:
I told the lead pastors at the recent annual retreat that we are making real progress in addressing the serious reconciliation and unhealthy culture issues that have been a part of Mars Hill Church for way too long. And we are. I also told them that more opposition would undoubtedly be coming, and it has. Friendly fire always hurts the most.
I have never in my life spoken with Matt Chandler or any of the A29 board members for that matter (except Darrin Patrick, once about 4 years ago as part of Pastor Mark's employment-review process which he used to be a part of). In addition, no one from Acts 29 contacted Larry Osborne of our board prior to this decision. And perhaps most significantly, Pastor Mark was not personally contacted by the A29 board prior to receiving this announcement.
So I am not quite sure what Matt means by "leaning on the board to take the lead in dealing with this matter."
Be assured of this, the formal charges that were filed were serious, were taken seriously, and were not dismissed by the board lightly. There is clear evidence that the attitudes and behaviors attributed to Mark in the charges are not a part and have not been a part of Mark's life for some time now.
Our board's decision is final regarding these charges, although will no doubt continue to be played out in the courts of public opinion. Again, I am deeply saddened that the A29 board would make such a decisive and divisive conclusion without speaking directly to the board or Mark prior to their public announcement.
My counsel to you is to not become bitter or angry. Continue to pray for all involved. Continue to love and lead the people God has brought to your churches. They need a pastor right now, and God has given them you!