The tales of two leaders: both dealing with scandals.
Both Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA and Josh Harris of Covenant Life Church is Gaithersburg, MD have dealt with both local and national scandals.
In sermons and communications to their churches, we have witnessed two totally contrasting responses from the senior pastor of each church. One is willing to step down and be an interim janitor, the other wants to step up from being an angry young prophet and become a Bible teaching spiritual father.
Here is a summary of how each pastor responded.
Taking responsibility for the scandal:
“I will take full responsibility.” (2:54 in sermon noted above)
“Mistakes were made…”
“Even Jesus makes mistakes (3:13 of clip) but did not sin”. Driscoll projects himself into the sermon… the listener is led to believe that Driscoll is trying to love the widows, and all the critics can see is mistakes. (0;40 in the clip), but as in the case of Jesus, there was no sin.
Questions from the members:
The scandal has “Stirred many understandable questions.” (2:20 in sermon)
“No matter how painful it is, we want everything to be known and addressed. We will put it all on the table”. (4:15 in the sermon)
“Many members are guilty of the sin of questioning….”
“Shut up and do what you are told”,
“Members are sinning through questioning”
“Questions come with prideful hearts, therefore cannot be heard.”
“There is nothing that we want more to do right now than to open up our actions up to scrutiny.” (4:42 in sermon)
“This is the Elders official statement regarding the matter and we do not intend to engage in further discussion because that would lead to gossip.” Jamie Munson on behalf of the elders (including Driscoll)
Posture after scandal broke:
“And what I want you to hear (broken voice) is that I am ready to do whatever is best for the church. (6:20 in sermon)
“I asked the.. board of elders that I be placed on administrative leave until this issue can be fullt addressed. (6:40 in sermon)
“I am willing to do whatsoever is necessary to remove any obstacle, including stepping down, because God’s glory is more important that any person, or my position” (8:30 in sermon)
“.. whether the elders ask me to step aside, or keep serving, or becoming an interim janitor” (10:17 in sermon)
“.. my angry-young-prophet days are over, to be replaced by a helpful, Bible-teaching spiritual father.” http://www.vaux.net/angry-young-prophet-becomes-father-figure-driscoll-and-tragedy-of-prodigal-son/
I could go on.
Please. Give me the interim janitor over the Bible-teaching spiritual father.