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.
It has been seven years.
Today is the anniversary of the trial of Paul Petry. The decay that we see today began when the men and women of Mars Hill Church failed to do the right thing.
I am calling 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 been waiting for the BOAA to do the right thing NOT to leave in disgust, but to stay to rebuild the walls of the broken church.
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.
If is all about Jesus, we need to show up on Sunday.
If it all about Jesus, we need to cry to the Lord to lift up our hurting brothers and sisters reeling from the tragic events of the last several months.
If it all about Jesus, we need to be like Nehemiah. He left the comforts of his home and position, and returned to the mess of broken Jerusalem, and with brave men and women he worked to rebuild the city.
If you have ever loved Mars Hill Church, as I have, I would urge that you join me to support a hurting church.
I urge every elder that was fired or who has resigned to show up on Sunday. I urge every member that left wounded, or left in disgust, or just left out of sheer weariness, to set aside your deep wounds and hurting heart, and reach out to those who may even still despise you.
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.
Mars Hill Church needs you. Mars Hill Church needs me.
This Sunday we can be like the Pharisees and avoid tending to the wounded man who had been beaten on the road to Jericho. Or we can see the wounded and beaten Mars Hill members and leaders and roll up our sleeves and tend to their wounds, risking the blood and gore of their torn bodies, and bind their wounds with care.
I will be attending Mars Hill Church on Sunday.
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.
And remember, the good Samaritan paid the innkeeper to tend to the wounded man, and left extra money in case more was needed. So on Sunday, I will bring my checkbook with me.
Seven years ago the Seattle Times headline was “Firing of pastors roils Mars Hill Church”, yesterday it was “Mars Hill Church reeling as Pastor Mark Driscoll quits”
It is my hope and prayer that the next headline will be “Mars Hill Church rises as its walls are rebuilt.”