While Mars Hill Church shepherds fleeced their flocks by night….

 

shepherds

A blessed Christmas to all!

Two thousand years ago, shepherds were tending to their sheep on a winter’s night. Today the world celebrates that night – the night when the God of glory descended to earth as a baby. What a glorious night it was!

Some two thousand years later, the shepherds of Mars Hill Church appear to have been fleecing their flocks by night.

Over the years members and donors of Mars Hill Church have put tens of thousands of dollars into a lot of valuable assets. Some of the money bought tangible assets, like buildings. The rest of the money was largely put into the development of intangible assets like websites, branding, sermon videos and related paraphernalia, and related ministries like Resurgence, re-Train, re-Lit, etc.

All in all, the total value is substantial. It is valuable to own, and valuable to sell.

Let us take just one example.  Resurgence and everything related to it is in and of itself an asset. It has some 60,000 subscribers, all of whom could be potential customers for the products and message of Resurgence. It owns a twitter account with over 90,000 followers and a FaceBook page with 77,000 likes. It also owns about 80 website names, multiple trademarks, and a lot of content.

All paid for by Mars Hill Church donors.

So to whom do all the assets relating to Resurgence belong? While the Mars Hill shepherds have been tending their sheep, it seems they may have quietly stood by while the BOAA and the Executive Elders appears to have fleeced their sheep. Mars Hill Church was a church that existed largely because of its robust internet and technology based infra-structure.

So who owns that infra-structure?

Someone from Texas is selling Resurgence and all its parts. It has an asking price of $100,000. Was giving that intangible asset a part of a severance settlement? Or was there self-dealing during the time period that the Executive Elders had no one holding them to account?

Did the massive volume of all the intangible assets that Mars Hill Church members paid for with their tithes all get negotiated away?

Who owns the donor list of donors that gave to the Global Fund? That list alone may be worth millions. That property was paid for by the members and donors of Mars Hill Church.

Dave Bruskas, your sheep, the Mars Hill Church members, ex-members, and donors need and want transparency.

Finally – an ounce of transparency from within Mars Hill Church.

emperors_new_clothes

Today a letter from Sutton Turner to the fellow executive elders Mark Driscoll and Dave Bruskas was posted by Warren Throckmorton (link).

It is stunning. It will momentarily give you some respect and sympathy for the newly-hired-at-the-time Sutton Turner.

There is much to process as a former Mars Hill member reading of the extravagance of eating at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and treating wives to the spa using church funds.  But there are two things that stand out.

  1. The extravagant spenders Sutton was concerned about were not Mark Driscoll or the executive elders. The culture of using the church to further their own personal benefit that was pointed out was at the level of the rank and file elders. These are the same men that are calling for the disqualification of Mark Driscoll.
  2. Sutton claims that there was a “culture of using the platform created by Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church to build a staff member’s own personal ministry”. He seems to gloss over the many times he repeated the Real Marriage Campaign which clearly used church funds to build Mark Driscoll’s personal ministry (and fortune). It is clear that to Turner the ministry of Mars Hill Church and the personal ministry (and the personal inurement that resulted) were one and the same. It reminds me of the reports where Mark Driscoll said to his elders, “I am the brand” (link).

Bear in mind that the elders who have charged Mark Driscoll with various sins and are calling for his head were elders who were employed by Mars Hill Church in 2011 and 2012, and who were using church monies to eat and live lavishly. It is no wonder then, that so very few of these elders have added their names to the repentantpastor.com site.

It would seem that now that this letter is out, we should see many of the elders step up to the plate and show repentance for their misuse of church funds and the neglect of other pastoral duties, including the support of the firing of Paul Petry and Bent Meyer, the shunning of the Petry family (which is still in force) and the changing of the bylaws that created this culture of runaway unaccountability.