Mark Driscoll Announces He Will Take Break as Lead Pastor of Mars Hill

by Christian Examiner |

((Photo: Mars Hill Church/File))Pastor Mark Driscoll speaks in this 2012 file photo.

Pastor Mark Driscoll has said that he will take a break for at least six weeks as the lead pastor of Mars Hill Church. His actions come as accusations against his behavior being "divisive" are examined.

Driscoll and Mars Hill Church were recently dropped from the membership of the church planting Acts 29 Network after complaints arose about Driscoll's behavior.

Addressing his church congregation, Driscoll said, "I have requested a break for processing, healing, and growth for a minimum of six weeks while the leadership assigned by our bylaws conduct a thorough examination of accusations against me."

He added, "I believe their review can best be performed without me being in the pulpit or the office, and they have agreed to this arrangement."

Acts 29 was in fact founded by Driscoll more than a decade ago, but despite that fact, the network announced earlier this month that it was stripping the pastor and his church from their membership to the network.

Over recent months he has faced charges of plagiarism, and using church funds to promote his book. Others have even accused him of performing his duties with ungodly leadership.

Revealing his break, Driscoll told Mars Hill, "I invite this process, rather than debating accusations and issues in social media or the court of public opinion. A report on this process will be presented when it has been completed."

Over the coming weeks he explained that he would look "to seek the Lord about His plans for me and for this and the next season of life for Mars Hill … I will not be doing any outside speaking for the foreseeable future."

He also explained that his upcoming book would be postponed for the time being.

"I have begun meeting with a professional team of mature Christians who provide wise counsel to help further my personal development and maturity before God and men," the pastor added. "I have never taken an extended focused break like this in my 18 years as your pastor, and it is not a vacation but rather a time to focus on deep work in my soul in the areas of processing, healing, and growing."

"I'm very sorry. I'm sorry for the times I have been angry, short, or insensitive. I'm sorry for anything I've done to distract from our mission by inviting criticism, controversy or negative media attention."

"While I'm still young, I suspect when I'm old I'll be known for many things—some good, and some not so good. But I hope that the longer God leaves me on this earth, the more I'll be known for one thing—that I loved Jesus and His Church, the Church He promised the gates of Hell would not prevail against."