Ok, I have posted enough on Driscoll, so I’m backing off. Except for one last reflection. (To be fair, I have not posted so much about Driscoll as I have about those who enabled him).
What Driscoll knows is that once this mediation thing gets out of hand, he is done. He is not a fool. He knows that there are more than one way to dominate a man. All the promises to restore him to ministry will end up in not restoring him to ministry. That’s the way this thing works. The promises of kindness and understanding will simply evaporate once the pile on begins. I am not saying what should or should not happen. I am predicting what will happen.
Driscoll’s attempt to restrict the accountability to what is laid out in his church constitution simply expresses his awareness that once the “outsiders” get inside, his goose is cooked. They want him out. He knows it. Mars Hill is not so certain this is what they want. Their process is being judged by the outsiders as too incestuous and giving Driscoll too much control. Actually, that’s why they approved the constitution the way it is. It’s too easy to knock off an entrepreneurial pastor who often will end up going against the popular wisdom of the congregation.
Take a look at Saddleback’s leadership arrangement. The reality is that leadership at Saddleback is on lock down. Pastor Warren hasn’t warranted any accusations of abusive domination. In that sense there is nothing to see. But in putting pieces together, Saddleback fits into the leader dominated governmental structure where the people of the church can’t “get at” the Pastor.
Hybels at Willowcreek has done an incredible job of plurality, from what I can see. His Board is operative and filled with substantial people. Hybels has freely shared some lessons he has learned in this area, and with a healthy dose of self mistrust has put in place structures of shared oversight.
Watching mega churches go through these kinds of crises is not a happy experience. Whey they crash, it’s nuclear. Can we say Crystal Cathedral? This is the downside of mega churches with mega stars. Staying under the radar so that things are not exacerbated by the press and the pundits is an almost impossible feat to accomplish. I would say that what the Ft Lauderdale Calvary Chapel is doing with the Pastor Coy situation seems to be a healthy way of keeping noses from sniffing rumors. Coy has simply vanished and the church has closed down communication. Of course, this is a much different situation than Mars Hill, where the dissatisfaction is in the pews. Not so with Coy. But it still could have been turned into a rumor mill and a false step could have brought about a crisis larger than the one they had.