Most of my usual readers probably don’t know who Mark Driscoll is, and Mark does not know who I am.
I’m a supporter of Mark, the former Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, a few years ago I stumbled across his sermons on my podcast player and I think that he was, and still is a good teacher, he doesn’t know it but he was saying things that I needed to hear, he said it in a way that got my attention, some people think he was harsh, I think he was real, he didn’t sugarcoat anything, he said it as it was.
I was part of the unchurched population when I found his podcast, a little while later I found his book “real marriage” on amazon, actually I believe it was placed where I would find it, not that my marriage was hurting but it wasn’t growing and this book gave me a new perspective on love and marriage.
Mark and his wife Grace covered every topic related to marriage and they weren’t afraid to get into the controversial topics
They talked about the things that most Christians wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole, not to mention pastors, their book helped me with my own insecurities as well as revealing things about themselves that people don’t usually admit.
Most “self help” books show you how to fix yourself without requiring the author to admit his/her own humanity, this one is different, we know right from the start that Mark and Grace are broken sinners like the rest of us.
At a time when I was struggling with some anger issues, Mark and Grace gave me something to relate to, to ponder, and ultimately Jesus reignited my faith through this book.
I started to put into action what I’d learned in their book, and I saw changes happening in my life.
Pastor Marks sermons gave me a new perspective and also a new desire to learn and read the Bible, he challenged his congregation to never stop reading and learning.
This may sound silly but listening to Mark three thousand miles away I considered myself a member of Mars Hill, even though I’d never been there.
I took that challenge to heart.
As a result I started listening to podcast/sermons by Andy Stanley, Skip Heitzig, J.D Greear as well as Mark Driscoll on my way to and from work, instead of the normally crude morning shows that I’d been listening to on the radio
Andy, Skip and J.D have all provided me with invaluable insight when it comes to biblical knowledge and how to read the Bible.
These guys are all really good at what they do and if I lived near their churches I would no doubt be attending, but Pastor Mark, was particularly influential to the reignition of my faith.
Around that time I opened my Bible at home, the one that had gone untouched for many years, I cleaned the dust off the front and dove in.
Mark has a passion for the gospel that was completely foreign to me, during his sermons he got so worked up that occasionally he started yelling or crying, and I thought that was awesome.
He wasn’t afraid of the hot button issues, he confronted them head on and he wasn’t afraid to say that certain things were wrong, he did not care if someone got offended by the truth but that doesn’t mean he didn’t care about that person.
When he started a series on the Ten Commandments, I was ecstatic, he went through one commandment every Sunday for ten weeks, I followed along with my Bible at home, if I didn’t know what he was referring to, I would look it up, I learned more during those ten weeks than I had in my thirty years of life so far.
Ultimately I think this zest is what got him in trouble, he always said that Jesus never got in trouble for the things he did, but for the things he said.
I don’t know what exactly happened that made so many people upset with him, and it’s really too bad, I miss him.
Late last year the controversy surrounded around Mark was swirling, things he said or did, how he treated the staff, all came under fire, I don’t know about any of it, as a dedicated listener of his I kept up on the news surrounding anything Driscoll related and I am shocked at what people say about him, even people that attended Mars Hill, like I said I’ve never met him, nor have I ever even been in Seattle but I feel for Mark because whether or not he did the things he’s accused of, you can’t deny that he brought many people to Jesus.
I’ve read the testimonies of people that were baptized at Mars Hill before all of this happened, those people have nothing but good things to say about him, and there is no doubt in my mind that their lives have been changed for the better.
What shocks me most is how fast parishioners can turn on their beloved pastor, one week he is the greatest guy they know, the next he’s the worst.
As Mars Hill was nearing the end, I was being transformed, I was back in church after being gone for about eight years, I found a church that is similar to Mars Hill, a church that is Christ-Centered, not afraid of the truth and is more focused on Jesus than on religion.
I am thankful for Pastor Mark, for at least a part of that.
He founded Mars Hill in his early twenties and he admitted that it grew very fast, very soon and before he knew it, he was the pastor of a Megachurch.
Everyone blames Mark for his shortcomings, and they are his shortcomings, but didn’t anyone ever reach out to him, I heard his cries for help through my car stereo, he always admitted to having issues with anger management, maybe someone did, I don’t know but I can’t help but think that more of his close freinds should have lovingly confronted him about it, the way he always preached.
Pastor Mark is a sinner, so are his accusers and so am I, I hope that Mark finds forgiveness from the people that he allegedly hurt, and I hope the hurt people will forgive him.
Pastor Mark helped me, he had a hand in bringing me back to Jesus.
Hopefully I will be able to download his sermons again soon, I miss his passion and his unrelenting quest for truth.
I don’t know if Pastor Mark will ever return to the pulpit, I hope he does, I will be waiting.
That’s how Mark Driscoll helped change my life.
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