Pastor Mark Driscoll kicked out of Acts 29

Seattle megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll has been removed from the church-planting network of 500 churches that he helped found after other members noticed a pattern of “ungodly and disqualifying behavior.” Driscoll has been an influential, yet edgy, pastor within evangelical circles for several years. His Mars Hill Church attracts 14,000 people at 15 locations across five states every week.

At the same token, Driscoll has been controversial. The New York Times Magazine called him “one of the most admired — and reviled — figures among evangelicals nationwide.” He has faced many allegations over the years as well.

“It is our conviction that the nature of the accusations against Mark, most of which have been confirmed by him, make it untenable and unhelpful to keep Mark and Mars Hill in our network,” the Act 29 board wrote in a letter. “In taking this action, our prayer is that it will encourage the leadership of Mars Hill to respond in a distinctive and godly manner so that the name of Christ will not continue to be dishonored,” the website said after removing Mark Driscoll.

In a longer letter given by noted blogger Warren Throckmorton, the Acts 29 board asked Driscoll to “step down from ministry for an extended time and seek help.”

“Over the past three years, our board and network have been the recipients of countless shots and dozens of fires directly linked to you and what we consider ungodly and disqualifying behavior,” the board wrote. “We have both publicly and internally tried to support and give you the benefit of the doubt, even when multiple pastors in our network confirmed this behavior.”

The Acts 29 letter suggested that it could not lean on Driscoll’s church board for discipline.

“In response, we leaned on the Mars Hill Board of Advisors & Accountability to take the lead in dealing with this matter,” the letter states. “But we no longer believe the BoAA is able to execute the plan of reconciliation originally laid out. Ample time has been given for repentance, change, and restitution, with none forthcoming. We now have to take another course of action.”

As Throckmorton reported on his blog post, this action comes after leaders Paul Tripp and James MacDonald resigned as members of the Mars Hill governing board and other ex-members staged a protest.

Driscoll stepped down as president of Acts 29 in March of 201. Matt Chandler is his successor and since moved the headquarters to Dallas, where Chandler is a pastor. The network plants churches around the country and the rest of the world.