Friday, October 17, 2014

A Jacob Moment

'Correct him, but not as a foe, nor as an adversary exacting a penalty, but as a physician providing medicines'


'Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy'

General Norman Schwartzkopf,1991

I was chatting with a friend today and he reminded me of a comment a mutual pal had shared a few years ago about Mark Driscoll.

Our pal said this:

'He's not yet had his Jacob moment'

He then went on to suggest that he would be a much better writer, preacher, pastor, husband, manager, father and friend once he'd had it. Observing his so obviously deeply flawed character, he suggested that it was only a matter of time.

And so arrives the Jacob moment.

A Jacob moment is the kairos event that humbles you. The event that levels your confidence, your pride and your reputation and sets God in his rightful place. It leaves you a deposit of pain in your hip and forever more you will walk with a limp.

The internet is awash with reflections and I too am quietly reflective.

The ministry of Mars Hills been a blessing and encouragement to me in more ways than words can express. It was never a perfect one and was led by a seemingly very imperfect chap and my experience of it, as for many others, was from afar. I discovered them via their church planting and The Resurgence and A29 networks were the source of much wisdom, books, talks and collected learning as I planned for our venture here. Driscoll's passion for Jesus, his fire to see churches planted, his supreme giftedness in many areas, his longing to see the lost reached (particularly men) and a desire to see marriages strengthened impacted tens of thousands of people across the world. Both the church and A29 planting network he started will now outlive his tenure as founding pastor.

I have no doubt the fall out will be, and has been, devastating for those in his church and those connected and associated personally with and to this ministry and its tribe. Unaddressed and unacknowledged brokenness so often does that to others. It is timely for all of us who pastor churches, however large or small, to search for the inevitable planks in our own eyes (and leadership). Of all our flaws, and in my case there are many, it is our unfettered and dealt with pride we must be most ruthless with.

Here are some posts offering further reflection and reading:

The Mars Hill Postmortem

Seven better ways to respond to Mark Driscoll's Resignation

A tale of two Mars Hills

Unhealthy Christian Organisations

The True nature of Elder Authority

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