Pastor Mark Driscroll’s Seattle ministry crashed and burned last year. His mega-church had grown to twelve locations, he was known nationally for his speaking and writing, as well as leader of the Acts 29 church-planting network. However, for all his “success”, Driscroll’s leadership had become toxic. I know this to be a fact because of the extensive media coverage, and also from the private comments of Driscolls’s close associate, who was once a member of my son’s punk rock band.
Driscoll is now starting a new church and he is attempting to learn from his failures. This second time around, Mark is beginning differently by using these five questions to guide decision-making:
- How is God glorified through this?
- Does this contribute to church health?
- Are lives being transformed?
- Are people learning the Bible?
- Are people in relationship?
Time will tell if Mark can recover from his toxic leadership style. I hope so. Old habits are hard to break. In the meantime, I find these five questions simple, revealing, and refreshing. A careful analysis of this list exposes a trend away from an emphasis on vision and numbers to a focus on character: magnifying the character of God and transforming the character of the believer.
If your church is stuck and needing a mid-course correction, discussing these five questions could reveal pockets of ministry that need transformation. Like King David, our prayer could be: “Create in me a new heart, O God.” If you decide to have these conversations with your leaders, I’d love to hear from you.