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Ep. 368 Response to The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, Episode 12

Ep. 368 Response to The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, Episode 12 (1)

Shows Main Idea – There is a thin line between standing for God and falling into pride. The determining factors are a person’s character and how they use the gifts God has given to them. If a person’s character is wrong, they will manipulate their talents to satiate their craving hearts. The believer with a gospel-saturated character will resist pride’s temptations and love God and others more than anything else.

Show Notes

You may want to read:

Episode Twelve: Bonus Episode: Boca Raton’s Church Planting OG

My aim in working through these episodes is to help folks think through the church they attend, the leadership culture of their church, and, potentially, identify things that might not be apparent. I will not provide a “Monday morning play-by-play” critique. I hope you will gain personal insight through this review as well as applications to your teachers and the church you attend.

Episode Summary

Mark Driscoll had a relationship with a church-planting pastor (David Nicholas) in Boca Raton, FL. The relationship went sour because Mark was a rogue, unaccountable Christian leader. This bonus episode is one more tack-on, redundant rendering about Mark being Mark. Christianity Today has shared this aspect of Mark’s character and personality repeatedly. I get it: Mark is a horse nobody can ride.

Unless you want to dip into a “reality TV” evangelical soap opera, this episode is not worth your time. Like many CT episodes, you would profit more by spending forty-five minutes in prayer and Bible study. It does not add value, especially since they have shared a version of this story many times.

Pride Brings Fall

Damaging Pride – The big idea in this episode is that any person, ministry, or business that does not have God-managed character or unique accountability can go off the rails. Interestingly, a lady in our church asked me that question Sunday. She talked about the growth of our ministry and how when such endeavors become larger, pride shows up to dismantle the work. She is correct.

Legacy Planning – It’s one of the reasons we’re in our legacy planning; I want my name off the website and ministry. The aim is to change the brand, remove the focus from me, and bring in those who can replace me while entrusting these plans to the Lord, of course (Proverbs 16:9). For example, I no longer supervise the academic aspect of our Mastermind Program. I continue to train our students but not academically.

Move to the Back – Humanly speaking, what hurts our ministry is that I’m not a big personality or front man. I’m a behind-the-scenes, low-profile person. I’ve never been interested in the spotlight. I shared with the lady on Sunday that I’m an introvert by nature; this news was a big surprise to her. A personality test would label me as such, and, of course, I could use that to form my identity.

Be Gospel-Centered

Thankfully, I reject personality testing by replacing those psychological selfies with gospel awareness. After I became aware of the gospel, the Lord confronted me with the warning: you can keep your label and choose a lesser life, or you can’t repent of your introverted self-focus and go and make disciples. I chose repentance, though it has been hard for many reasons.

  • Not having a social template on how to communicate, my initial attempts at making disciples was not the best.
  • I had to work through significant fear of man issues. When people are big and God is small, it takes a lot of prayer and practice to overcome.
  • I could not let my failures constrain me to “that lesser life with God.” Failures were opportunities to appropriate God’s persevering grace.
  • It was also vital to know my specific skills and where the best fit is for me. I’m in that place now.
  • The bottom line is that I had to decide if I would love God and others more than myself.
  • The final piece was to have the right people in your life to encourage and confront you so you don’t go off those rails. The Lord has been gracious to bring the right people at the right time to guide me.

The fruition of these things did not take its current shape until I was forty-eight years old. This point is vital. The shaping of the Lord is a time-incubated process that can take decades. It’s those who want to hit their stride before their thirties that worry me.

Call to Action

  1. How has God gifted you? What are your skills? What are the one, two, or three things that come easily for you? How are you submitting those talents to the Lord for His seasoned incubation?
  2. Who are the people that speak into your life? Like the rails in a bowling alley, who are those people who keep you out of the gutter?
  3. Do you label yourself as a collie, choleric, Type A, or the more preferred gospel-centered person that is evolving out of human-centered labels and into a unique Christ-centered person and personality? The evidence of your evolution is in your effectiveness at loving God and others more than yourself.

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