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Tears Flow as Mark Driscoll Discusses His Resignation Publicly for the First Time

Mark Driscoll sent out a newsletter to his Resurgence email list last night. It was one of the first public messages he shared since resigning from Mars Hill last October. In the email Driscoll shared the news of his family’s move to Phoenix, Arizona, his desire to pursue local ministry and he also shared a link to a deeply candid interview Mark and Grace did with Hillsong’s lead pastor, Brian Houston, during the Hillsong conference. Houston offered Driscoll the opportunity to share the story of his resignation, failures, regrets and their new value on relationships.

The video is close to an hour long, but the major highlights are captured below.

Their Roughest Season

Houston asked the couple how they are both doing…

Grace answered emotionally while Mark wiped away tears, “Thank you for asking. It has been a hard year. And we’ve seen God’s faithfulness amidst the trial and we’re thankful for that. There’s been a lot of loss. And we love our church and have loved being a part of it and felt honored that God would call us to help lead such an amazing group of people. So, that has been hard. And watching the kids, and the pain that they’ve had to experience and the grieving process.”

Houston empathized with them, “I totally understand that with the children. I always find that children feel things for us even more deeply than we feel them.”

Driscoll acknowledged he has been viewed as more and more controversial to the point of being toxic in people’s minds. He’s been largely out of public ministry over the past year and has been seeking godly council.

“I had a godly, wise older pastor – someone that we really look to as a pastor in our lives. He said that we need to put down the binoculars and pick up the mirror. Stop looking at what everyone else is saying and doing and look at yourself. So that’s really been the focus particularly for me, but to a lesser degree for us this past year. And I think that there’s no way for me to say that I’ve always acted with grace or with appropriateness.”

The conversation turned to a discussion on what happens when you become a victim of the world you’ve created. Mark felt there was a measure of truth to that.

“You can’t have a certain tone or disposition, and when that is reciprocated toward you feel that you’re a victim. What’s been interesting in this too, the people that have walked toward us with their hands out to love and encourage are people that are outside of our tribe. There are some old friends that have stuck with us, and been very wonderful to us, but a lot new friends too and people that we would disagree on some secondary theological issues… but love and grace is good theology.”

On Public Attacks

Houston gently pointed out that he has been known for public criticism and attack of other pastors and teachers including his friend Joel Osteen.

A subdued Driscoll said he would not defend that. He felt he lost any right to criticize long ago. He has since contacted and apologized to a long list of pastors including Osteen.

When asked his beliefs about women and women in leadership, he confessed that he said and did things that were “ungodly, unwise and unhelpful” and the misperceptions of his beliefs are entirely his fault. This is one of his greatest regrets especially now that he has a godly, strong daughter.

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Esther Laurie is a staff writer at churchleaders.com. Her background is in communication and church ministry. She believes in the power of the written word and the beauty of transformation and empowering others. When she’s not working, she loves running, exploring new places and time with friends and family. It’s her goal to work the word ‘whimsy’ into most conversations.