Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I coulda been Mark Driscoll. Or not.

I would like to welcome Mark Driscoll to blogging world. Driscoll is senior pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, one of the few truly missional, Biblical emerging churches in existence. Driscoll's an Emergent outlaw, a Calvinist among liberals, and he shoots from the hip.

I think we share a thought process.

Driscoll, who has been one my heroes for a decade and is probably the best representative of the modern church for my generation, somehow has served as the Emerging spokesperson in a technically savvy Seattle church plant without a blog. I don't know how that has happened.

I've never met the guy, but we come from similar backgrounds. Like Driscoll, I was nominated and, for a short term, participated in the Young Leader Network. My pastor nominated me, I guess at the insistence of then-AVC leader and emergent banner-waver Todd Hunter, to join. I was going to plant one of the first Vineyard emergent churches.

Emergent wasn't the term back then, circa 1994/95/96. GenX was, although I understood the short-sightedness of that term long before it became part of the popular vernacular.

So did Driscoll.

He wasn't intending on reinventing church and certainly not theology. He's old school, and the power of his language is abrasive to many in his own movement. He's sort of like a modern day Spurgeon, with a flip sense of humor. He is prone to compare less desirables in the emergent movement to some sort of bowel movement. He has many unfavorable metaphors I won't repeat here.

What he does do is place a sense of purpose right on his shirt sleeve and operates from it without deviation. He is missional, his church is missional, his church-planting organization is missional. His fervor for this kind of church is contagious. It influenced me and encouraged me to pursue church planting.

I never did plant a church, but I always wanted to help someone else plant one like Mars Hill. I guess there's a shortage of Mark Driscoll's in my area. It's sad. I wish we had more like him.

On his blog, Driscoll writes with the same kind of piercing clarity of his sermons, which have taken on a legendary status early in his life because of the Internet. They get passed around. Now, I'm told, they're available on iTunes for podcast.

I encourage you to check out his blog. He's going to become the face of the Church in the coming years, and trust me, that is a very good thing. What he lacks in ... patience, he more than makes up for in the right kind of prophetic preaching necessary for a Church that needs to shore up its foundation.

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