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A Note on Some Transitions

As a young church planter I wanted a tribe to belong to. So, I started gathering a few other young church planters for mutual learning, accountability, and encouragement. Before long, Mars Hill Church was formally supporting church planters in both the U.S. and India. Then, I met Pastor David Nicholas, whose Spanish River Church had generously supported church planters for many years. Together, we founded the Acts 29 church-planting network.

For the first years, the network offices were housed in Florida, as David served as our president. Then the offices were moved to Seattle when I assumed the presidency. Since that time, David has passed on to see the Jesus he loved face to face, and Acts 29 has grown rapidly, now totaling more than 400 churches in the U.S., as well as international church planting involvement. Since then, other qualified men have taken the reins of Acts 29 and run with the vision David and I had years ago.

Recently, I sensed that not all was well in Acts 29. As my concerns grew, I recently resumed the presidency of Acts 29 to work directly with our network captains, most influential pastors, and staff. It seemed to me that some of our relationships, board size and structure, communication, systems, and such were not as effective as we needed, which is to be expected to some degree in a large, complex, fast-growing entrepreneurial network such as ours. 

Seeking wise counsel, I asked Darrin Patrick and Matt Chandler to fly to Seattle in order to meet with the executive elders of Mars Hill for a full day to decide a course of action. They graciously did so, and in our time together was a rich, true brotherhood, a renewed and deepened commitment to Acts 29, and a Spirit-lead unity.

Together, we decided, in light of all the complexity we’re facing, that the best thing for Acts 29 going forward would be for Matt Chandler to assume the presidency, move the network offices to Dallas, and select his Acts 29 staff.

In light of this, I want to sincerely thank the people of Mars Hill for investing millions of dollars over the years in Acts 29 and the people of The Village for being willing to house the Acts 29 headquarters.

As for myself, I want to humbly serve Jesus and his men in Acts 29 by doing whatever is best for them. Going forward, I will gladly remain on the Acts 29 Board supporting Matt, along with Darrin and whomever else Matt believes best fits the Board.

Mars Hill gladly stays in Acts 29 as well. I’ll be spending much of my time going forward serving all of Acts 29, pastoring at Mars Hill, helping the Resurgence, writing books, organizing preaching campaigns, and doing media interviews. 

Lastly, I love Pastor Matt, respect him, and appreciate him. He is a bridge-builder across many tribes, a great Bible teacher, godly man, and geographically located in an easy place to travel to and from. His church is now large enough and well established to greatly serve Acts 29. He has my support, and I pray he would have yours as well. 

9 Comments

Patrick Mitchell

on Mar 28, 2012 :: 12:09 pm

I can't imagine someone better suited to take this on. I pray huge kingdom advancements as a result.

Jeff McCarroll

on Mar 28, 2012 :: 12:37 pm

Pastor Mark, thank you for your faithful leadership of the Acts 29 Network. Glad to see where God will take it under Pastor Matt's leadership!

John Fooshee

on Mar 28, 2012 :: 12:40 pm

As a member of Acts 29, thank you Mark for your leadership. Your gentle hand in loving, serving and investing the Gospel into us has been a Spirit-empowered work! We are thankful for you & Mars Hill as well as the blood, sweat & tears that you all have invested into us.

I also am so pleased to hear of Matt Chandler taking the role of president. We have seen him serve well, suffer well and communicate the glory of Christ well.

Furthermore, the continual display of the board in godliness, humility and forwarding each other into God's call for each man's life has been an example to us all.

We are a deeply blessed group! God deserves all the glory!

Jesse Winkler

on Mar 28, 2012 :: 12:55 pm

As a member of Acts 29, I'm excited for the future and I want to thank the leadership for caring so much for our church planters, our churches and furthering God's kingdom for his glory.

Jake Chambers

on Mar 28, 2012 :: 1:03 pm

Thank you Mark for all of your leadership and your humility in this time of transition. Thank you Mars Hill Church for all of the time, energy, money and sacrifice you have put in as a church to advancing the gospel through church planting. As a member of Acts 29 I have been blessed greatly by this sacrifice.
Matt I will be praying for you and I am thankful and excited to follow your lead!

Chris Priestley

on Mar 28, 2012 :: 1:07 pm

As a church-planting pastor of A29, I want to thank you, Mark, for your tremendous investment in and leadership of and pastoral care for us.

Looking forward to where the Spirit and Matt Chandler will lead us as the Gospel continues to bear fruit and multiply in new disciples and new churches for God's glory!

Bill Riedel

on Mar 28, 2012 :: 1:42 pm

I'm deeply grateful for the humility and leadership you have shown in this, as well as for the investment and continued involvement of Mars Hill Church.

I'm excited for what is ahead with Pastor Matt Chandler at the helm as we all work together for the sake of the gospel to the glory of God.

Matthew Kruse

on Mar 28, 2012 :: 6:27 pm

Becoming a part of A29 when we did was one of a very small handful of super-key, Spirit-drenched graces from our Father that moved us from muddling and unhealthy to focused and healthy. And so my heart longs wicked deeply for this brotherhood/movement to thrive and to keep being to young guys what it was/is to me.

I love and trust you men who the Spirit’s raised up to run ahead of us.

Scott, you’ve led so well, thank you.

( Being Bostonian, I will admit to being troubled about a headquarters relocation to Texas though! :) )

Martyn Winsen

on Mar 28, 2012 :: 7:53 pm

This is exciting news!

I am wondering if this will have any impact on the location/running of Re:Train....?

Name:


Pastor Mark Driscoll founded Mars Hill Church in Seattle in the fall of 1996, which has grown to over 13,000 people including new sites in New Mexico and California. He co-founded the Acts 29 Church Planting Network, with three hundred churches in the U.S. and internationally, and is founder of The Resurgence.

Outreach magazine has recognized Mars Hill Church as the ninth most innovative and fifteenth fastest-growing church in America. Outreach magazine has also ranked Mars Hill Church number two of America's top multiplying (church-planting) churches. The Church Report has recognized Pastor Mark as the twenty-second most influential pastor in America. His sermons are downloaded more than a million times a year and he has been recognized by Christianity Today, Inc., as one of the most influential young preachers in America. Seattle magazine has named Pastor Mark as one of the twenty-five most powerful people in Seattle.

Media coverage on Pastor Mark and Mars Hill varies from National Public Radio to Mother Jones magazine, the Associated Press, the New York Times, Blender music magazine, Outreach magazine, Preaching Today, and Leadership magazine to ABC Television and the 700 Club.

His writing includes the books The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out Without Selling Out and Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church, Vintage Jesus, Death by Love, and Vintage Church. He also contributed to the book Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches, and made a chapter contribution to the book Above All Earthly Powers, edited by Dr. John Piper.

Most enjoyably, Mark and his high school sweetheart, Grace, enjoy raising their three sons and two daughters. You can read his full bio here.