Last night the guys at Phoenix Preacher posted this story about Driscoll stepping aside and Matt Chandler taking over and the HQ of Acts 29 moving to Dallas. The post was updated very soon afterward with statements from the leadership of A29 sent to pastors, who are part of the network.
Update: Driscoll has left The Gospel Coalition, meaning he is no longer a Council Member.
I spent about 2 hours last night talking through this with about 20 guys on Twitter, Facebook, email and text. Many were optimistic about this move because of the stories which have gone public regarding Driscoll over the past few months. There are a few, hopeful this is a step in the right direction, but are cautious.
Count me among them. And the following is why:
- Though this comes in the midst of (what I would call) devastating revelations regarding the leadership of Mars Hill, I am told this has been in the works for months and is not directly related to the Petry allegations. Which is sad because it makes people hopeful in the midst of them.
- The ground zero for what happened with the discipline case of Andrew and the firing of Petry and Meyer is Mars Hill, not Acts 29. So why an announcement regarding the leadership of Acts 29 in the midst of allegations regarding Mars Hill Church? Because the leaders of Acts 29 were part of those allegations by Petry and Acts 29 needs to do something to stop the hemorrhaging of churches from the network. I know for an absolute fact that there are churches questioning their affiliation with Acts 29. I’ve heard from them.
- If I’m wrong about the above and this was simply a coincidence. Then how can we really respect the leadership of Acts 29 even as new leadership comes in? All that has been done is rearrange the deck chairs (Chandler and Driscoll switch places) and throw one overboard (Thomas). Are we to expect no public statement – no contrition – no refutation at all regarding what happened with Petry and Meyer?
- I may be seen as very cynical. But I cannot imagine why that is more of a problem than not asking enough questions. If I was an Acts 29 pastor, I would still want to know more about what happened with Petry. If that just disappears in the dust of the changes…
- I like Matt Chandler. But I gotta be honest, this feels like a very similar move I was involved in, in which a pastor, accused of something, removes himself so the dust can settle and then everyone moves on as before…except the ones forced to swallow the dust.
More details as they become available.