Mars Hill interim preaching pastor Dave Bruskas, who may replace former pastor Mark Driscoll as senior pastor, has said he is "determined to honor the past work Jesus has done" in his new role at the megachurch.
"We love you very much Mars Hill, and it is our deep desire to begin a new chapter focused on new values," writes Bruskas to the congregation on the Mars Hill blog. "We ask for forgiveness from those who have been hurt by this church because of the culture we contributed to. We wish to move forward together knowing that we are a broken and repentant church in need of a forgiveness and restoration that only Jesus provides."
Mars Hill was left in chaos when Driscoll announced his resignation earlier this month. Driscoll's decision was made following a six week hiatus from the pulpit and after several church elders issued a joint letter requesting him to step down from leadership.
Bruskas, who formerly served as an Executive Elder at Mars Hill, says he has committed to fulfill the role of interim Preaching Pastor, "doing so as one of many voices on Sundays along with your Lead Pastors." However, he adds, "I will not be functioning as a remaining Executive Elder, or even as a 'first among equals,' but I will be working to facilitate decisions among many leaders."
The pastor also said he will focus on three areas during the transition: localized governance, financial clarity, and cultural change.
Concerning local governance of the church, Bruskas writes, "We are currently not considering an option where I would take over in Pastor Mark's previous role. We intend to provide more self-determining freedom to our local churches in a way that empowers local leaders to direct the future of their churches."
"Our desire is to continue providing better financial clarity going forward. Our hope and anticipation is that we will receive a good report. But if that isn't the case, we will work openly and diligently to correct any problems," Bruskas says.
Most importantly, Bruskas adds, the Mars Hill leaders will work to be "humble, repentant, accountable to you and each other, and who communicate openly and regularly to our members."
"We want to be known not only for preaching the truth, but also for living it out by loving others well," he writes.
In his resignation letter which he shared on the Mars Hill website, Driscoll confessed that "aspects of my personality and leadership style, have proven to be divisive within the Mars Hill context." He explained his unexpected resignation by saying he did not want "to be the source of anything that might detract from our church's mission to lead people to a personal and growing relationship with Jesus Christ."
In response, the Mars Hill Board of Overseers stated that "Pastor Mark has, at times, been guilty of arrogance, responding to conflict with a quick temper and harsh speech, and leading the staff and elders in a domineering manner," they did not find cause for him "to be disqualified from pastoral ministry."