Mark Driscoll

Mark Driscoll

Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church is one of the world's most downloaded and quoted pastors. His audience - fans and critics alike - spans the theological and cultural left and right. Driscoll was baptized and raised Catholic, serving as an altar boy for a few years while attending Catholic school. In his teen years, he stopped going to church and had little to no interest in spiritual things. At age nineteen, while in college, Driscoll had a life-changing experience reading the book of Romans in the Bible and he became a Christian. Shortly thereafter, God spoke audibly to him while at a men's retreat for a church, telling him to marry Grace (his girlfriend since age seventeen), preach the Bible, train men, and plant churches. And that's precisely what he's been doing ever since. In 1996, at the age of twenty-five, Pastor Mark and his wife, Grace, started a small Bible study in their home in Seattle, which at the time was one of America's least-churched cities. Since that time, the church has exploded, with upwards of thirteen thousand people meeting on Sundays across ten locations with two dozen total services in two states (Washington and New Mexico). Mars Hill has been recognized as the sixty-fifth largest, fortieth fastest-growing, and second most innovative church in America by Outreach magazine. Young, single men comprise the largest demographic of Mars Hill Church attendees, which is un- usual since this is statistically the least likely group to attend church. They come for steady blows of blunt-force Bible truth to the head found in the hour-long sermons that work through books of the Bible. Many of those men, along with women, are becoming Christians; over eight hundred people were baptized at Mars Hill campuses last year alone. With a skillful mix of bold presentation, clear biblical teaching, and compassion for those who are hurting the most - in particular, women who are victims of sexual and physical abuse and assault. Driscoll has taken biblical Christianity into cultural corners previously unexplored by evangelicals. In the same year that he spoke at a Gospel Coalition conference with notable contemporary theologians like John Piper and Tim Keller, he discussed biblical sexuality as a guest on Loveline with Dr. Drew, and preached from Rick Warren's pulpit. Driscoll has debated Deepak Chopra on ABC's Nightline, and has been featured in USA Today, the New York Times, CNN, NPR, Blender music magazine, and Time magazine. Preaching magazine named him one of the twenty-five most influential preachers of the last twenty-five years. (He was #17 and the youngest person on the list by over a decade.) He has preached on every continent ex- cept South America and Antarctica. His sermons are regularly near or at the top of iTunes' Religion and Spirituality podcasts, with over 4.4 million total sermon downloads last year. His entire media li- brary can be found at www.MarsHillChurch.org. He can also be found on Twitter and Facebook (with over 110,000 combined followers and fans), YouTube (with over 4 million downloads), an iPhone app (downloaded by 37,000 people), and the Washington Post, where he's a contributing blogger. Additionally, Driscoll co-founded the Acts 29 Church Planting Network (www.Acts29Network.org), through which many men are actively planting other churches. Acts 29 has planted over three hun- dred churches in the United States, is currently planting more than a church a week, and, through international partnerships, has expanded to plant new churches globally. Driscoll also founded The Resurgence (www.TheResurgence.com), which publishes books under Re:Lit, releases albums under Re:Sound, trains missional leaders under Re:Train, and hosts numer- ous training conferences and events. His blog at The Resurgence is among the top five most popular Christian blogs on the Internet. Pastor Mark recently took his passion for preaching the Word, training men, and planting churches international when he co-founded Churches Helping Churches (www.ChurchesHelpingChurches. com) in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Churches Helping Churches utilizes donations from churches around the world to build up pastors and rebuild churches in the wake of disaster (in Haiti and beyond), so they can continue to be conduits for humanitarian aid and provide a refuge for the hurting. Driscoll was in Haiti a week after the quake, delivering aid and capturing footage and stories in an effort to raise awareness and support for the devastated churches. To date, CHC has raised over $2 million and has secured $1.7 million in donated medical supplies for Haiti. Driscoll received a B.A. in Speech Communications from Washington State University and holds a master's degree in Exegetical Theology from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of twelve books; most recently he co-authored Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe with Dr. Gerry Breshears, of Western Seminary. Doctrine is the book that Driscoll says he would use as a starting point if he had to plant Mars Hill Church again. It comes at a pivotal time in church history when leaders are less likely to emphasize Bible doctrine and more likely to elevate personal experience, ambiguity, and doubt. Doctrine gives definitions, takes stands, and explains the beauty and freedom of absolute, biblical truth. Publishers Weekly said this about the book: The pair attempt - and accomplish - vigorous interaction with biblical texts, systematic doctrine, culture, and flawed thinking; they directly address the reader, urging repentance and faith. Drawing on orthodox Reformed and Protestant theology, the book moves from God, stays on God, and ends with God. The book is organized around the actions of God: God is, speaks, makes, loves, judges, pursues, comes, dies, saves, sends, transforms, gives, reigns. The book could be used in universi- ties, churches, or seminaries for systematic teaching of this particular strain of Christianity; it makes the most plainspoken and comprehensive case for the new Reformed Protestant Christianity today. In an era when church leaders are calling themselves revolutionaries, visionaries, conversation partners, Driscoll is proud to call himself a pastor. If I can get young men to read their Bibles and dead guys, love Jesus and their wives, and serve their community, then I've done my job, he says. But coming before all the preaching and teaching, Pastor Mark and his high school sweetheart, Grace, delight in raising their three sons and two daughters. Pastor Mark particularly enjoys playing baseball with the boys and accompanying the girls on Daddy dates. marshillchurch.org

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