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Mars Hill Church Cancels Resurgence Conference

  • Warren Cole Smith Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • Updated Aug 18, 2014

Seattle’s Mars Hill Church has canceled its annual Resurgence Conference, one of the megachurch’s flagship events, originally scheduled for Oct. 28-29.

The website for the conference, which until this week contained biographical sketches of speakers and registration information, now has only the cancellation notice.  That notice reads, “The Resurgence Conference has always been born out of our love of Jesus and the church, and the desire to support efforts to grow leaders to grow churches. Unfortunately, we have decided to cancel this year’s conference due to unforeseen changes to our speaker line-up and other challenges we believe would make it difficult to provide the quality of conference people have come to expect from Resurgence. Anyone who has already purchased a ticket will be receiving a prompt refund. Thank you for your support of Resurgence and the ministries of Mars Hill Church.”

No other information is available on the web-site, but Mars Hill Church spokesman Justin Dean told WORLD via email that refunds would be automatically processed “within one week,” and all the church had already notified all ticket holders.  Dean said he did not know how many people attended last year’s conference, or how many had signed up so far for this year’s event.

Among those scheduled to speak at the event were Driscoll, James MacDonald, Greg Laurie, Crawford Loritts, Paul Tripp, Terry Virgo, and – via video -- J.I. Packer.

MacDonald and Tripp had been members of Mars Hill Church’s Board of Advisors and Accountability (BoAA), though both have recently resigned.  On Aug. 12, Tripp released a statement explaining his resignation.  “It’s because of this love that I accepted the position on Mars Hill Church’s BoAA,” Tripp said.  “But it became clear to me that a distant, external accountability board can never work well because it isn’t a firsthand witness to the ongoing life and ministry of the church.” 

Tripp was not directly critical of Mars Hill Church, but he suggested that the church did not have a “biblically functioning internal elder board that is the way God designed his church to be led and pastors to be guided and protected.”  Tripp concluded:  “I would still love to see the leadership community of Mars Hill Church become itself a culture of grace and I am still willing to help, but not through the means of a board that will never be able to do what it was designed to do.”

The statement by Tripp and the cancellation of the Resurgence Conference capped a tough week for Driscoll and Mars Hill Church.  Earlier this week, Driscoll was dropped from four upcoming “Act Like Men” conferences. He was scheduled to speak in Phoenix this October, Dallas-Fort Worth in November, and Miami and Chicago in 2015.  He’s also been dropped from the Gateway Conference scheduled for Oct. 20-22 at Dallas’s Gateway Church.  On Monday, Lifeway and, the retail arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, said it was pulling Driscoll’s books from its 180-plus retail stores.  Lifeway’s media relations manager Marty King said the retail chain made the decision to give Lifeway’s leadership time to “assess the developments regarding his ministry."

Courtesy: WORLD News Service

Publication date: August 18, 2014