The Lord has used Mark Driscoll in my life over the past few weeks to be more conscious of how many lost and unchurched people there are in this country. According to Barna, between 1991 and 2004 there was a 92% increase in the number of unchurched Americans. If all the unchurched folks in this country were to start their own nation, it would be the 11th largest country on the globe.
I haven’t heard many people more passionate about reaching these lost people than Mark Driscoll. In the mid-90’s, he planted a church in Seattle that has grown to the thousands. Most of this growth is the kind all churches want: new convert growth.
I suspect that many may still react to someone like Driscoll the way that I did. My attitude was, “Can anything good come out of the emerging church?” I was astonished to learn that he is speaking at the Desiring God national conference this fall, and only through Justin Taylor’s posts on him did my unwarranted prejudice against him gradually fade (I have repented).
I encourage you to check out this short interview with Christianity Today, the short videos that Desiring God has posted (see especially the one distinguishing “emergent” from “emerging”), and his notes on how a lead-elder should establish a plurality of elders in a church plant. He isn’t perfect, but he has shown himself to be humble and repentant when he sins.
Driscoll bangs the drum of “contextualization,” which means that if you want to see folks from the hip hop scene come to Christ you have to send missionaries to that largely unreached people group who will learn the culture and communicate the Gospel in it—just as my dear friends are learning the culture of an unreached tribe in Papua New Guinea and figuring out how to communicate the Gospel to it. From what I’ve seen, as Driscoll contextualizes the Gospel he doesn’t conform it (in his book The Radical Reformission there’s a testimony from a former exotic dancer who got saved).
May the Lord use Driscoll to inspire you to seek and save the lost as he has me.