How to Write a Christian Best-Seller (and other news about Mark Driscoll)

2 Feb

mark-driscoll_profile_imgThree simple steps that will guarantee you a spot on the top of the charts.

1.  Become a pastor at a big church.

2.  While at the church, use its resources to write the book.

3.  Require that your church buy the book.  

As many of you know, I am intrigued by Mark Driscoll because so many friends became so completely devoted to him.  He was the poster child of Evangelicalism, and the champion of drawing young men into the church.

I am not his biggest fan.

Let’s be honest.  I am not a fan at all.  His beliefs did not match mine in many areas, but my struggles went much deeper than that.  I found his character and behavior shocking.

If you are still believing that Mark’s behavior was blown out of proportion by the media or the church, let me fill you in on a secret to how most megachurches work.  Large churches have large budgets, and many staff members.  Large churches need money to pay for these things.  Money comes from happy people sitting in a pew.  Happy people in the pew come from the preacher that leads the church.  Once a church is moving in the right direction (more people, more money), the organization (including staff and leadership) will do almost anything to keep it going.  Churches live for self-perpetuation.

Personality preachers get isolated and protected.  Their “tough” decisions are often directed through others.  Their private worlds often managed and marketed.  Their circles are limited.  The dissolution of Mars Hill is a statement to me that what has been said is true, and what has remained hidden is bigger than what has been revealed.

The reason that I occasionally bring up his name is because I know Driscoll will resurface.  He is already speaking at conferences, and has a new business and church registered in the Phoenix area.  I am not out to personally hurt or attack Mark, but I believe that followers of Jesus should exercise more discernment before buying the latest Christian best-selling book.

Warren Throckmorton has been writing about Mark for some time, and this article that I wanted to share with you comes from the Patheos website.  The copy of the agreement came from Wenatchee the Hatchet who was once on staff at Driscoll’s church in Seattle as part of their theological response team.

Here is the article…

Wenatchee the Hatchet has a copy of the 2011 agreement between Mark and Grace Driscoll’s LLC (On Mission, LLC) and Thomas Nelson to publish Real Marriage. Dusting off my Mars Hill sources, I conclude it is legit. In it, we learn:

-The Driscolls received an advance of $400,000.

If you think that is interesting, you should read the complete article.   You can read the rest here.

My favorite line is…

“It is hard to escape the conclusion that being the pastor of a church willing to develop a marketing campaign for your book (see that also at WtH) which includes a preaching series (with research done by consultants) and full support from a marketing team (paid for by tithes) is a really sure way to become wealthy.”

I served on a church staff where a spouse of the senior pastor wrote a self-published book.  Staff members spent hours planning the release of the book, and were required to put on events to display and sell the book.  Worship services were planned around the concept of the book.  The church bought a significant portion of the books, and then gave them away.

While some might believe these actions to be normal function of the church, I am skeptical.

What are your thoughts?  Are you a fan or a skeptic?





2 Responses to “How to Write a Christian Best-Seller (and other news about Mark Driscoll)”


  1. Seminary Now Offering Degree In Celebrity Pastoring – The Babylon Bee | More Than A Beard - September 13, 2016

    […] and celebrity pastors.  A few celebrity pastors have recently fallen on hard times including:  Mark Driscoll and Tullian Tchividjian (Down, but never count them out!).  While these national failures can be […]

  2. Top Ten Blog Posts of 2016 | More Than A Beard - January 12, 2017

    […] 8.  How to Write a Christian best-seller… as seen through the questionable behavior of Mark Drisco… […]

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