Pastor Mark Driscoll of Seattle-based Mars Hill Church has taken an apologetic tone recently, even during Sunday sermons, while the most recent controversy surrounding the normally unashamedly brash Christian leader entails criticism of the way his book, Real Marriage, was marketed.
“I love you (the church) very much and I want to do the best job that I can, and I’m devastated when I don’t,” said Driscoll during a sermon about the power of “the tongue.” “Jesus gave His best and you deserve the best.”
On Friday, after a report that Mars Hill paid a promotional company $210,000 three years ago to make sure that Real Marriage, co-written by Driscoll’s wife, Grace, made the New York Times best-seller list, the church released a “Note From Our Board of Advisors and Accountability.”
In addition to describing a shift in the way decisions made by the church administration are reviewed, the Board addressed the book promotion controversy.
“In 2011, outside counsel advised our marketing team to use Result Source to market the Real Marriage book and attain placement on the New York Times Bestseller list,” the Board’s statement read. “While not uncommon or illegal, this unwise strategy is not one we had used before or since, and not one we will use again. The true cost of this endeavor was much less than what has been reported, and to be clear, all of the books purchased through this campaign have been given away or sold through normal channels.
“All monies from the sale of Pastor Mark’s books at Mars Hill bookstores have always gone to the church and Pastor Mark did not profit from the Real Marriage books sold either at the church or through the Result Source marketing campaign.”
Sign up to receive weekly WorshipIdeas every Tuesday morning in your email: