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Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church (The Leadership Network Innovation) Paperback – April 18, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This is the story of the birth and growth of Seattle's innovative Mars Hill Church, one of America's fastest growing churches located in one of America's toughest mission fields. It's also the story of the growth of a pastor, the mistakes he's made along the way, and God's grace and work in spite of those mistakes. Mark Driscoll's emerging, missional church took a rocky road from its start in a hot, upstairs youth room with gold shag carpet to its current weekly attendance of thousands. With engaging humor, humility, and candor, Driscoll shares the failures, frustrations, and just plain messiness of trying to build a church that is faithful to the gospel of Christ in a highly post-Christian culture. In the telling, he's not afraid to skewer some sacred cows of traditional, contemporary, and emerging churches. Each chapter discusses not only the hard lessons learned but also the principles and practices that worked and that can inform your church's ministry, no matter its present size. The book includes discussion questions and appendix resources. 'After reading a book like this, you can never go back to being an inwardly focused church without a mission. Even if you disagree with Mark about some of the things he says, you cannot help but be convicted to the inner core about what it means to have a heart for those who don't know Jesus.'---Dan Kimball, author, The Emerging Church '... will make you laugh, cry, and get mad ... school you, shape you, and mold you into the right kind of priorities to lead the church in today's messy world.'---Robert Webber, Northern Seminary

About the Author

Mark Driscoll is one of the 50 most influential pastors in America, and the founder of Mars Hill Church in Seattle (www.marshillchurch.org), the Paradox Theater, and the Acts 29 Network which has planted scores of churches. Mark is the author of The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out Without Selling Out. He speaks extensively around the country, has lectured at a number of seminaries, and has had wide media exposure ranging from NPR’s All Things Considered to the 700 Club, and from Leadership Journal to Mother Jones magazine. He’s a staff religion writer for the Seattle Times. Along with his wife and children, Mark lives in Seattle.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Revised edition (April 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310270162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310270164
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nicola Gibson on October 14, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read a thousand or two pages of "how to do church" books. I pastor at a church of about 900, and so it's par for the course. Most of them bore me these days. This one I read in three sittings.

There will be considerable criticism of this book. Mark didn't say what he was supposed to. He is pretty clear about what he thinks of Brian McLaren, the public pope of the Emergent church; and it isn't complimentary. He recommends both pragmatic evangelicals like Hybels and Warren and yet he affirms the work of their firm critics like Mark Dever and D.A Carson's work in his footnotes (a both-and I both agree with and am impressed with). He thinks masculinity should have content beyond plumbing, and even dares to refer to Grudem and Piper's book on the subject. That alone can get you stripped and beaten in some very loving evangelical circles.

He also says church people can be immature idiots and life sucking dead weight; like the Leech's two daughters that constantly cry, "give, give!" form Proverbs 30.

I was horrified.
I completely agree.

There will no doubt be many coming up with clever little shots at Driscoll and making pithy condescending remarks about the book. Mark has really opened himself up to that. I suspect he could care less, and I really appreciated that about his style.

No doubt many will find his style arrogant. It will be decried by the equally arrogant under the pretense of humility and nuances spiritual maturity. Many will be convinced. But it should be noted that Mark claims to have been arrogant and to be arrogant. He only claims that that doesn't necessarily make him wrong about what he is saying in this book, and about that he is right.
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Format: Paperback
Raw.

We clicked because I drive a 1978 Chevy truck that gets single digits to the gallon and has a bacon air freshener and no functioning speedometer and because I fashion myself as the seld-appointed leader of a heterosexual male backlash in our overly chickified city filled with guys drinking herbal teal and rocking out to Mariah Carey in their lemon yellow Volkswagon Cabriolets while wearing fuchsia sweater vests that perfectly match their open-toed shoes. (p. 147)

Funny.

Scrambling for ideas, I agreed to cance a Sunday church service to let some of our long-haired public radio types take us outside to do a joint art project they had proposed....As a truck-driving jock who watches a lot of Ultimate Fighting, I can honestly say it was the gayest thing I have ever been a part of. (p. 71)

Real.

Emotionally, ministry proved to be more exhausting than I could have fathomed. Because I deeply loved my people and carried their burdens, the pains of our people's lives began to take a deep toll on me. Many nights were spent in prayer for people instead of sleeping, and even on what were supposed to be days off, my mind was consumed with the painful hardships and sinful rebellions of our people. (p. 68)

Mark Driscoll's latest book, Confessions of a Reformission Rev. Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church, is a fantastic look at life in ministry. I have a great deal of love and respect for Andy Stanley and Rick Warren, but their stories don't match my stories in ministry. Mark's story of the growth of his church is a wonderful and real look at a man on a mission, with strong theological convictions, and who loves Christ's church and the city of Seattle.

It is raw. He is blatanly honest.
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Format: Paperback
Mark Driscoll is a pastor who finds himself at the center of controversy in Christian and non-Christian circles. His most recent book Confessions is "the story of the birth and growth of Seattle's innovative Mars Hill Church, one of America's toughest mission fields. It is also the story of the growth of a pastor, the mistakes he's made along the way, and God's grace and work in spite of these mistakes."

Why the Controversy? Driscoll doesn't fit in any category neatly. Tim Challies writes, "I am not the only one confused by Driscoll who is varyingly described as emerging, missional, Reformed, sarcastic and vulgar (all of which are true of him)." At times it looks like Driscoll goes out of his way to offend everyone. On the other hand, Driscoll is refreshingly candid and bold. I love it, but it seems to be too much for some.

The story of many "successful" churches have been tidied before going to print. Not here. Driscoll says, "I have made so many mistakes as a pastor that I should be pumping gas for a living instead of preaching the gospel." He begins with "Ten Curious Questions" designed to help clarify the church's identity, gospel, mission, size, and priorities. For instance, he asks which gospel we will proclaim: "a gospel of forgiveness, fulfillment, or freedom?" "Do you have the guts to shoot your dogs?" (He advises: "Dogs are idiotic ideas, stinky styles, stupid systems, failed facilities, terrible technologies, loser leaders, and pathetic people...Be sure to make it count and shoot them only once so that they don't come back and bite you." Now you know why he's controversial.)

For the rest of the book, Driscoll tells the story of Mars Hill from its start to the present and even his hopes for the future.
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