Wake-up call for a church planter

Mark DriscollIf you're an Acts29 church planter and things aren't going well, you don't want to get on the wrong side of Mark Driscoll. . .

Or do you?

Jonathan MacIntosh was one of those young, confident, immature pastors. As a new church planter in 2004, he showed up for an Acts29 boot camp looking for guidance and funding. His church had struggled to grow past 40, despite strong lay leadership. Driscoll asked him why. MacIntosh blamed his over-churched town in Mississippi. Driscoll didn't buy it.

“Then he looked at my wife and said, 'Ashley, honey, you tell me what's going on in your opinion. I want you to be honest with me. Look me in the eyes and tell me the truth,'” MacIntosh recounts. “At first she gave stock answers. But then she completely broke right there. 'My husband is off doing this church-planting thing. I'm stuck in this job I hate, slaving away to support us. People are in and out of our apartment at all hours of the night. I'm losing my husband to this thing. I'm miserable. It's sapping my joy for life, my love for God, and my respect for my husband.'”

At that point, MacIntosh was pretty sure Acts29 would not subsidize his church. Then Driscoll unloaded on him. “You're a good-looking, eloquent, hip, Bible-teaching, Jesus-loving [wimp].” MacIntosh remembers Driscoll telling him. “You think you can lead and love God's bride when you can't lead and love your own bride? The issue with your church is you and your marriage. Everyone knows it. You're photocopying your marriage. That's your church, and that's why it's jacked up. How dare you.”

“Man, it was beautiful,” MacIntosh says.

Driscoll told MacIntosh to take his wife to a nice restaurant, find a hotel room, and send him the bill. Now MacIntosh works for Acts29 and evaluates church planters. When we met at Driscoll's home, he opened his wallet and showed me a picture of his baby daughter.

“God used that day and that encounter to save my marriage,” he says. “It was a wake-up call from Jesus.”

Source: Pastor Provocateur