This post is for my friends in the Antipodes, with regard to the 18 point critique by Mark Driscoll to the clergy of the diocese. I have now listened to half the sermon online, and looking forward to the second half.
The half I have listened to was fascinating. Naturally, when you are speaking about a place that you have not lived or ministered in, it was part penetrating truth, part over-generalizations, part misunderstanding. But all gutsy, and all worth listening to!
I won't break down the points and discuss them. That has been done. I've been trying to work out why it appears to have 'hit the mark'. I say that because I've heard most of the 18 criticisms before in various settings at various times. I've heard them from the mouths of bishops, priests and lay leaders. I've heard some of them in the coffee hour and in suppers after church. I've heard them from the mouth of friends, as well as cynics. I've read a few of the 18 in the Sydney Morning Herald and on the ABC. Heck, I've espoused many of the 18 at one point or another.
So what made this different?
1. They were said all at one time at the one place (the Cathedral).
2. They were said with a sizable amount of the clergy of the diocese present and listening.
3. They were said with a specific reference to (and in defense of) the 'younger clergy' right there in front of the 'older clergy'.
4. They were said by someone who is at the same time young, 'successful', exotic and friendly. (If Don Carson or Kent Hughes had said it, it may not have felt so revolutionary?)
5. They were said without fear or qualification. (How are the #2s in #1 spots feeling right now?!)
The fact that the critique was made at one time and in one place made assessing the critique manageable by people on the ground. I know of some staff teams that going to critique the critique in their staff meetings, which is worthwhile for the sake of mission.
May say something more after I hear the second half.
Pic of St Andrews by OZinOH.