Personal statement from Pastor Brian Houston - Re: Mark Driscoll

June 2015

Let me be clear about one thing. Mark Driscoll and I stand poles apart on women, their place in society, and their role in the Church.

Hillsong Church has a long history of involving women in every area of church life both on and off the platform, and my own wife Bobbie is my co-Senior Pastor.

I think our leadership styles and relationship with staff and key people have also been vastly different.

So why am I using our platform to interview Mark? We come from different backgrounds, theological positions, and church expressions. I genuinely want to know! Did he really say those things? Does he believe those things? Does he have any regrets? Has he been misrepresented? What has he learned and what can we all learn? And where to from here?

I have met Mark just twice. Before his very public resignation from Mars Hill Church, a mutual friend introduced us over a cup of coffee in Seattle. We talked about life, ministry, and his previous exposure to Australia. The second time, I was standing in line at Starbucks in California bleary eyed and jet lagged when another customer in the line said hi. It was Mark Driscoll and his daughter.

A lot has been said. There’s lessons to be learned. I’m looking forward to asking the questions and hearing from Mark directly. Will we agree afterwards or agree to disagree? Time will tell. I doubt we will agree on everything, but everyone deserves an opportunity to be heard.

Mark will not be speaking at the conference. It’s an open interview with Mark and his wife Grace. Let’s see what he has to say.

Blessings,

Brian