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CHRISTIAN NEWS 

Outside Insight: Some say it’s the new norm. Others don’t consider it biblical.

As Mark Driscoll leaves Mars Hill Church, one question may continue: Will the Seattle megachurch’s governance help or hurt as it moves forward?

Current and former pastors levied charges against Driscoll this summer, including verbal abuse and lying about manipulating a bestseller list.

Driscoll took an “extended focused break” in August after the Acts 29 church planting network removed him from membership. “We no longer believe [Mars Hill’s board] is able to execute the plan of reconciliation” with critics, wrote president Matt Chandler. Days later, speaker Paul Tripp explained he had resigned from Mars Hill’s Board of Advisors and Accountability (BOAA) because it was an “inadequate replacement for a biblically functioning internal elder board that is the way God designed his church to be led.”

Mars Hill leadership had comprised 24 elders (mostly church staff and members). In 2007, the structure became the seven-member BOAA: Driscoll, two other executive pastors, and four independent members. Mars Hill explained it was seeking greater objectivity in the board. After Tripp and another independent member (Chicago megachurch pastor James MacDonald) resigned this summer, Mars Hill replaced them with two Seattle businessmen who are members, and created an additional elder board involving seven lead pastors.

A deeper question raised by the Mars Hill saga asks if nondenominational churches can better govern their congregation and disciple their pastors with elders drawn from within the church body, or if they should seek outside expertise.

The external accountability board is increasingly prevalent, said Scott Thumma, a megachurch researcher at Hartford Seminary. ...

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That's what I'd like to help us think about in this blog.

Welcome to “Just Marinating”!

The concept of this name comes from John 15:5, “abide in Christ.” In this context, to marinate means to think about, to meditate on, to dwell on. In this blog, I want to help us think about and meditate on the amazing gospel of grace and leadership in life and the church.

For some reason, God has placed me in positions of leadership at every level of my life. I was a team captain on each of my middle school, high school, college, and NFL football teams.

I never wanted to be a lead pastor, yet God has seen fit to gift me, and sovereignly place me, as founding and lead pastor of Transformation Church—a multi-ethic, multi-generational, mission-shaped, loving community. In just four short years, we have grown in spiritual maturity and influence, and have experienced exponential numerical growth.

I want God to use Transformation Church to influence the church in America towards becoming more Gospel-centered and multi-ethnic.

The world should look at the church and say, “Wow! So that’s what love, reconciliation, and unity look like? I want in!”

If you’re looking for expert advice, I’m not your guy. But if you’re looking for a practitioner who is in the struggle with you, who doubts at times, and who desires to learn and grow in every facet of life, I think we can help each other.

My family and friends call me “D. Gray,” “Dewey,” or “Pastor Derwin.” I’ve been married to my best friend, Vicki, for twenty-two years. Vicki has loved me into being the man that I am, and the man that I am becoming. I couldn’t imagine life without her.

I have two beautiful children; my daughter ...

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Leading Nigerian evangelical says Christians won’t abandon the North.

In recent weeks, Boko Haram, the Sunni terrorist group in northern Nigeria, has doubled down in its ongoing killing spree, taking the lives of Christians by the hundreds and also declaring an Islamic caliphate in the region, local church leaders report.

In April, the group’s kidnapping of 276 girls, mostly Christians, from a school in Chibok drew global outrage. But 219 of those girls are still missing as are hundreds of other abducted children. The group has killed at least 2,000 Nigerians in the first six months of this year, according to Nigerian officials. In total, 650,000 people fled northern Nigeria to escape violence. Some 1,600 Nigerian Christians have died at the hands of Boko Haram and other groups, according to the Jubilee Campaign.

This week, at the six-month anniversary of the Chibok kidnappings, rallies have been held in Nigeria, the U.S., and other nations to press Nigeria's government to do more to rescue the kidnapped girls and suppress Boko Haram.

A leading Nigerian evangelical, Samuel Kunhiyop, author of African Christian Ethics,serves as general secretary of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), a 5-million-member denomination in Nigeria. ECWA has been doing frontline evangelism in Nigeria since 1954. In recent years, this group has planted hundreds of congregations in Muslim areas of Nigeria. Kunhiyop spoke with Timothy C. Morgan, CT's senior editor for global journalism.

Is Nigeria as bad as we read in news headlines?

It’s even worse. Hundreds of churches have been destroyed, over 50 in Kano alone. One church and ministry has been built seven times and destroyed seven times. Another has been built three times and destroyed three times. Pastors have been murdered in their ...

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