After the resignation of Mark Driscoll as the senior pastor of Mars Hill Church last week, Dave Bruskas has been appointed as the mega church's interim preaching pastor. Driscoll resigned after several church elders issued a joint letter requesting him to step down from leadership. They were later fired. Earlier, members of the Acts 29 church planting network, which Driscoll helped found, advised that he take time off to get help, and rescinded Driscoll and all Mars Hill Church campuses' membership from the network.
Prior to taking up the position, Pastor Dave was one of three Executive Elders at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA. Pastor Dave earned a masters degree in Theological Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. Formerly he serves as the Teaching Pastor at Mars Hill Church, where he oversaw all 15 Mars Hill Church locations and the Lead Pastor Residency Program. He is married to Kara and together they have four daughters.
Bruskas is painfully aware that Mars Hill Church has "an unhealthy culture in our church," and he is vowing to fix and bring "financial clarity" in the days ahead. Further, he promises that he will be aiming towards an accountable, less-domineering ministry. Bruskas promised to be "one of many voices on Sundays" in a church co-founded and dominated by Driscoll. Bruskas said he will "not be functioning" as an executive elder and will be working to implement decisions "among many leaders."
However, being an executive elder during the reign of Driscoll, Bruskas was involved in decisions such as buying copies to put Driscoll's book "Real Marriage" on The New York Times bestseller list. "There are bound to be questions about what he knew. ... Why did Bruskas go along with all the financial secrecy, including all salaries?" Warren Throckmorton, a college professor and expert on the church, asked this week on the Patheos website.
But Bruskas is vowing to be a healer, and is beginning his preaching pastorate with an apology. "We love you very much at Mars Hill, and it is our deep desire to begin a new chapter based on new values," he writes. "We ask for forgiveness from those who have been hurt by this church because of the culture we contributed to.
"We wish to move forward together knowing that we are a broken and repentant church in need of a forgiveness and restoration that only Jesus provides."