Responsibility for Spiritual Abuse – Part 3C – Concepts, Questions, and Continuums for Building a Comprehensive “Remediation Plan” – Step 4

Part 3C Concepts, Questions, and Continuums for Building a Comprehensive “Remediation Plan” – Step 4

Step 4. Focusing in on “Repentance”

So, here we are. Most of what I think are key elements are in place for us to think through multiple levels for leaders who need healing, and systems that need repairing. There are just a few more preliminaries about repentance, humility, and being conciliatory. Continue reading

Responsibility for Spiritual Abuse – Part 3B – Concepts, Questions, and Continuums for Building a Comprehensive “Remediation Plan” – Steps 1-2-3

Part 3B Concepts, Questions, and Continuums for Building a Comprehensive “Remediation Plan” – Steps 1-2-3

OVERVIEW: Part 3B – Steps 1-2-3 develops a set of questions and concept frameworks to help us build a comprehensive “remediation [remedy] strategy” to address recovery issues both for organizations that have become toxic and for the people who control them. It begins with a few key ideas for analyzing problem situations for patterns. Then it looks at a general continuum for thinking through how healthy or sick a person is, using analogies like injury triage, hospitalization, and recuperation. It extends that health/toxicity continuum analogy to parallel situations in organizational systems.

Part 3C – Steps 4-5 sets up the frameworks to apply to four specific layers in a system that needs healing – whether the healing needed by leaders and organization is relatively slight, or all the way to very substantial:

  1. How to determine the levels of personal growth and recovery needed by leaders who harm others, regardless of how gifted they are or how much they help others.
  2. How to identify what levels of peace-making are needed in personal relationships where a leader has caused damage.
  3. How to ensure individuals qualified for roles to lead the organization stay, when those disqualified should be removed, and when/if they should ever be restored to a former position.
  4. How to discern whether an organization that toxic can be repaired, or should not even survive.

Part 3C also suggests appropriate responses to recovery processes by both perpetrators who are truly repentant and their victims who are receptive to reconciliation and restitution. It concludes with some ideas and questions to consider before we launch into creating a remediation plan that involves specific Christian leaders and organizations. Continue reading

Responsibility for Spiritual Abuse – Part 3A – Taking Responsibility, Being Conciliatory, Exploring Just and Appropriate Remedy

Series Summary: Responsibility for Spiritual Abuse

Part 1 – Questions of Culpability, Complicity, and Recovery for Spiritually Abusive Individuals and Toxic Organizations. Real-world problems in discerning what constitutes a toxic organization, who is a spiritually abusive leader, and what to do about them and others who keep a harmful system going. This post includes a list of questions. Some apply generally to any individual or organization apparently engaged in spiritually abusive practices, and some deal specifically with the current situation of the leaders and institution at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington.

Part 2A and Part 2B – The “Pyramid of Responsibility” in Toxic Systems. When it comes to spiritual abuse, who has higher or lower responsibility/accountability and for what – whether they are leaders preaching from the pulpit, or people sitting in the pews, or outside individuals and organizations that keep a sick system propped up? This framework is based on my own experiences of malignant ministers and ministries. I suggest a pyramid of people with different roles and levels of responsibility in creating and perpetuating a toxic system that ultimately harms people, despite any good that its leaders or members may do.

Part 3 – Figuring Out a Framework to Repair a Toxic System, If Possible.

  • Part 3A – Taking Responsibility, Being Conciliatory, Exploring Just and Appropriate Remedy. This moves from questions and initial ideas of how to organize observations, to figuring out relevant biblical concepts about levels of responsibility when things turn malignant in a ministry. It reviews the “Pyramid of Responsibility” and organizational roles involving culpability and/or complicity, and overviews cultural and organizational modes of blame-shifting. It concludes with an exploration of three main attitudes it takes to make “remediation” (remedy) plans work.
  • Part 3B – Concepts, Questions, and Continuums for Building a Comprehensive “Remediation Plan.” Frameworks for building a comprehensive “remediation plan” in the setting of what’s become a toxic organization. It lays out four levels to consider: personal growth and recovery, peace-making in personal relationships, qualified leadership in the organization, and how to discern whether that toxic organization should even survive.
  • Part 3C – Some of My Own Personal Stories of Working to Make Things Right. Shares accounts from my own personal experiences of owning my responsibility for causing damage in relationships, and taking up my responsibility for repairing them. It includes examples from all four levels explored in Part 3B.

Responsibility for Spiritual Abuse – Part 4 – Looking for the Larger Patterns in Abuse Survivor Communities. Several situations have dominated the focus of spiritual abuse survivor communities the past few years, and there is far more use of “digital dissent” and online documentation to push back on people/organizations who need to be held accountable for the direct harm they inflict under a guise of righteousness. But, this has expanded to holding “Commenders” accountable for indirectly keeping abusive people and their systems propped up though endorsements, certifications, speaking engagements, publishing contracts, positive-spin media exposure, etc. What might these patterns mean for a more transparent, accountable, and responsible Church in the internet era?

Figuring Out a Framework to Repair a Toxic System, If Possible

Part 3A – Taking Responsibility, Being Conciliatory,

Exploring Just and Appropriate Remedy

Summary: Previous posts in this series about the “Pyramid of Responsibility” looked at who OWNS responsibility for what in a system that’s gone toxic. This post is about who OWNS UP TO their responsibility. It reviews the roles people take in the Pyramid, and examines cultural and organizational ways people might attempt to ooze out of taking responsibility. And it looks at what attitudes are essential for plans to remedy broken relationships and toxic organizations to succeed. Continue reading

Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church Research Guide – Part 2E – Research Guide Table of Contents

MARK DRISCOLL AND MARS HILL ~ POSTS IN RESEARCH GUIDE SERIES

Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church Research Guide – Part 1 – Research Guide to Mark Driscoll’s Personal Issues

Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church Research Guide – Part 2A – Five Types of Organizational Forms at “Mars Hill” (UPDATED)

Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church Research Guide – Part 2B – General Background on Top Legal Problems for Non-Profits

Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church Research Guide – Part 2C – Five Potential Legal/Ethical Problems for Mars Hill Church, Mark Driscoll, and Its Other Leaders

Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church Research Guide – Part 2D – Putting It All Together

Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church Research Guide – Part 2E – Research Guide Table of Contents

Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church Research Guide – Part 3 – Recommendations for Public Remediation by Mark Driscoll, Other Mars Hill Leaders, and Mars Hill Church

Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church Research Guide – Part 4 – Research Guide and Recommendations for Issues Related to “Commenders” of Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church

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RESEARCH GUIDE ~ TABLE OF CONTENTS

NOTE: Blue headline titles are links to that post.

Continue reading

Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church Research Guide – Part 2D – Pulling It All Together

Part 2D – Pulling It All Together

INTRODUCTORY NOTES

As a reminder, the source facts from which I developed these graphics come almost exclusively from official regulatory websites, required public information documents posted online, and other information freely posted publicly on organizational websites. I have used my own analysis to piece together the interrelationships among the various entities, and if there is a significant level of speculation involved, I generally try to note that.

Meanwhile, I consider all of these compilations, charts, and illustrative images to be works in progress, based on the 12 entities I know of to date. If you know of other related corporations, LLCs, or trusts, please let me know their names and/or Unified Business Identification/UBI or ID numbers. After I verify the information, I will note the addition(s) and/or correction(s), and adjust the compilation and charts to match. (And please let me know if you want attribution for adding that source or not.)

With the graphics, if you see errors in fact or relationships among organizations, please let me know, plus share verifiable sources for the correct information, so I can update my understanding and the related images.

Also, I am open to suggestions on making the graphics more “clean and clear,” so they are as accessible as possible, given the complexity of the information I’m sometimes attempting to portray.

Finally, I have created a comprehensive Table of Contents for the Research Guide series, Parts 1 and 2, for easier reference and location of your topics of interest. Because it is lengthy, I am putting it in a separate post, Part 2E. Continue reading

Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church Research Guide – Part 2C – Five Potential Legal/Ethical Problems for Mars Hill Church, Mark Driscoll, and Its Other Leaders

PART 2. RESEARCH GUIDE TO MARS HILL CHURCH ORGANIZATIONAL/INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES

Part 1. Research Guide to Mark Driscoll’s Personal Issues

Part 2. Mars Hill Church Organizational/Institutional Issues

  • Part 2A. Five types of organizational forms found in “Mars Hill.” Official source links and summary profiles.
  • Part 2B. General background on top legal problems for non-profits.
  • Part 2C. Five potential legal/ethical problems: inurement; misappropriation of funds solicited with a specified designation; spoliation of evidence; constitution, bylaws, and board structure; and conflicts of interest.

Part 3. Recommendations for Public Remediation by Mark Driscoll, Other Mars Hill Leaders, and Mars Hill Church

Part 4. Research Guide and Recommendations for Issues Related to “Commenders” of Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church

Part 2C. Five Potential Legal/Ethical Problems for Mars Hill Church, Mark Driscoll, and Its Other Leaders

Step 3 – Tutorials for Five Core Problems with Mars Hill Church

The deeper I study into what the IRS, non-profit consultants, and researchers list as top legal problems that put tax-exempt status at risk (see Part 2B), the starker my questions about the Mars Hill Church complex. Have their leaders’ ongoing patterns of actions and inactions demonstrated they’ve already succumbed to some of those issues? Are they doing these unethical and possibly illegal things because of blind spots – or with eyes wide open?

I keep unearthing evidence that suggests five of the more common non-profit issues may jeopardize their status:

  • Inurement – misusing a public non-profit for private benefit.
  • Misappropriation of restricted donations that were solicited for a designated project.
  • Lack of transparency including intentional obfuscation or alteration of evidence.
  • Governance policies and practices.
  • Conflicts of interest especially by board members and employees.

Could it be that the longer Mars Hill leaders fail to respond to such challenges, the stronger case they make for the “reasonable belief” standard the IRS needs to conclude that such allegations as might be filed against Mars Hill MAY indeed be true? If they do, that could therefore lead the IRS into potentially pursuing an investigation. And that in turn could potentially lead to loss of tax-exempt status. Continue reading

Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church Research Guide – Part 2B – General Background on Top Legal Problems for Non-Profits

PART 2. RESEARCH GUIDE TO MARS HILL CHURCH ORGANIZATIONAL/INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES

Part 1. Research Guide to Mark Driscoll’s Personal Issues

Part 2. Mars Hill Church Organizational/Institutional Issues

  • Part 2A. Five types of organizational forms found in “Mars Hill.” Official source links and summary profiles.
  • Part 2B. General background on top legal problems for non-profits.
  • Part 2C. Five potential legal/ethical problems: inurement; misappropriation of funds solicited with a specified designation; spoliation of evidence; constitution, bylaws, and board structure; and conflicts of interest.

Part 3. Recommendations for Public Remediation by Mark Driscoll, Other Mars Hill Leaders, and Mars Hill Church

Part 4. Research Guide and Recommendations for Issues Related to “Commenders” of Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church

Part 2B. General Background on Top Legal Problems for Non-Profits

The Process in The Next Two Posts

Parts 2B and 2C together create a step-by-step tutorial to help take you to a basic level of understanding on relevant legal and ethical standards regarding key non-profit problems. This base is intended to equip you with a set of “system indicators” for healthy/toxic organizations, so you can evaluate for yourself various allegations of improprieties against Mars Hill and its leaders.

Part 2B covers general legal/ethical background from two sources:

  • IRS requirements for non-profit compliance,
  • An article on Top 10 Legal Problems of Non-Profits.

Part 2C focuses in on five specific potential problems for Mars Hill Church, most of the five being considered both unethical and illegal.

  • Inurement.
  • Misappropriation of funds solicited with a specified designation.
  • Spoliation of evidence.
  • Governance: Constitution, bylaws, and board structure.
  • Conflicts of interest.

At the end of each of these five issues is a do-it-yourself case study section. This features links to primary source original documents by those currently or formerly at Mars Hill Church, and/or to secondary research and analysis posts about Mars Hill Church. Here you can apply the discernment frameworks to specifics about Mars Hill’s organizations (from Part 2A), leaders, and activities and come up with your own conclusions about the relative health or toxicity of the its church system, and what potential consequences you think could and/or should ensue.

Regardless of your eventual findings about Mars Hill Church, if you are involved in a church or ministry non-profit organization yourself, the information in this tutorial could spare you from some potentially disastrous consequences. The problems discussed are ones that harm people. They also waste an organization’s resources. Some can also potentially put the non-profit’s tax-exempt status at risk. So, this information can help your organization to do good plus do no harm, and maintain its tax-exempt status as a corporation created to serve the public interest. Continue reading