3 Top Ways For Mark Driscoll To Spend $200,000

I have a hypothetical situation for you to consider. Suppose a pastor in the Seattle area had $210,000 to spend and was looking for worthy causes. He could:

  1. Pay for 280,000 bus rides for people with disabilities.
  2. Pay for 107,692 elementary school lunches.
  3. Pay for someone to manufacture sales activity in order to put the pastor’s book on a best seller list.

Before someone points out that the pastor probably does a lot of good things for poor kids and people with disabilities, I’d like to point out instead that this would not mean spending $210,000 to make it look like a book is being purchased by a lot of different people is a wise use of money.

It’s not.


Update – on March 16, 2014, Mr. Driscoll posted an open letter to his congregation which included:

… a marketing company called ResultSource was used in conjunction with the book Real Marriage, which was released in January 2012. My understanding of the ResultSource marketing strategy was to maximize book sales, so that we could reach more people with the message and help grow our church. In retrospect, I no longer see it that way. Instead, I now see it as manipulating a book sales reporting system, which is wrong. I am sorry that I used this strategy, and will never use it again. I have also asked my publisher to not use the “#1 New York Times bestseller” status in future publications, and am working to remove this from past publications as well.
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15 Responses to 3 Top Ways For Mark Driscoll To Spend $200,000

  1. That’s a lot of school lunches…

    I think when I market my book I’ll have on the cover: “Never on a bestseller list. We market books the old-fashioned way: one at a time.”

  2. Bev Murrill says:

    I like it too, Ellen.

  3. Laura says:

    Agreed Tim. Not a wise use of funds…

  4. karen d says:

    classic tim! i also think there’s a larger discussion to be had around this whole nonsense, which is the invisible assumption that the gospel is words-about-Jesus-so-they-might-have-a-conversion-experience instead of the good news that in Jesus God has done in the middle of history what everyone thought could only happen at the end of history — Shalom — which he demonstrated by healing the sick, feeding the hungry, setting free the captives, embracing the outcast. Driscoll seems over-prioritized words (and his own at that) over and above an incarnational gospel … at the very, very least.

    • Tim says:

      Exactly, Karen. When Jesus preached his first synagogue sermon in Luke 4 he announced the good news of the kingdom by saying that God came to free captives, etc., and then he said he is the fulfillment of that prophecy. What a concept: Jesus heals and wants us to do the same, and that is how he is building his kingdom.

    • EricaM says:

      That’s an excellent point. When John’s followers came to see if Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus didn’t say, “Yep, that’s me!” He began actively showing love to and helping others, and that in and of itself was His answer.

    • Yes. My prayer for myself and others is that we BE the church. Any financial issues disappear with that one statement. If no one got paid for preaching the gospel, wouldn’t motives become clear?

  5. Pingback: The Mega-Pastor and the Best Seller List – a parable | Tim's Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another

  6. caramac54 says:

    bada bing, bada bam. Emphasis on BAM.

  7. Yeah, but if he’d done that, all those couples across the country would never have benefitted from Mark’s advice on Real Marriage….Oh. Wait. Never mind.

  8. How easy it is to slide into worldliness. And how desperately sad.

  9. K.D. says:

    I put my hand into my pocket many time to buy a kid(s) a lunch. ( I’m not blowing my own horn here, most teachers do it.)
    If he were to donate the money for the 107,000 lunches it would have meant so much more to both the kids and his witness. I seriously don’t think people understand how many kids do not qualify or the family is too proud to apply for free lunches, and kids wind up skipping a meal…

    • Tim says:

      Exactly, KD. I’d be willing to bet that those actions would speak much louder than the words of his book. (And yay for school teachers – I’m married to one!)

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