This past week at a nationwide church planting conference in Florida Mark Driscoll, a blunt genXer pastor known to speak his mind, appeared on video to the thousands in attendance. The content of his video was about church planting and how church planters are like soldiers. Driscoll strongly is for male leadership and his 8-minute talk pretty much reflected his views, which would not surprise those familiar with him and his ministry in Seattle. Bill Hybels, a boomer, clearly rebuked Driscoll for not considering the women who lead church plants. If you are familiar with Bill Hybels this is of no surprise, either. The result of this spat was the decision by the event leaders to not distribute a copy of the video to the attendees.
Here is the video to see for yourself.
I think this could be an interesting case study in leadership. Even though Hybels had a contrary viewpoint, I see no evidence that he demanded this action. Why did the event leaders ban the video? Often in leadership we react to conflict and lively debate with horror when really the liveliness means passion and concern. In leading the church, it seems we are afraid to show our cards and often will overreact by pulling something back or by spinning the issue or by silencing people who cause the conflict as in this case.
We try to cut the edges off. Driscoll has edges, which is one reason I like him. Hybels spoke his mind, too, which is why I like him as well. What is the big deal? We could get into a debate about gender roles in leadership in the church, but that is something I think would cloud the point we might learn from this event.
Are we diminished by debate as Christians, or is this is chance to shine?