In 2012, Dustin Kensrue (frontman of the currently defunct post-hardcore outfit Thrice) announced that he had joined Christian megachurch, Mars Hill, as a worship leader. However, after rumors of him no longer being associated with the church sprung up last night, he has released his official letter of resignation to the general public. You can read the statement in full, and check out a closing excerpt below.
Recently, the organization came under fire when a 4,000-word letter signed by nine pastors of the church revealed that called for leading Pastor Mark Driscoll to take a step down “not just from the pulpit, but from all aspects of ministry and leadership.” Within a week of the letter's release, four of its signees had left the church (one of them being Kensrue). The vocalist commented on the Executive Elders of the church in his resignation statement saying, “While I believe that the general view expressed above is the common understanding of most of the elders and members of the church, it has been made increasingly clear, especially in the last week, that some elders, the Executive Elders in particular, have a very different understanding of what it is to be an elder at MH.”
He also goes on to present a list of things he believes need to be done in order for Mars Hill to begin functioning properly, which includes: “BOAA (Board Of Advisors And Accountability) and EE needs to apologize for a pattern of misleading communication,” and “BOAA and EE needs to start communicating clearly and humbly,” among other things as well.
Additionally, it should be noted that Thrice's former manager, Nick Bogardus, was also a pastor at Mars Hill. His exit preceded Kensrue's by several months.
“I would encourage you to not muddy the issues by engaging in personal attacks and becoming bitter. I honestly believe that the EE and the BOAA want good for the people of MH. I honestly believe that they love you, and that they love Jesus. But I also believe that they are blind to what is really going on, and blind to what the roots of the problems are. I believe that they are treating the media as their conscience, rather than heeding the voice of the Holy Spirit and the voice of the elders. So speak boldly, but speak in love. Mars Hill is not on a good trajectory. All signs would point to the probability that Jesus is “removing the lamp-stand” just as he warned the church of Ephesus he would do to them in the book of Revelation. The way to prevent this is not simply to ‘return to the love we had at first,’ but first to repent! (Rev 2:5) If Mars Hill is to survive even another six months it needs to be a place of radical repentance: repentance of pride, deception, domineering attitudes, lazy and self-serving hermeneutics, and a slew of other sins. If you are going to stay, I pray that you would be bold yet loving in your confrontation of these sins and your demand for repentance, because the church of Christ deserves nothing less.
With love for the people of Mars Hill and for the glory of the name of Jesus,
Former Pastor Dustin Kensrue”