Gospel Coalition Conference – Observation #5

Mark Driscoll is probably the most “controversial” personality that’s in the circles that I follow.  I have come to appreciate his teachability as much as anything.  He allows others to see his sanctification in a way that must bless his congregation.  While I’m not as controversial or blunt as Mark is, I still feel like I understand something of why he speaks the way he does.  Oh yea, he also preaches long also!  Here are my notes from his talk followed (again) by observation:

Mark Driscoll

2 Timothy 2:14-26

Notes on resurgence website

In ministry you will face:  positives, negatives and neutrals

20 Types of Negatives:

1)    Success / Jealousy

2)    False witness

3)    Misinformed (act as if it were true)

4)    Personal dislike (they just don’t like you)

5)    Take up offense for another person

6)    Missiological (over-contextualization / irrelevant)

7)    Single-issue voter

8)    Chain of command (want access to the top)

9)    Little world (scared of those outside of the same “city”)

10) Tradition (opposed to change, any at all)

11) Unforgiving

12) Plank-speck (classic religiosity / someone else’s sin)

13) Diatrophes (always up front and known)

14) Distrust (start with guilt)

15) Control (don’t understand diff. between control & influence)

16) Critic (nitpickers)

17) Warrior (looking for a hill to die on)

18) One-handed (everything is held in the closed hand or the open hand)

19) Gossip

20) Theological (just don’t agree with)

The charge:

1)    Emphasize what your for (the essential positives:  right doctrine)

2)    Preach the Word (don’t react to criticism) in the pulpit

3)    Positively use your God-given authority (there are some parental insights to use here) – Be courageous and lead strongly (the sheep need this strength when negative people try to assert control)

4)    Positively invest your words

5)    Positively do your best (don’t waste energy and sleep over negative, critical people – serve and work hard)

6)    Positively study harder (rightly handle the word of truth)

7)    Positively avoid negative arguments

8)    Positively use words carefully (battle heresy with truth – don’t name someone a “heretic” unless you mean it, name sparingly) – Warn the sheep

9)    Rejoice that the church is God’s (preach faithfully, God will redeem His own and use you despite unfaithfulness on your part)

10) Practice repentance and participate in grace (be honest with your people – confess and repent where appropriate) – Humility is required!

11) Positively use your passion – Be usable, holy and honorable!

12) Positively grow up quickly

13) Positively seek righteousness, faith, love and peace from a pure heart

14) Positively grow in Jesus

15) Positively be kind like Jesus

16) Harness the opportunity to teach the people

17) Suffer patiently like Jesus

18) Correct with gentleness

19) Positively desire good for your enemies (granted repentance – true salvation / redemption) – wanting this and having spiritual eyes to see them.


Driscoll’s talk was interesting.  I found myself wanting more out of the text than he brought, which any preacher (including myself) tends to miss at times.  I appreciated the observations of negative people and how to positively deal with them.  However, I felt the text that was emphatic in other areas.  Either way, it was helpful and certainly humorous, but I certainly was more taken by the other speakers at this point.

On the definitively positive side, I did find great encouragement from his honesty of the text working him over during his preparation and confessing mistakes / misdeeds that were exposed – I relate to that so well.

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