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Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  1,323 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
This is the story of the birth and growth of Seattle’s innovative Mars Hill Church, one of America’s fastest growing churches located in one of America’s toughest mission fields. It’s also the story of the growth of a pastor, the mistakes he’s made along the way, and God’s grace and work in spite of those mistakes.

Mark Driscoll’s emerging, missional church took a rocky roa
Paperback, 207 pages
Published April 18th 2006 by Zondervan (first published April 1st 2006)
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Brett McNeill
Feb 22, 2008 Brett McNeill rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Those trying to understand the Emerging movement.
Mark Driscoll presents his vision for the Emerging Church. While this the Emerging movement is far better than the Emergent, the problem remains that this is basically a SaddleBack ecclesiology geared toward twenty-something-urbanites rather than Mercedes driving baby-boomer-suburbanites. The goal is basically 'find out what people want and give it to them and drop anyone who slows you down.' So far from the biblical image of pastor as shepherd, this book drives the pastor into celebrity styled ...more
Sarah D
Dec 18, 2011 Sarah D rated it did not like it
At the time I read this, I liked this book more than I do now. However, I've changed since then, and thus find some of Driscoll's opinions to be less appealing or valid than I did in March. It is a fascinating story of the beginning of a church that started out small and grew very large. VERY large. One of his main points (that I actually remember months later) was that the "Church" should be large and that small churches just aren't as good. Meh. Statements such as that one and others like it d ...more
John Zak
Nov 01, 2015 John Zak rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book, but, for the record, I'm also a huge Mark Driscoll fan. He is an amazing bible teacher and preacher; although, obviously he has had many downfalls as a pastor. But who doesn't? After reading this book I tweeted, "Confessions of a reformission rev is an enlightening book, however, it makes the idea of church planting seem nightmarish". This is exactly how I felt. At one point in the book, Mark describes his young, quickly growing church in this way: “I had naively ga ...more
Mar 12, 2009 Rod rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity
This book would make alot of Christians angry...therefore its a good book. It makes you think and challenge everything you've ever know about running a successful Church.
It didn't give me the answers I was hoping for, but it wasn't supposed to. It was supposed to show you the answers Mark was looking for when building HIS church.
A very enjoyable read.
Mar 10, 2017 Andy rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
It's like sitting down with Mark and having a conversation about everything he learned starting his church - Mars Hill. There's some great information in here and it was very eye opening to read about the things he encountered during the early years of his church. Anyone looking to start a church plant would probably benefit from his stories - at least in giving's a mess.

An update would be super interesting given how much has happened since this book was published. He resigned,
Andrew Fox
Jul 23, 2012 Andrew Fox rated it it was amazing
The captivating theme of Confessions of a Reformissional Rev. compels the reader to grasp the concept of a Missional Church, not in theory, but throughout a practical journey of painful and delightful growth. The seven stages of church growth embrace both character and competence, in that order, without appearing to end the learning process. The preamble of ten questions provokes the reader to evaluate what type of church they pastor: traditional, contemporary or missional. Further still, the re ...more
Exodus Books
Apr 27, 2011 Exodus Books rated it liked it
Shelves: christian
Before it was a Seattle megachurch with 4000 regular attendees, Mars Hill Church was nothing. That should go without saying, but so should a lot of other things that most people don't think about, like the fact that starting a church is difficult business and often messy, or that it's actually right for people to leave your church if they aren't helpful or are causing division.

Mark Driscoll didn't really know anything about starting a church when he first began hosting meetings in his rented hou
Jan 20, 2008 Gordon added it
I heard Mark Driscoll speak about four months ago, and I found him to be an incredibly engaging and entertaining. When he says that he preaches b/n an hour and a hour and a half each Sunday, I believe it. BTW, I listened to one of his sermons the other day. It was incredibly informative and thought-provoking and also could have been edited by at least fifteen minutes, but I digress.

"Confessions of a Reformission Rev" is his book detailing the genesis of his Mars Hills Church in Seattle, WA. At f
Phil Whittall
Dec 06, 2014 Phil Whittall rated it liked it
Confessions of a Reformission Rev is an interesting book, didn't take me too long to read (less than a week) of yet another mega-church in an American city, this time Seattle. Ok Seattle is the most unchurched in America with only 8% evangelical but I dream of 8% of any kind of Christian. For the UK to get up to 8% in any place would be an achievement. In my area if we get up to 8% most people would think revival has broken out. In my area if the church growth is spread out evenly among all the ...more
Oct 12, 2013 Sean rated it really liked it
This is an account of how 25-year-old Mark Driscoll started a Bible study in his living room with a few couples in 1996 and ended up the pastor of a 5000-person megachurch ten years later. Driscoll is rather controversial in and out of the Evangelical community for his somewhat hot-headed approach to ministry, but he tells a good story, and presents an insightful account of the struggles experienced while building a successful church. Driscoll also makes it clear that the job of a pastor is ofte ...more
Feb 20, 2014 MrBReads rated it really liked it
I have had my eye on this book for a while and I finally managed to snap it up on the cheap...and I was not disappointed!
I picked it up mostly because I was interested in the history of Mars Hill Church and not because I am, at this moment in time, setting out to lead a church plant! Driscoll is characteristically honest when talking about his failures and unashamedly bold in directing everything back to Jesus and I found this to be an interesting, readable account of this influential church's e
Jeff Bettger
Oct 10, 2011 Jeff Bettger rated it really liked it
Pastor Mark is always helpful in assessing where things are at, seeing where things should or could be and planning on getting there. He is not afraid to make hard decisions, even if they alienate other in the process. As long as the Gospel as the Gospel continues to save (which it will) you will see Pastor Mark reorganizing, and learning from the mistakes, and success of Mars Hill Church. He talks about me a bit in this book so I am fond of it. I remember nearly every story he tells minus the f ...more
Sep 26, 2007 James rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: leaders
Shelves: read-ministry
A quick read (I finished the whole book during my flights to Portland this week) but a good read. I regularly listen to Driscoll's podcasted sermons, and his voice was very clear as I read this book. Here he traces the development of Mars Hill Church in Seattle from the very beginnings through early 2006 (when the book was published), pointing out lessons learned at each step.
What I appreciate about Mark most of all is his candor - his candor about the truth of the Gospel, his candor about the
Dec 08, 2008 Ben rated it it was amazing
Great book, refreshing to see a pastor being real even if some people may notlike it. Itresting isights on the missional church, and being fluid, not getting stuck for traditions sake.
Most people that have problems with this book, I feel are just looking for somthing to get up in a huff about, or somthing that can offend them. While Pastor Driscoll certainly is unconventional, and a bit rough around the edges, you have to realize that I'm sure some of the material is included for entertainment s
Jason Savage
Aug 14, 2007 Jason Savage rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Church Leaders, (paid or unpaid), looking to learn from a very gifted and passionate leader.
Mark Driscoll and I share some very similar feelings about what the church should look like and how it should function. My favorite thing about this book is his point that churches should both be attractional and incarnational. Meaning that we should be bringing people in, but also representing God in our culture. Unfortunately, most churches are in a place where they are either one or the other. Though I may disagree with him on certain theological points, I found myself in agreement with the m ...more
Aug 06, 2011 Mike rated it really liked it
I was expecting to be shocked by this book, but perhaps we're all Driscoll-desensitized now. Sounds like Mark was just what Seattle needed. Lots of wisdom from hard knocks, teachability, but above all, persistence for Jesus. Also a lot of structural/organizational advice which doesn't apply to me, but great for pastors. Biggest lesson at the end for me was his hatred of the comfort zone. As soon as things get comfortable, it's time to look for, or pray for, a new challenge to keep people focusse ...more
Jun 04, 2008 Marc rated it liked it
I had mixed feelings about 'Confessions.' The book reads with the arrogance and cynicism for which Driscoll is widely known. I always have a hard time stomaching the understones (or explicit remarks) that seem so contradictory to the essential message of the Gospel. At the same time, this flows from his nature as a strong leader, and the insights from his journey are worth some extended reflection. In particular, the questions at the end of each chapter are quite excellent, and I spent a good de ...more
Jul 19, 2012 David rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading Driscoll's experience from starting a small church plant in his living room and moving it to a large megachurch in the Seattle area. He is really transparent in sharing this process and shares the successes, challenges and failures during his path so far.

What interested me the most was:

1) the way community changed as the church grew and

2) how the church changes between different attendance sizes.

Driscoll gives us a peek into that process and has done a great job loving and
Dec 31, 2009 Molly rated it liked it
This is basically a biographical account of Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill's journey. It opened my eyes to see where he has come from and where he is going. He is a bit tamer than he was at first and there are some almost shocking things. But God uses people who make mistakes but have a passionate heart to change. John Piper said something like this about Mark Driscoll "I'm not sure I like where you've come from, I think I like where you are...but I definitely like where you are going..." or someth ...more
C.H.E. Sadaphal
Aug 07, 2015 C.H.E. Sadaphal rated it really liked it
The bottom line: An opinionated but candid and insightful look into a pastor’s hard lessons learned. Many practical nuggets.

Books on church building and the pastoral life can be quite dull, sugar-coated, or unnecessarily flowery.
In Confessions of a Reformission Rev. Mark Driscoll opens up and is completely honest with readers as he recollects the triumphs and the abysmal mistakes he made in leading a small church of less than 50 to one of more than 4,000 in one of the most ... http://www.chesada
Elizabeth Buckley
Jan 02, 2008 Elizabeth Buckley rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who's been in church a while
This book is geared at church planters, but I think it's an interesting and important read for all Christians. I trust Mark Driscoll's theology and church model so much I have entertained the thought of moving to Seattle just to attend his church. He is brilliant! Full of refreshing, surprising ideas about what being a pastor means. Don't be afraid to make contraversial decisions or offend people. Don't be afraid to let people go who aren't on your mission. A perfect blend of solid Biblical mode ...more
Sep 26, 2007 David rated it really liked it
An intriguing look at one of the nations fastest growing churches, as told by the founding pastor, Mark Driscoll. Driscoll's writing is similar to his speaking, improvisational, humorous, witty, sarcastic and sometimes thought provoking. The book walks through each step of Mars Hill Church's growth and in so doing gives an outsider an insider look on the principles, values and hardships encountered by an emerging, missional church in one of the nations least churched cities.
Nov 02, 2008 Dennes rated it really liked it
It's an interesting book, liked it a lot. Pretty much the story of how Mars Hill, got to where it is now, the obstacles and the blessings. Mark is very funny and has some great stories, but most importantly he's applying the principles of what Jesus taught to our generation and to the church.

Recommended to anyone who's looking for a church, part of a small church or anyone who's looking to start a church. Also to anyone wondering what a blessed emerging church looks like.
Jared Daugherty
Jan 26, 2008 Jared Daugherty rated it it was amazing
I was there near the beginning of the church and Got to truly see what happens when people plant a church with God's intentions in mind following His lead from Scripture rather than doing what they think is popular or a good target group. This book sheds great insight into church planting and church growth God's way, even if it means sticky and messy areas. Mark does not hide, but rather humbly points out some of his own mistakes and prays we don't make the same. I highly recommend this book.
Chris Crane
I think this is a good book to read if you're going to be a church planter, since it very candidly shows the struggles of trying to plant a church, especially in such a non-churched area as Seattle, WA. However, some of the things he says seem really immature and childish, which doesn't seem to very helpful. Some of the conclusions I didn't always agree with, but nonetheless, I think this is a worthwhile read and give you an insight into the megachurch known as Mars Hill Church.
Jul 03, 2008 Towens23 rated it it was amazing
Very good book. It's honest and in your face, very practical and compelling. I think his message to young men is excellent and meeting a desperate need in our culture. This book is not for kids, and some church-goers would be scandalized by his frank discussions about sex, etc., but I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to be an active member of a church that's reaching ppl in american culture. Or anyone looking to start a church.
Aug 24, 2011 Deanna rated it liked it
This book was an interesting biography of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. I enjoyed reading about the different struggles of each phase of the church from Mark Driscoll's perspective. I even laughed out loud several times throughout the course of the book. This was a fairly easy read, and if I was in vocational ministry (especially church planting), I would have found it even more helpful. I think everyone can learn something from this book.
Shawn Paterson
Oct 13, 2013 Shawn Paterson rated it it was ok
Brutally honest at some points that it makes you, and Driscoll, cringe. An honest biographical account of the history of Mars Hill and Driscoll as a pastor. While some parts were crude, it was encouraging. Driscoll has come a long way, and I think Seattle and other cities are reaping the benefits of this ministry to postmoderns.
Justin Rosales
Aug 05, 2015 Justin Rosales rated it it was amazing
Lessons learned:

• All losses are invaluable lessons for leaders.

• To be effective, leaders must lead the lost with love.

• When everyone else is getting comfortable, it's time to get creative.

• Effective leaders influence with integrity, not intimidation.

• Jesus is our Senior and Executiver Pastor. All decisions must be ran by him.
Dec 03, 2010 Toby rated it really liked it
Again, this is really somewhere between a 3 and a 4, but there are a number of really helpful things in this book, especially for pastors and church planters. I have my quibbles, and he certainly doesn't cover all of the areas of church life and church planting. But there's a lot of good stuff here.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Mark A. Driscoll is the founder and teaching pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, as well as the co-founder of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network where he also served as President for a short period. Driscoll continues to serve on the board of Acts 29. He has contributed to the "Faith and Values"
More about Mark Driscoll...

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