What were the results of the congregational vote on July 18?

Following the official vote count, including all MBC locations (as observed by an independent third party retained separately for this purpose), we are pleased to report that all three elder nominees received over 80% affirmation from our church family. We did make provisional ballots available for anyone who had a question about their membership and/or wanted to preserve their ability to vote. All of the provisional ballots were officially counted as well, and even if only the provisional ballots that voted “no” were to be included in the official count, the results would still be above 78% for all nominees. In other words, there is no scenario in which the results of this vote fall below the required 75% for each nominee. Therefore, we are pleased to officially announce the affirmation of our new MBC elders: Chuck Hollingsworth, Ken Tucker, and Jim Burris. We invite you to begin praying for them as they lead in our church family.

We’ll continue to leave this page up for anyone who may still be looking for information and answers to these questions. 

Dear MBC Family

We look forward to gathering with you for a Special Congregational Meeting on July 18 in coordination with our services at each of our locations at 9 am and 11 am.  To help you pray and prepare for this upcoming Congregational Meeting, we have tried to put as much information as possible here in one place.

PRAYER GUIDE

Please join us in fasting and prayer for the entire MBC family.  We will be corporately walking through a 7-Day Prayer Guide that you can access HERE.

AN EVENING OF WORSHIP AND PRAYER

Please join us on Friday night at 7 pm at MBC Tysons for an evening of corporate worship and prayer.  All locations are encouraged to attend!

ELDER NOMINEE INTRODUCTIONS

As you join us in fasting and prayer, please pray specifically for the following three elder nominees and their families:

Chuck Hollingsworth

Chuck is a faithful member and leader at our Montgomery County location, teaching God’s Word every week and shepherding individuals and couples across our church family. For more information about Chuck and his wife Jan, see HERE.

Jim Burris

Before coming to MBC, Jim helped lead and plant churches in a variety of capacities. He and his wife Hannah have now served at MBC for the last 10 years in many different ministries, including Kid’s Quest and leading a group. For more information on Jim, see HERE.

Ken Tucker

Ken has served at MBC for the last 20 years, mentoring couples, leading in various ministries, equipping church planters, and mobilizing people on mission. He and his wife Judy have been married for 40 years. For more information on Ken, see HERE.

Why are we voting again?

At our most recent congregational meeting on June 30, there were a number of voting irregularities that prevented us from declaring a clear outcome. We are voting again so that the entire body of MBC has an opportunity to speak into this critical moment in the life of our church.

How are we working and communicating toward unity in the church?

First and foremost, we want to address our differences in biblical ways that honor Jesus and one another. We want every follower of Jesus to know that even amidst disagreements, it is possible to be a church family. We want MBC to be a place where people with all kinds of convictions on matters of conscience can thrive. So wherever possible, we want to work together to move forward together on mission even with our different perspectives. When moving forward together may not be possible and Christians find it necessary to part ways as Paul and Barnabas did in Acts 15, we want to do so lovingly, holding onto the hope of reconciliation, relationship, and partnership together in the gospel in the days to come.

As one illustration of this kind of communication, please see the attached letter from Chuck Hollingsworth. This letter was adapted from an email sent directly by Chuck in response to a group of people who reached out to him after voting “no” on his nomination on June 30. We hope to share more of an update this week regarding other constructive, Christ-honoring dialogue that is currently taking place between brothers and sisters with different perspectives. Let’s continue to pray together for an eagerness to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, with all humility and gentleness, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:1-3).

Why does the vote require the name of a member on each ballot?

One of the significant challenges on June 30 involved the request of more than 40 provisional ballots from people who were not listed on the active membership list of the church. We were forwarded concerning emails before the meeting where former members – many of whom had not been at MBC in years – were encouraged to show up to try and vote.

There is no way to determine if an actual ballot is from a member if we do not somehow preserve the record of who submitted the ballots themselves.  The elders have no desire to see how any individual may vote, and no members of the board did that last time with any of the provisional ballots that also included names.  We will, however, maintain a record of the ballots on July 18 – including the names of members – in the event that there are further questions about whether people are attempting to vote even if they are not active members of MBC.

Is MBC secretly a Southern Baptist church?

No. MBC’s partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention began in 2016 with a specific motion by Lon Solomon to partner with the SBC to plant churches in Metro Washington DC.  You can read the SBC’s confirmation of the original partnership agreement here.

In spite of this clear origin for the relationship, however, we have become increasingly aware that communication about McLean Bible Church and ministries of the SBC has often been unclear and confusing. This confusion has led various church members – including our elders – to legitimately wonder about MBC’s relationship to the Southern Baptist Convention.

For this reason, we have immediately suspended contributions to all SBC ministries until we can more fully evaluate the current state of the partnership decision made in 2016.  In the meantime, we have requested that all SBC entities immediately remove any listing for McLean Bible Church on any SBC-related website that indicates in any way that McLean Bible Church is anything other than an independent, non-denominational Bible Church. Our understanding is that this process of removing our name from SBC websites – listings that never should have existed – has already begun and that corrections are being made by the SBC as soon as possible.

Is MBC really considering selling the Tysons facility?

The idea that we are selling the Tysons facility has been extremely surprising to us because it is clearly and unquestionably untrue. Nevertheless, we have tried to discern why people might raise this question.

Years ago, before David Platt came to MBC, staff leaders conducted an assessment of the Tysons facility in order to determine the monetary value of our overall assets as a church. However, there was never a plan to sell the facility.

Over recent years, we have said many times that our desire as a church is for every member to be equipped and empowered to make disciples here or anywhere in the world in ways that are dependent solely upon God’s Word and God’s Spirit, regardless of the availability of church buildings or programs. We have said that we only want to hold tightly to God’s Word and God’s Spirit, not our buildings or traditions, willing to do whatever Jesus calls us to do to reach people with the gospel. However, we have not taken any steps toward selling the Tysons facility. On the contrary (and this is part of why this question has been so surprising), we just completed a fairly extensive office renovation at Tysons. In addition, we have recently built out our first 24/7 location in Arlington, and we have authorized our real estate teams to pursue long-term strategies for both Prince William and Loudoun. While we don’t want to be dependent on any building to glorify God as a church, we are grateful for the buildings He has provided, and we want to steward them well for the accomplishment of our mission as a church. The answer is an emphatic “No, we are not selling the Tysons building.”

Do McLean Bible Church pastors really espouse critical race theory?

We teach only what the Bible says about justice and race, including the development of a lengthy discipleship resource that is still in the “draft” stage and that has received more than 1,000 additions and suggestions from MBC members.  CRT is a buzzword today, often used as an accusation (like “woke”) to label someone in the body of Christ in a way that cuts off any further discussion.  We understand CRT to be a human (and therefore inherently flawed) effort towards understanding injustice. As followers of Jesus, we always want to listen to the concerns and observations of those around us, but we never want to elevate those concerns above our foundational belief in God’s Word. The Bible teaches that all expressions of racism are sin, displeasing to God, and incompatible with following Jesus, but we do not need a “theory” in order to communicate this truth.

Did David Platt and Mike Kelsey attend a Black Lives Matter march?

In June 2020, David and Mike joined many other church leaders and members from all around metro Washington, D.C., in an explicitly Christian march to pray for unity and healing in the midst of escalating racial tensions. Mike’s son held a poster saying, “Black Lives Matter to God,” as Mike and his dad (a longtime pastor in Washington, D.C.) led in prayer on the lawn in front of the Capitol. The gospel was proclaimed to the surrounding crowds, and people were invited to trust in Jesus.

What do MBC pastors preach about abortion and sexuality?

MBC pastors have clearly taught, even over recent months, what God’s Word says about abortion (see HERE) and sexuality (see HERE). We are committed to holding fast to God’s Word while expressing God’s love for people inside and outside the church.

Was Lon Solomon pushed out of MBC in 2017?

No. Lon’s numerous communications to the church in 2017 affirmed that he was the one who approached the elders with the idea that it was time for him to transition out of his role as Lead Pastor for MBC.

Why have MBC staff members signed non-disclosure agreements when they have left staff in the past?

As you can imagine, church staff members are privy to all kinds of very private information concerning the members and attenders of the church.  Non-disclosure agreements are a fairly standard way to protect that information even after someone leaves the MBC staff.

In addition, we should point out that the church is also bound by similar agreements.  There are a number of things related to the employment of former staff members that we are prohibited from sharing, even though we might wish we were able to provide helpful context in certain situations.  In short, a non-disclosure agreement protects both the people of MBC and the former staff members from the disclosure of sensitive information after the working relationship no longer exists.

What is the vision for MBC in the future?

Our mission as a church family is to glorify God by making disciples and multiplying churches among all nations, beginning in greater Washington, D.C. Grounded in biblical foundations, we are continually working to cultivate 12 biblical traits as a church: biblical teaching and preaching, biblical prayer, biblical evangelism, biblical discipleship, biblical membership, biblical leadership, biblical fellowship, biblical accountability and discipline, biblical worship, biblical ordinances, biblical giving, and biblical mission. We want to walk faithfully in obedience to God’s Word, shepherding the body of Christ at MBC as we together pursue the Great Commission.