Thursday, October 18, 2007

Willow Creek Repents?

The following is an article on Christianity Today's blog regarding Willow Creek and their discipleship process. Hybels says that their church has made a mistake and they need to re-think their ministry model.

The article is fascinating, and I'd also recommend that you listen to the video clip by their executive pastor and also Hybels himself.

While I'm not sure I totally agree with Hybels conclusion on what they think is going to "fix" the problem, I do think that what is happening here is a very positive thing!


Bennett S. said...

I've read the article, but for some reason, I can't watch the clips (they just won't start/load). So what I read I thought was good, but I wasn't able to hear either person speak :(.

Paul said...

Hey PT. This is Paul Hontz (incase you didn't figure it out :P).

I was at the leader ship summit and I agree that it's a positive thing for them to come out and say those things, however, I do have a question for you. What would be the best way (in your opinion) for Hybels to handle this?

Just stumbled across your blog again, and I enjoy reading it, so I thought I'd drop you a line.

Have a good one!

Pastor Timothy said...

Paul! Nice that you'd stop by. Thanks for your encouraging words.

First, let me just say that your question is a difficult one to answer simply because I don't know all the dynamics at that church.

Overall, I'm not sure if their conclusion is accurate - that they simply need to teach the people to study the Word on their own. Because it seems as though the growing Christians are studying the Word of God on their own and it also seems as though they're wanting deeper truth to saturate them on Sundays, etc.

I think there might need to be an even bigger shift in ministry mentality (but I'm not sure on the step-by-step solution). Hybels said that the unbelievers were very satisfied with the church, new believers were about the same, and then as people were growing spiritually, they were becoming more dissatisfied with the church because they were wanting "deeper" stuff. Obviously this is a HUGE problem because the church is primarily for believers. And, these believer must be reaching into the community for Christ.

So, before they make a "shift", I think they need to look at that aspect and see what they need to do (more than just teach them to study the Word on their own - because I think those people might be doing that.)

Anyway, these are simply my thoughts and I could be way off, but that's okay - I'm not in charge of those changes, and thankfully God's the judge and He's in control of His church! I simply pray that God will open the eyes of the leadership at Willow Creek widely so that they'll not modify their "mistake" (as they call it) since they have a HUGE impact around the globe. I know they'd appreciate that prayer.

Thanks for the question and challenging me to think about this and write it out! If you have any other questions, feel free to write me back. (And, what are your thoughts on this?)

By the way, how are you doing? Is there anything I can pray about for you specifically?

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