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Willow Creek Cries “We Made a Mistake.”

October 18, 2007

After processing the results of a several year study on the spiritual growth of Willow Creek, Bill Hybels humbly confesses: “We made a mistake.”

Read about it here.


7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 18, 2007 6:28 pm

    Wow. That’s really cool that Hybels is willing to confess that they made a mistake. That’s when a church can truly turn around.

  2. October 20, 2007 9:19 pm

    Hybel’s humility proposes a greater example of Christ and His character, than all the years of trying “methods”, hoping to bear spiritual fruit. We Pray that the “turn around” indeed, turns toward the building-up of The Church (who are the people) on Christ, who is the cornerstone!

  3. sam permalink
    November 2, 2007 5:50 am

    accountability is a hallmark of good leadership (true leadership, anyway). it’s not sufficient, but it is necessary.

    OTOH, participation in activities designed to guide participants toward those God-seeking habits of prayer and spiritual disciplines might be ok…

  4. November 18, 2007 3:48 pm

    The Truth About REVEAL


    I’m thrilled to see the high level of interest and energy behind the blogosphere comments about REVEAL. But I’ve read enough postings to think that it might be helpful to provide a few facts on three issues that keep coming up. Trust me. I’m not into “spin control” here. I just want to fill in some gaps.

    1. It’s Not About Willow
    • REVEAL’s findings are based on thirty churches besides Willow. In all thirty churches, we’ve found the six segments of REVEAL’s spiritual continuum, including the Stalled and Dissatisfied segments. And these churches aren’t all Willow clones. We’ve surveyed traditional Bible churches, mainline denominations, African-American churches and churches representing a wide range of geographies and sizes. Right now we’re fielding the survey to 500 additional churches, including 100 international churches. So, while REVEAL was born out of a Willow research project in 2004, the findings are not exclusive to Willow Creek.
    2. Willow Repents?
    • The first blog started with this question, and the answer is “yes”. But repenting is not a new experience for us. We’ve made a number of major course corrections over the years – like adding a big small group ministry for the thousands of new Christians coming to faith at Willow, and adding a mid-week service for our Christ-followers. We’ve always been a church in motion and REVEAL is just another example of Willow trying to be open to God’s design for this local church.
    3. Is Willow Re-thinking its Seeker Focus?
    • Simple answer – no. My boss would say that Willow is not just seeker-focused. We are seeker-obsessed. The power of REVEAL’s insights for our seeker strategy is the evangelistic strength uncovered in the more mature segments. If we can serve them better, the evangelistic potential is enormous, based on our findings.

    I hope this was helpful. In any event, I’m enjoying following the dialogue. Keep it up! And let me know if you have any questions you’d like me to address.

    Greg Hawkins

  5. November 26, 2007 2:10 pm

    Hi Greg or whoever left the last page length comment about reveal (which i deleted). I have left the first one intact.

    I appreciate your concern to correct certain wrong impressions about Willow Creek, however, I prefer that you not leave page long facts about this issue which reflect a very defensive posture. Not only is this distasteful, but borders on SPAM and is obviously a cut and paste job.

    You will note that my original post did not offer a critique or praise, just information.

    We appreciate Hybel’s humble response to certain issues and leading with this humility in example for other churches.

    Very gratefully,

    Jonathan Dodson

  6. susan young permalink
    January 30, 2008 4:34 pm

    “Seeker-focussed” or “seeker-obsessed” – it seems to me that they still have the wrong end of the stick. I think church is for believers first and foremost – for corporate worship, fellowship, solid bible teaching and equipping of disciples to go out into the world and reach the seekers. It is exactly because of its backwards approach that the Willow Creek model is failing.

  7. Tom permalink
    August 17, 2008 4:35 pm

    It seems to me that being a Christian in your own neighborhood is a logical outcome of this reveal. More programs?… well, if that program is feeding the poor, housing the orphan, clothing the needy and setting people free in Jesus name, well, that seems to be ‘mature’ too.

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