In 1975, Bill Hybels and Dr. Bilezikian discussed a concept that would be one of the most impacting—and one of the most misunderstood—in the Western Church.
While they implemented may ideas, some of the more notorious included diligent research and feedback, emphasis on local community, and effective communication. These principals, and others, grew their numbers at a startling rate, and eventually drew respect of many in the American Church, including some of their largest opponents from their early years.
Why was their such a misunderstanding, though? And why do many Christian groups misrepresent what Hybels did at Willow Creek? Perhaps this is easier to understand if we review three closet assumptions held by many Christians in America…
1. Research and market feed back are shallow, aesthetically-focuses, and greed-driven, only used by top-heavy, bureaucratic, for-profit businesses.
2. Good Bible teaching must use big words that normal people shouldn’t understand. Since seminaries teach with big words, those big words must be taught to the plumber in the pew before he can understand the Bible… even though those big words aren’t in the Bible. · · · →
Depression is high, teen suicide climbing, divorce soars beyond geosynchronous orbit, and youth are fleeing the Church like beach goers from a tsunami. Normally, when things get bad, people start asking the tough questions. But every once in a while, we find those companies and organizations which blame their downturn on the economy or anything but themselves. Has the Body of Christ done that?
We aren’t allowed to re-evaluate our micro-theology niggling—as in, maybe question the new Theologies we’ve published over the last 50 years. The Lausanne Congresses—Manila Manifesto and Capetown—were good, right? I mean, Billy Graham had everyone under one roof… except for the “silly Charismatics” that is. Who would want them anyways? It’s funny, the more the Lausanne Congress gathered, the worse things got. But, that could only be a coincidence. After all, coming together (excluding Charismatics) is as wonderful as motherhood and apple pie. (For the record, it wasn’t a movement. · · · →