It’s been over a week since I’ve posted. Mainly due that my Macbook Pro was at the repair shop and is not on a table in Apple’s offices. I hope it comes back with Leopard installed.
However, in the time that has elapsed there has been a controversial repentance by Bill Hybels and the leadership of Willow Creek Community Church. It has been interesting to read articles, posts and comments on this issue. As you read the responses, it is almost like the world of Christiandom is like the world of politics.
In politics, anything a Republican does or falls short of becomes the hot topic of the Democrats and vice a versa. They constantly look for every shortcoming and analyze it to death until they find something that they can put down to make their party look better.
Well instead of Republicans and Democrats, we have Seeker Driven and non-Seeker Driven (I chose this term since other terms would present a derogatory connotation either way).
In this confession where Willow Creek apologizes that their people are not as mature as they feel they should be and lay out the reasons why they came to this assumption, non Seeker Driven parties have used this as a vehicle to push their cause. They have also taken this as an opportunity to enlighten people that Willow’s 30 years have been wasted and that it will be nearly impossible for them to change the course of this large church.
On the flip-side, Seeker Driven churches are applauding Willow’s efforts to confess and re-align their directional compass.
Why do we look for things to go wrong? Are we so ego-centered that our point-of-view, and interpretation of scripture is the how God meant it to be read? (Don’t read too much into that question. I’m not promoting heresy here.)
People are trying to make this a bigger deal than it really is. It’s not earth shattering. It’s not going to disrupt the “seeker sensitive” world. It’s a tune-up. Just like giving my car a tune-up, which is happening a an automotive shop as we speak, churches need to re-align their priorities and programs.
Admitted that my car is running rough doesn’t mean the car is going to fall apart since or that it’s days are numbered or that it won’t survive this repair.
Willow Creek is on the same track. And every church will be in the church “workshop” re-aligning or repairing something a lot. If you aren’t in the shop often, it probably means you’re not on the road doing what you were designed to do.
Calling it for what it is
I can’t wait for the day that we stop looking for the wrong in every large church, while we ourselves are justifying our non-growing church (I didn’t want to call it a dying church, since things that aren’t growing are dying) and making spiritual excuses like we are “led by the Holy Spirit.”
Seeker, non-seeker, Republican, Democrat… does it really matter? The old antidote is true regardless if you are an expository preacher or a topical preacher… “Methods change, but our message should always remain the same.”
Here are links to different articles on this:
- Christianity Today: Out of Ur
- Revealnow.com blog
- Watch Greg Hawkins…Hear the heart behind REVEAL (from the Leadership Summit)
- Watch Bill Hybels…The wake up call of my adult life (from the Leadership Summit)
- Confessions of a Small church Pastor
- Reveal (book)
- Between Two Worlds