Willow Creek admits they’ve got it wrong! What the!?

I was just blown away by this video.  Greg Hawkins, an executive pastor at Willow Creek reveals the findings of a research done in over 30 churches including their own. 

Finding 1: There is no direct correlation between the depth of someone’s walk with Christ and their participation in church programs. 

Finding 2: The more people become committed to Christ the more dissatisfied they become with church programs.

I must applaud Greg Hawkins for being brave enough to admit these things.  The Willow Creek approach to church is probably the most duplicated in North America.  For the leaders of this church to put a question mark on all they have been instructing churches to do for decades is very significant.

I think a lot of people already knew this.  There is going to be the temptation to say "I told you so" among the church’s critics.  Those in traditional church settings critical of the seeker approach should be mindful that the Reveal process found broad similarities between different kinds of churches.  Some will ask whether we need radically different church programs.  My mind immediately goes to the question: Can we be the church without programs?  The obvious answer is yes if you meet in a living room.  Not so easy when you are 50, 200 or 2000 people.  Another good question is: Does biblical theology give us clues on how people are transformed in to committed disciples of Christ?  I think biblical theology does but we have taken a pass on scripture and followed more pragmatic thinking on the issue. 

Some will argue Willow’s rethink doesn’t go deep enough.  It doesn’t look like Willow is rethinking the seeker model based this blog post.  I think we have to give credit where it is due.  30 years ago Hybels and others sought to bring positive change.  They were heavily criticized and I honestly believe they were wrong but they had the courage to try something different.  While I don’t believe their "rethink" has gone deep enough they are far more brave than most in admitting they’ve had some things wrong. 


Comments are closed.