It seems that just about every week someone submits a comment here using Willow Creek's supposed repentance as proof that I'm wrong and that any attempt to reach "seekers" is misguided. There has been amazing amounts of misinformation out about the study...including a blog from last fall and an article in Christianity Today that appeared a few weeks ago.
Today I received notice of a "correction" to some of these news reports just issued by Bill Hybels. Some notable quotes from the interview...
- How did you respond to the CT article? "I think it was an unfortunate article that was written without a proper understanding of what we’re actually doing these days. We have had the same one sentence mission statement for 32 years. We’re trying to turn irreligious people into fully devoted followers of Christ. We have never been more committed to either side of that mission statement."
- What about the headline that Willow Creek had repented? "I wondered what horrible, immoral thing have I done? I think it was a poor choice of words, actually, because we have made strategic adjustments on an annual [basis] to try to be more effective in building an Acts 2 church. I don’t think when you make a strategic adjustment it qualifies under the term repent."
- Are you abandoning your seeker focus? "There’s no real worry about that ever happening. I mean, since the day I became a Christian...I’ve wanted everyone in my life to experience grace, saving grace...I think the older I get, the more aware I am that I only have from this day until my final day to get the Word of Christ out to as many people as possible. My risk profile is going up, not down. My commitment to trying to inspire our congregation to reach their friends is going up, not down."
Watch the entire interview on video here.
Or see the transcript here: Download bill_hybels_responds.doc