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Willow Creek's Big Mistake

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Pease pointed out this passage to me from Christianity Today's blog. Thought it was an interesting perspective on evaluating what you do to make sure it is effective, and making sure your focus is on making disciples who grow on their own:

Speaking at the Leadership Summit, Hybels summarized the findings this way:

Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn’t helping people that much. Other things that we didn’t put that much money into and didn’t put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for.

Having spent thirty years creating and promoting a multi-million dollar organization driven by programs and measuring participation, and convincing other church leaders to do the same, you can see why Hybels called this research “the wake up call” of his adult life.

Hybels confesses:

We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self feeders.’ We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their bible between service, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.

In other words, spiritual growth doesn’t happen best by becoming dependent on elaborate church programs but through the age old spiritual practices of prayer, bible reading, and relationships. And, ironically, these basic disciplines do not require multi-million dollar facilities and hundreds of staff to manage.

UPDATE: It is a great talk ... you can actually watch it all on the Reveal blog, too.


posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:25 PM |

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At 10/19/2007, Blogger E.Money said...

dude that's awesome!

At 10/19/2007, Blogger folkestad said...

Great Stuff! Thanks!

At 10/20/2007, Blogger Joel said...

Thanks, that fits in with stuff we are talking about here and I will use it!


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