A Shocking “Confession” from Willow Creek Community Church

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by 2 Timothy2:1-4, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    ......The report reveals that most of what they have been doing for these many years and what they have taught millions of others to do is not producing solid disciples of Jesus Christ. Numbers yes, but not disciples. It gets worse. Hybels laments:
    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.


    http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/Column.aspx?ContentGuid=cc831ffa-8ba8-4316-a5d2-f1c1fdb90df3
     
  2. Ulsterman

    Ulsterman
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    This admission not only has ramifications for Willowcreek, but also for the Purpose Driven philiosophy, as well as the Emerging Church movement. The foundation is faulty and the super structure unsafe leaving a host of false professors resting on a false security.
     
  3. FBCPastorsWife

    FBCPastorsWife
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    Very well put Ulsterman!
     
  4. webdog

    webdog
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    Just curious what the Willow Creek confession has to do with PDL and Saddleback :confused:
    You are comparing apples to oranges. That's like saying the SBC looks bad because of what Westboro Baptist "Church" does.
     
    #4 webdog, Nov 1, 2007
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  5. Andy T.

    Andy T.
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    This is interesting. Written by a guy I listen to almost everyday on the radio. He talked about it yesterday.

    Oh that the church would lose its obsession with fads and movements.
     
  6. Andy T.

    Andy T.
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    Are Willow Creek and Saddleback really that much different? I realize they are not identical, but their underlying philosophies are very similar.
     
  7. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
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    It is good to have an honest evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of a church. To see what is working and what isn't. That is one way a church can change and improve.

    If Willowcreek has done such an analysis and found some areas to be lacking, then they are well positioned to improve. I applaud them if they have done this and honestly evaluated their ministries.

    Of course, whenever Willowcreek does something, they need to mass market it so that thousands of other churches can do the same thing. ;) I am definitely critical of their consumerist mentality. At the same time, their resources have been very useful to some churches and it is hard to fault churches for making money by producing good resources. They do lots of good work with that money they make as well.

    If folks are interested in the book, the first chapter is available on their website.
    Reveal: Where are you
     
  8. webdog

    webdog
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    To an extent, yes. For starters their (WC) leadership is corrupt, as they have women elders / pastors. I'm of the belief that if there is a disease in the head, the body suffers. If they cannot even get their leadership model biblically correct, chances are they will be lacking in other areas as well, as is evidenced by their latest admission.
    They are similar in that they have high profile pastors, large numbers, and $. This also sounds identical to the early church in Acts, and I don't thing we would be lumping them in with Willow Creek :).
     
    #8 webdog, Nov 1, 2007
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  9. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    The similarities are most certainly undeniable. They all cater their worship services to the lost and success is based on numbers.
     
  10. rbell

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    Are you claiming that to be true for:
    • Saddleback only,
    • anyone who has used their curriculum
    • anyone using their worship style
    • anyone using their staff, facilities, etc. approach
    • other than that
    Just trying to get a sense of how you see this, since we're expanding this beyond Willow Creek now.
     
  11. Ulsterman

    Ulsterman
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    Willowcreek created the seeker sensitive model (which inevitably became sinner centred), but it lacked any clear goals to the "business minded' people it attracted. Warren took the model, and added goals, hence 'purpose driven,' but once that began to run out of steam, because it still left an inner emptiness in many, along came the emerging church and took the "whatever external experience" will attract you, up another gear to "whatever internal experience will suffice you" regardless of propositional Bible based truth.
     
    #11 Ulsterman, Nov 1, 2007
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  12. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    It is true for any church that has take up this unbiblcial philosphy. WC, SB, and the EC even though they fancy themselves to be different than the others they really are not.
     
  13. dan e.

    dan e.
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    I've developed a skepticism towards models that are program-driven. I wouldn't necessarily discount the motives of those running the programs, but think that it inevitably turns into a consumer-driven church. I think the surge of programs in recent decades has created in the mind of the church-goer that they ought have plenty of options to attend at a church.

    My church has taken a different approach. We actually don't have anything going on beyond Sunday morning corporate worship. The small groups are met throughout the community, and according to when each group can meet together. Anything else would be random things depending on the time of year. There is nothing else weekly that goes on....because we are urged to be missionaries to the community. How can you be a missionary to the community if you are at church most nights of the week?? Besides, it turns the focus off of "What can the church provide for me (as far as programs)?" It now becomes, "How can I go out and be in the community as a disciple of Jesus?" It is different for those who like the program model...because we don't have programs!

    It has helped me refocus on what the church is suppose to be. It is definitely not a mini-mall.

    instead of criticizing Willow Creek, I hope they use what they've learned by changing themselves for the better.
     
  14. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    irony on yea! a minister of a large church admitted some of the stuff they did was not too effective...let's throw BIG rocks at him! yea! irony off

    come on, this is someone saying that some of their stuff is not working like they thought it should. They did a strategy review and have begun making adjustments. Interestingly enough it is a move to a focus on small groups and a return to the small group mentality which I think is great. But it doesn't invalidate them because they have refocused their energies.

    If any church takes the Willow Creek or Saddleback (which are different) models and applies them directly they are violating the basic nature of the models...that they are to be contextualized to fit your culture. Our church used the baseball diamond for a number years...we've stopped using it since I came on staff and are moving towards a more simplistic maturity process.

    Criticizing effective ministries for refocusing after studying the overall effectiveness of their ministries is like saying Coca-Cola can't sell beverages anymore because of the failure of New Coke. The reality of the situation is they at least have the fortitude to examine their processes and programs and see if they are being effective. How many churches really do confront the brutal facts?
     
  15. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    This problem here wasn't that "some" of what they did is being reevaluated. But "most' and he also found that the "fundamentals" of what they were doing is wrong and a failure. That means the very foundation of their methods are in error. To bad they didn't listen to what is tried and true.
     
  16. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    1. Macarthur's Not Ashamed of the Gospel and Os Guinness Dining with the Devil should help put things into perspective and don't forget the teachings of Jesus and the rest of the NT.

    2. Bill Hybels have written some solid books, but somehow, the truth about discipleship was translated over to the people properly.
     
    #16 TCGreek, Nov 1, 2007
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  17. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
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    The SAD fact is that horrible examples of Biblical Churches like Willowcreek and their horrendous theology/philosophy will only be replaced by another large scale fad (and in fact already are), still separated from an emphasis on preoccupation with Christ through concentration on learning Bible doctrine so that one may be transformed by the renewing of their mind which is the divine protocol for the church.

    Importantly is that with this confession these alleged leaders be understood to have disqualified themselves from any further suggestions for prescribing sound ecclesiastical doctrine and other tenets of Scripture for a number of years, at least until they themselves have sat under sound doctrinal teachers, been discipled and demonstrated maturity (that which they lacked and now lack like babes only waking up recently). Right now they are men who are guilty of mass poisoning of the doctrinal waters within the church and they want to STILL lead because they now admit what they did (and this is no petty offense, this is a major source of misdirection and erring doctrine they are admitting to)? Sorry, forget it.
     
    #17 Alex Quackenbush, Nov 1, 2007
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  18. Steven2006

    Steven2006
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  19. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    It doesn't really add anything but I was keeping up with this particular emergent blog for a while and forgot about it. I'm glad you brought it up.
     
  20. Ulsterman

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    May I also recommend "This Little Church Went To Market" by Gary E. Gilley (published by Evangelical Press).
     

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