March 2019 Update from New Elders of Willow Creek Church;
We are an entirely new Elder Board of nine members, formally installed in January 2019. We are committed to working together to learn from the past as we look toward our future together as a church, incorporating the recommendations of the IAG’s report.
The IAG has now completed its work, and we thank them for their time and commitment. As we provide the findings, we’d like to remind you of their scope. Specifically, Willow Creek Community Church and the WCA asked the IAG to do the following:
Consider allegations related to Bill Hybels.
Review the organizational culture of the church and association.
Make recommendations to the church and association for future actions based on their findings.
April 2018 Bill Hybels steps down as senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church at a public gathering of the Willow community. Much has happened since then: additional public accusations have been made about Bill; Lead Teaching Pastor Steve Carter and Lead Pastor Heather Larson resigned; Steve Gillen was named acting senior pastor; the entire Elder Board resigned; and an Independent Advisory Group (IAG) was commissioned by the resigning Elder Board and the Willow Creek Association Board (WCA). The WCA is now named the Global Leadership Network.
Read more process updates HERE.
Sometimes our intentions are pure and somewhere along the journey they become tainted.
Other times, intentions were always tainted from the beginning. Either way, this is the area we hate discussing in the Christian world and we hate reporting it. But if you have been on our website, you know this is an area CYA intends to reveal, discuss, prevent and protect others from spiritual abuses.
In the case of Bill Hybels, the Spiritual and sexual abuse has been going on for decades. It is however refreshing when the abuser takes responsibility, if only because he/she is forced to.
A section of an article originally posted on @christianitytoday regarding Bill Hybels of @willowcreekcc
On Tuesday, he told the audience that “I realize now that in certain settings and circumstances in the past I communicated things that were perceived in ways I did not intend, at times making people feel uncomfortable. I was blind to this dynamic for far too long. For that I’m very sorry.” “I placed myself in situations that would have been far wiser to avoid,” he said. “I was naive about the dynamics those situations created. I’m sorry for the lack of wisdom on my part. I commit to never putting myself in similar situations again.” Hybels said he would withdraw to consult with counselors and reflect on what God is teaching him. “I have taken these allegations seriously, as have our church elders,” he said. “Some have been misleading, and some have been false. But I have been sobered by these allegations and I am inviting counsel … to help me sort through these in the days ahead.”