Well, it seems that the staff at Willow Creek Community Church has discovered that they are only growing in numbers and that most of their members are not growing in Christ.
Bill Hybels said, "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 services, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own. "
I am all for telling other’s about Christ and allowing Him to use me to show someone how to be saved, but unlike the business world, you can’t just look at the bottom line: the ‘numbers’. In our society, so many people judge the success of a church on the size of their sanctuary, the children’s activities, how "cool" the youth pastor is, and how many programs they have going on at any given time. Many folks don’t even know the doctrine of the church they attend, they simply go to have a good time and to make an appearance as if it were some kind of social club.
When Christ gave us the Great Commission, He said, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Matthew 28:19). There is nowhere in the Bible where we are told to "go ye therefore and bring them in and entertain them and tickle their ears." Nope, I’ve read the Bible and that verse is nowhere to be found. *smile*.
This is one of the issues that I’ve had with the "seeker churches" and I am glad that they have finally discovered how harmful it is to only gather a multitude, but not teach them in the ways of Christ.
I do have to commend Bill Hybels and the staff of Willow Creek that they were willing to seek out the truth and to admit that their plan was not working. Too many leaders may realize that they are going in the wrong direction, but they are too prideful to admit it. I am praying for the folks at Willow Creek that the Lord will take their church (and others like it) and use it for His glory and to put a fire into the hearts of the members to grow to be more like Christ.
If you want to read the whole article, you can find it here: Confessions from Willow Creek Community Church