Recently, the net was buzzing about the article Willow Creek Repents? with mixed feelings. I was happy at first and then unsure. Now,
BlogOManiac PyroManiac, Phil Johnson, has responded to a criticism of the style of his criticism towards Willow Creek. I, like others, think Willow Creek is just going to replace their old programs with new ones. Aside, that is, from telling or training the more mature believers to be “self-feeders” which doesn’t seem to be biblically warranted. Of course, this has been the complaint all along that all the “programs” and ministry haven’t been biblically warranted.
So did Willow Creek repent? They say so, but probably not in the way many have hoped.
3. Is Willow Re-thinking its Seeker Focus?
* Simple answer – no. My boss would say that Willow is not just seeker-focused. We are seeker-obsessed. The power of REVEAL’s insights for our seeker strategy is the evangelistic strength uncovered in the more mature segments. If we can serve them better, the evangelistic potential is enormous, based on our findings.
My thoughts, and I may be wrong, are that as long as Willow Creek continues to be “seeker-obsessed” there will continue to be the same or very similar problems like the ones they’ve uncovered. They will probably get more criticism since they’ve invited Brian McLaren to speak as part of their “shift”. We’ll see what type of shift this is going to be. And I’d still like to read the book Reveal about Willow Creek’s research in all of this.
We have such a focus in churches today on using business and motivational models to “do church” it would seem some of the people using these methods miss the basics. Whether it be business or even sports, when there are problems with execution in reaching goals you will often hear the old term “back to the basics”. Even the dreaded word “fundamentals” may come up.
What would getting back to the basics may look like? Here is an idea.
- remembering your first love, Jesus Christ
- preach and study the Gospel yourself and corporately
- biblically exam your ministry and motives both individually and corporately
- study the purpose and focus of worship in Scripture, preach it, do it
- focus on loving God and each other
(insert prayer often)
Those are some ideas off the top of my head.
Sometimes Many times we make things too hard. I think that’s because when we get back to the basics we must actually do something rather than just think about doing something.
That’s my two cents…keep the change.