I LIKE Bill Hybels. Here’s Why.

26 08 2012

“Leadership in church is one of the biggest challenges that the Church is facing because without strong leadership, the church rarely lives out its redemptive potentials.” (Bill Hybels)

I have been a student and disciple of Bill Hybels for many years.  There’s a reason for this.  To be sure, Bill has been the brunt of a lot of criticism for his church—Willow Creek Community Church of North Barrington, IL—and their “seeker sensitive” approach to guiding irreligious people to become fully devoted followers of Christ.  At times I criticized Bill for what I thought his approach to seeker-sensitivity meant.  I was way off mark.  I regret that now.

Here are some things I’ve learned from Bill:

  • It was Bill who turned me on to the concept of delayed gratification and the writings of M. Scott Peck, chiefly The Road Less Traveled.
  • Bill has exemplified, year in and year out, the concept of the disciplined life.  He runs religiously, now in his mid fifties.  He applies the same discipline to journaling, sermon preparation, budgeting and time management.
  • He is a man of heart.  You only have to watch or listen to him but a little to realize that, though he doesn’t take himself too seriously, he takes lost and hurting people very seriously.
  • Bill, more than any evangelical leader of his stature (his church numbers north of 20K), realizes it is not about him and really eschews the whole self-promotion toxin that comprises so much of American public life.
  • Bill is intensely practical, a man’s man and down-to-earth.  I like that.  A lot.
  • He has a summer residence in South Haven, MI–a town I lived in from 1967-69.  He has that same kinship for the eastern shore of Lake Michigan as did my family.

Check out his books.  They are down-to-earth and well-written.  Among my favorites are Courageous Leadership and Honest to God?

Don’t waste your time with the critics.  Go to the source.  Read Bill.  You’ll be all the better for it.

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