Some of you have seen articles like this one taking cheap shots at Willow Creek while totally misrepresenting them. Not many people are speaking on their behalf right now… allow me.
On one side of a room sits a guy named Bob. Bob has been a Christian most of his life and has little tolerance for those who haven’t. Bob loves tradition and hates change. But Bob’s biggest downfall is… he’s a turd! Unbelievers are repelled from the guy because he comes off snooty in every situation.
Who would you rather look like… a Pharisee, or like Jesus?
On the other side of the room sits a guy named Bill. Bill grew up with a lot of guys like Bob. Bill saw a lot of his friends running from the church because they were scared of people like Bob. So Bill started a church that tried to reach out to people like his unbelieving friends. He preached the Word, but didn’t make people feel dumb in the process. Bill’s church grew very large, led thousands of people to Christ and influenced millions.
Bob grumbled, “This isn’t the way I’ve been taught to do it!” So he returned to his home so he could continue being a turd.
But then something happened.
Bill noticed that many of the people attending his church weren’t growing like they should. Bill realized that attendance didn’t necessarily reflect life change. So Bill did something very difficult. He admitted that he needed to change his model of ministry.
When Bill confessed this publicly, Bob showed up to throw stones. “I told you so!” Bob jeered.
Bob spread stories about Bill, claiming that Bill never cared about life change, only numbers. These convoluted stories were exaggerated and unfair. But Bill was an easy target. After all, he had confessed with his own mouth that his people weren’t growing spiritually as much as they should be.
The ironic thing… Bob’s church is having the exact same problem and he doesn’t even know it. As a matter of fact, the same study that revealed to Bill about the need in his church revealed that churches just like Bob’s are struggling with the same thing. But Bob was too busy tossing stones at Bill to even notice.
Thousands upon thousands of people’s lives have been truly transformed by Christ through Bill’s church. Bill could have let that go to his head. But he didn’t. He noticed a need for growth in churches across the nation, he admitted it and he’s taking strides to change, starting with his own church.
Bob, however… is still a turd.
Don’t be a Bob.
Jonathan wrote this blog in response to this article that feathered through the internet in the month of November. For a more accurate picture of what really is going on, watch this video to check out the research first hand, or this video to hear Bill’s heart on the matter, or read articles like this that summarize some of the facts for you.