Sunday, October 28, 2007


After 30 years of marketing church success, Willow Creek changes its mind.

Will people will pay big bucks to learn how to fail from such successful people? You can bet on it. Can you buy stock in a church?


scott said...

This guy's an executive pastor at Willow Creek? I never thought I'd agree that much with a guy on staff at Willow Creek. Well, at least up until the very end, when he starts hawking the book.

"What's strange about them is that they are investing time in church events on a regular basis, but not on their relationship with Jesus Christ."

"The one-size-fits-all mentality: The truth is everybody should NOT be doing all of those things... the classes, the groups, the 'ministries'."

"Churches do great things to help those in the Growing and Exploring segments, but not for the other two. These folks have increasing dissatisfaction with the local church. The people who love God the most are the most disappointed with the local church."

"We need to ask the participants what is working. What's needed. We need to go beyond numbers."

So much of this seems to be common sense. How are people just discovering this NOW?

It is funny to hear WILLOW CREEK saying "We need to fundamentally change the way we do church."

void77 said...

When did he hawk the book? I only watched the video (the longer 13 minute one); I didn't troll the website, so maybe I missed it.

Anyway, I guess I'm smack in the middle of his target demographic, because all I can say is "WOW!" So much of his presentation seemed to make perfect sense and depicted concisely what has come up in conversation over the last several months.

I'd love to get my hands on the book. But then again, maybe I'll hold out for the movie!

Joe B said...

I think that WAS the movie

Joe B said...

I just watched the whole 13 minutes and perused the blog & comments.

I am stunned by how many comments (including mine, here) inferred things that he did not imply.

On the second pass I decided I totaly jumped to what I thought was an obvious conclusion.

They have NOT changed their mind about anything. (And I'm not so sure they SHOULD, really.) They are just doing their equivalent of a "vision retreat", exhibitionist style, studying where they should go next.

Apparently the only thing they are trying to address is the same thing we discuss every week: why do the most passionate God-followers hate church? Similar to George Barna's thesis in "Revolution." But they are trying to mend that breach in the wall, while Barna seems to be calling everyone to escape thru it.

They really do believe they are leading the way and they are inviting everyone to follow along (and actually to contribute, in an insignificant way.)

And heck yes, for the price of a book you can come along.

scott said...

Which comments inferred something he didn't imply? I pretty much just quoted him. :-)

It's obviously not a complete 180. As you said, it's just revisiting their vision, taking a closer look at what's needed. I'm only assuming that it's a fairly hefty change... Honestly, I haven't really read or studied what exactly has been Willow Creek's church growth "model" for the past 30 years. I've pretty much just gone on assumptions from what I've heard!

And as Eric and I mentioned, he had a LOT of good stuff to say. I'm trying not to be too cynical about the intentions behind it.

The "why do the most passionate God-followers hate church?" question probably deserves a post of its own.

Joe B said...

Yeah, it was me and a bunch of commenters at the Reaveal blog. Of course I saw theiur error first, then mine!

Good thing I'm there to straighten everyone out!