This month, in a Leadership Summit simulcast attended by 50,000 local-church leaders in about 100 sites across the nation, megachurch pastors Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago and Rick Warren of Saddleback Community Church in Southern California hammered the beat-poverty theme. Warren repeated a message he delivered to the BWA--local churches can battle hunger at home and around the world. Hybels stressed that injustice, extreme poverty, hunger and AIDS ought to generate "holy discontent" among U.S. Christians so that they act out of passion.
Listening to Hybels and Warren call for an end to hunger, a question played through my mind: "What if all their followers take them up on this? We really could make hunger history." During three decades, Hybels and Warren have built two of the nation's largest churches. Tens of thousands of pastors and other church leaders hang on their every word. When they roll out a plan for church growth, thousands of churches follow it to the letter. So, what if Christians everywhere catch their zeal for eliminating hunger and poverty?
Friday, August 19, 2005
We weren't the only ones to notice that this year's Summit was a bit different than usual. The Baptist Standard speculates this may be a sign of good things to come. (For the entire article click on the link in the title.)