Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Willow Creek Community Church in the News

Giants in the Land
by Abram Book
Christianity Today, Leadership Journal.net

The pastors who gave us "purpose-driven" ministry and "seeker-oriented" services are leading their churches to take up new causes, campaigns that do not promise growth, at least not traditional church growth.

Rick Warren is championing the eradication of AIDS, illiteracy, and poverty in Africa, and Bill Hybels has named racial reconciliation as his next summit worth climbing. The question is, will their churches and the thousands of churches that take their cues from Saddleback and Willow Creek join the campaigns?

A skeptical observer of these developments suggested this article be titled "Boomer Pastors Get a Social Conscience," noting that concern for social issues was characteristic of his own generation since before they were named "busters." It is true that the prominent churches of the boomer-led era are known more for excellence in leadership, weekend services, and evangelism than for tackling social justice issues, but to attribute their leaders' recent elevation of social causes to the midlife need for significance and legacy seems a harsh judgment.

The megachurch pastors who have set trends in worship style and evangelism for three decades have done so out of concern for the lost people of their (and the subsequent) generation.

Their emphasis was in leading Christians to reach unchurched people in their surrounding communities effectively. Now, with their paradigm-shifting strategies ingrained on their local congregations and espoused by pastors in churches worldwide, these prominent leaders are turning their focus further outward.

They're shifting their efforts to people and issues that cannot be changed within the walls of their large auditoriums, or by cell group meetings in their church members' suburban living rooms, or through pilgrimages to summits at satellite host sites across North America.

The apostles of the contemporary church are moving out of Jerusalem and Judea, through despised Samaria, to address even larger issues worldwide. And they're inviting their purpose-driven and seeker-oriented disciples to follow.

Click here for the rest of the article.


Janett Sue said...

I belive to be christain is to have a social conscience. There is no doubt the world is a changing place. It stands to reason the church must change too. It absolutely amazed me how my reach of the world changed in my life time. I remember being awed at a phone that no longer kept one tethered to the wall. The Church no longer needs to be tethered to traditional means of helping their fellowman or spreading the word. And belive me I think helping one person or a comunity of people at home or anywhere on the face of the earth is spreading the word of God.

I like to think people have always had a social conscience. My Grandfathers ability to even know what was transpiring in Africa was so limited not to mention untimely. Our ability to do good increases with our knowledge of the need. A christian, in a position of power, has a resonsiblity to respond to that need.

While the "Peace Plan" and the "Journey for Justice" seem different their purpose remain the same, to spread the Word Of God. Much like a ripple in a pond that spreds ever wider so must those who sread the Word. It's all good. It seems there is a place for everyone in this world, small and large Churches alike. By taking care of those close to us we empower them to become a part of the ripple. I belive what Jesus was telling us is that to help one man(woman) is to help all men. And that, put in the simples of terms is what it means to be chirstian and a way to show our love of the Lord. Being a good parent, wife, mother,friend, ect. is all part of the ripple. We learn from the kindness we are shone and that is what creates the Warrens and Hybels of this word.

Sorry if I said to much.

Anonymous said...

"Brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned whether by word, or by Epistle. ...St. Paul

St. Paul tells us to hold to Tradition. All Christians should research the roots of their faith by reading from the early Church fathers.


An excellent book would be The Fathers of the Church an Introduction to the First Christian Teachers by Mike Aquilina