In recent decades several distinct ‘groupings’ have appeared on the professing Christian scene and amongst the designations ascribed to them are ‘The Emergent Church’ and ‘The User-Friendly Church’.
Trying to explain, consider and then critique their views in the light of God’s Word is no easy matter but two videos have been made in recent years that attempt to do just that and from an orthodox Biblical Christian perspective.
The videos are titled ‘The Real Roots of The Emergent Church’ and ‘Church of Tares’ and I have graciously received permission to post both of these videos to the ministry YouTube site.
In a recent email [1st November 2007] from the ministry of Lighthouse Trails they identified some results from a survey carried out by the leaders of the Willow Creek Community Church [Senior Pastor – Bill Hybels]. Herewith are some extracts from that email –
The headlines on a Townhall.com article this week certainly catch the attention…The article talks about a survey Willow Creek performed and the findings of the survey. Townhall columnist Bob Burney explains:
Willow Creek has released the results of a multi-year study on the effectiveness of their programs and philosophy of ministry. The study’s findings are in a new book titled Reveal: Where Are You? co-authored by Cally Parkinson and Greg Hawkins, executive pastor of Willow Creek Community Church. Hybels himself called the findings “earth shaking,” “ground breaking” and “mind blowing.” And no wonder: it seems that the “experts” were wrong. The report reveals that most of what they have been doing for these many years and what they have taught millions of others to do is not producing solid disciples of Jesus Christ. Numbers yes, but not disciples. It gets worse. Hybels laments: “Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into, thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn’t helping people that much…”
As I prepare this article, Belfast is gearing up for yet another conference to promote the evangelistic methodology of the group known in the UK as the ‘Willow Creek Association’. An advert for this conference to be held in the Kings Hall Conference Centre on Monday 10 March 2003 reads as follows –
REACH THE UNCHURCHED
BUILDING A CONTAGIOUS CHURCH
LEE STROBEL (Author of ‘The Case for Christ’)
MARK MITTELBERG (Evangelism Director of the Willow Creek Association)
Many pastors and churches are being urged to adopt the strategies used apparently with great ‘success’ at the Willow Creek Community Church in America whose Senior Pastor is Bill Hybels.