Bill Hybels is more or less the father of the seeker-sensitive church model, that has been adopted by thousands and thousands of churches. His church, Willow Creek in Chicago, is one of the largest and most influential churches in the nation. They recently did some research to see the fruit of their method and found out that a consumerist methodology (church as vendor of religious goods for you) is not producing genuine disciples. Crazy thought huh? I do appreciate the humility demonstrated by the Willow Creek folks. In his own words:
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. Other things that we didn’t put that much money into and didn’t put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for.
We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self feeders.’ We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their bible between service, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.