As the Willow Creek saga unravels further one of the most disturbing parts is the deafening silence of Bill Hybels himself – its as if he has vanished off the planet.
With 10 women making statements against him and the entire eldership and two senior pastors resigning there seems no question that tragically – sadly – he is guilty, and we may have heard just the tip of the iceberg.
The longer Hybels waits to come clean the worse he will be perceived – if that is possible. The opportunity to be perceived as a failed leader / a broken man has passed. If he had owned the failure we would all have been deeply disappointed, but acknowledged ‘there but for the grace of God…’
As time wears on you hope Hybels isn’t gathering a ‘spin’ team to either fight the accusations or to downplay them. That would be the worst scenario imaginable but right now, the longer the silence the less genuine any (possible) repentance appears.
While I’m not a megachurch fanboy I have found Hybels missionary heart inspiring and his teachings on integrity (Who You Are When No One is Looking) felt so valuable… albeit dissonant with his own practice… so watching this very public schmozzle has been actually distressing.
I love that churches are full of broken, screwed up people – that God’s love for us never changes in spite of our own darkness – but when we fail to acknowledge our brokenness and when we put on an air of togetherness we set the cause of Christ back and we wound the very people we claimed to champion.
Come on Bill… The clock is ticking… and many are watching to see if you can practice what you preach in the tough parts of life.