My Final Leadership Lesson from Bill Hybels and Willow Creek

No one has breathed more vision and challenge into my vocational world than Bill Hybels and the fleshed-out picture of the church exhibited by Willow Creek.

I've known Bill for a long time. I've been in his home in South Barrington and he has been in mine in Charlotte. I've stood on the deck of a boat with him where he summered in Southaven. We've been on mentoring retreats together. He traveled to Charlotte many years ago to speak at our church in support of a capital campaign. He's endorsed many of my books. I've taught at Willow Creek conferences and at Willow Creek itself. We were just together again this past February when we led a conference together in England.

Which is why his newly revealed, deeply entrenched, shadow life has felt so distressingly… personal. Attempting to reconcile the man I respected (and felt I knew) with what has come to light has been as confusing and disturbing as any reconciliation I have ever had to make.

And I still haven't made it.

What people have been able to do is gather leadership lessons from the wreckage. The man (and church) who singlehandedly put the importance of the spiritual gift of leadership in the life of the church on the map for our generation has (ironically, from horrific failure) given us many final lessons.

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