It looks like the beginning of the end at Willow Creek. They aren’t saying that, but I feel like that’s what’s happening. If so, good riddance.
Stanley Hauerwas said that the church growth movement was “the death gurgle of a church that had lost its way.”
After decades of believing churches like Willow Creek had discovered the antidote, after 25 years of copying, emulating, strategizing, and leadership conferencing, we’re finding out that we’ve built our behemoth, nondescript church buildings on the sand like the foolish people we are.
We should have known all along. Celebrity pastors cannot possibly be good shepherds to their people.
Attractional worship is only entertainment, nothing more. A fast food version of Jesus can never be the real version of Jesus.
The church growth movement leads to a bloated, unhealthy body of people who don’t really understand what they’ve signed up for. The Pastor as CEO idea will always fail, often with far-reaching, disastrous results.
Big churches are not good role models for the rest of our churches. In fact, their methods will ruin us, too, if we’re not careful.
Though Willow Creek and those like it may crumble and fall, the church will go on. God will preserve it, and none else can stop it. We know that the cosmic renewal, redemption, and restoration has already begun, set in motion by God’s mighty acts in Jesus Christ.
(Aigner, “Farewell, Willow Creek: Where the ‘Regular’ Churches Can Go From Here,” Patheos Online, 8/10/18).