In late 2007, Pastor Bill Hybels and the leadership team of the Willow Creek Community Church shared the startling results of a study they conducted of their own church—as well as other so-called “seeker churches.”
The results, Hybels said, were “the greatest wake-up call of my adult life.” Among other findings, they discovered that their ministry to “seekers” was very effective for introducing Christ to those who were new to church.
No big surprise.
But they had not been as successful in fulfilling their mission statement to turn “irreligious people into fully devoted followers of Christ.” That is, they had not been as strong in developing the spiritual lives of those who had trusted Christ. As a result of a conversation Hybels had with his executive pastor, Greg Hawkins, they realized: