On Thursday your Elders and your executive staff received, for the first time, the report from the Independent Advisory Group (IAG). This group was established last August by our predecessor elder board to consider allegations related to Bill Hybels, review the organizational culture of this church, and make recommendations to us. Our first decision with regard to this report was to make it publicly available immediately to the entire Willow Creek community.
While we will need some time to adequately consider the full report and respond appropriately, we’d like to be quick to thank the members of the IAG for their work. We suspect some of you will think the report was too short or too long, too weak or too strong, but because this truly was an independent advisory group, the report is their work—based on hundreds of hours of interviews and meetings—and was not directed by us. We humbly accept their report in its entirety.
We know many of you will want to hear more about what we intend to do in light of this report’s recommendations—and you will. We must seek God humbly and patiently as we consider what aspects of our church need to change and what apologies need to be given.
Moving forward, we will provide Elder updates regarding our efforts to bring healing to the past, along with the necessary changes to governance and management. We believe this will enable us to honor Jesus Christ and His testimony in and through our church with excellence and integrity. We pledge to do all of this prayerfully, humbly, and transparently. We ask again for your prayers and patience as we seek to provide servant leadership to this church we all love so much.
Finally, while we have only been on your Elder Board for six weeks, we are all longtime members of the Willow Creek family. We recognize this is God’s church—not ours, and we want His will, not our own. Thank you for bearing with us as we embark on this remarkably important journey together.