Pastor Bill Hybels resigned as senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church earlier this month following sexual misconduct allegations. Now, the church has announced it will be conducting a more in-depth investigation into Hybels’ conduct and into their own leadership practices and policies in order to restore trust and accountability within the church.
Although Willow Creek’s leadership initially said they could not confirm the misconduct allegations leveled against Hybels, they have now backtracked and issued this statement:
“Even though Bill is no longer in his role, our work to resolve any shadow of doubt in the trustworthiness of [Willow] is not done. With the benefit of hindsight, we see several aspects of our past work that we would have handled differently, and we have identified several areas of learning.
“We have at times communicated without a posture of deep listening and understanding,” the church elders continued in their letter. “We are sorry that at times our process appeared to diminish the deep compassion we have for all those involved in these matters.”
In the letter, Willow Creek’s elders also promised to “methodically examine our church culture, enhancing policies and informal practices that support healthy and valuable working relationships between men and women.”
But the church’s efforts not only look to improve practices going forward, but involve a thorough investigation into Hybels’ previous actions and the allegations against him.
Hybels faces sexual harassment charges from six women.
Photo courtesy: Flickr.com
Publication date: April 23, 2018