By Bob Smietana - Posted at Christianity Today:
Former leaders have accused the church of failing to adequately address several allegations against Hybels, including inappropriate comments, private meetings with female staffers in his hotel room and at his home, intrusive hugs, and, in one case, an unwanted kiss.Megachurch pastor “accelerates” October retirement weeks after former colleagues went public with misconduct allegations.
Bill Hybels has stepped down as senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, the Chicago-area megachurch he founded over 40 years ago, citing the controversy over recent allegations against him.
Many in the wider Christian community have been confused by those allegations, he said, and the controversy has distracted his church’s leaders from their mission and has hurt the church’s ministries. “They can’t flourish to their fullest potential when the valuable time of our leaders is divided.”
Hybels, who previously planned to retire in October, revealed the news Tuesday evening at a “family meeting” where about 1,000 Willow Creek members gathered at the multisite church’s flagship South Barrington, Illinois, campus.
- Observations on the Chicago Tribune article re: Willow Creek Leadership (JohnOrtberg.com)
- Statement by Nancy Ortberg (NancyOrtberg.com)
- VONDA DYER'S STATEMENT RE: CHICAGO TRIBUNE AND BILL HYBELS (VondaDyer.com)
- Why We Can't Move On (NancyBeach.com)
- Statement from Betty Schmidt (Veritas Be Told)
- After Hybels resigns at Willow Creek, some say they wanted to see more contrition (Chicago Tribune)
- Willow Creek Promises Investigation Amid New Allegations Against Bill Hybels (Christianity Today)