Leadership series: Bill Hybels

“Critique of Bill Hybels”

This critique is on Bill Hybels who spoke on March 12, 2010 at the Southeastern University Leadership Forum.

  • The speaker’s main purpose in this presentation was to help the audience understand that often God speaks in a whisper, and we have to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to hear it.

Bill Hybels presented two ideas that really captivated me. The first was his story of how he started Willow Creek Community Church. He talked about how they used a small local theatre and they would clean it in the mornings and get it ready for the church service. The shocking part of the story was that on Saturday evenings they would show horror films and those in the theatre would often vomit, then the workers of the theatre would leave it knowing that Bill and his volunteers would clean it in the morning because they had to if they wanted to have a clean environment for church. Mr. Hybels told us how he felt some mornings at six a.m. cleaning vomit off the floor, wondering how he had found himself in this position. What most people don’t know is that Bill hybels’ father was extremely successful and wealthy, he had offered the business to Bill, but Bill turned it down in order that he might pursue the ministry. So Bill was cleaning vomit with this taunting memory of himself turning down the family business haunting him in the back of his mind. It was at this point that Bill shared how listening to the “whisper” of God is sometimes painful and doesn’t make sense to us at our present moment. I was not aware of how Will Creek Church had started, and I was definitely not aware that Bill had turned down such an amazing offer, simply to follow a whisper. Needless to say that whisper has led him on an amazing and very successful journey.

  • The most helpful part of the presentation given by Bill Hybels, was his sincerity. He was very calm and collected as he shared his journey, you could see the passion, pain, joy and so many emotions in his eyes throughout the entire conversation. It was inspiring to sit under a leader and hear him share his story with such joy despite all the troubles and hardships he has faced. Following a whisper is not always easy, it is often costly and difficult, but following that whisper can change your life and make you into a great servant leader.

“ Sometimes God calls people to hard things, that takes someone with strong shoulders to bear it.” This is a beautiful quote from Bill Hybels, it is full of such inspiration and challenge. He wanted the audience to understand that leadership is very difficult and sometimes God will call us to bear something quite heavy and extremely challenging, but the reward for doing so is always worth it and is always life changing. Bill Hybels had so many stories and each one was filled with passion and thanksgiving, because it was clear that everything Bill Hybels has achieved, he gives God all the glory and honor for it. This was a true example of servant leadership.


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