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Bill Hybels Biography
Bill Hybels, born as William Hybels, is the founding and former senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, one of the most attended churches in North America, with an average attendance of nearly 24,000 as of 2011. He is the founder of the Willow Creek Association as well as the creator of the Global Leadership Summit.
Hybels is an author of a number of Christian books, most of them on the subject of Christian leadership. Though slated to step down in October 2018, he resigned early after allegations of sexual misconduct were made against him, though he has denied all allegations.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from Trinity International University, near Chicago, as well as an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from TIU’s Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
Bill Hybels Age
Hybels was born on 12 December 1951 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States. He is 67 years old as of 2018.
Bill Hybels Family
Bill Hybels Wife | Hybels Marriage
Bill Hybels married his wife in 1974 when Bill was a youth pastor. Some sources say that they dated for five years, broke up, got engaged then broke their engagement and later got back together and finally got married. They have two children: a daughter by the name, Shauna Niequist and a son, Toddy Hybels.
Bill Hybels Daughter
The former Willow Creek Community Church pastor’s daughter is Shauna Niequist who was born in Barrington, Illinois. Shauna studied English and French literature at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. She is an author and a blogger. She is married to Aaron Niequist, and is a sister to Toddy Hybels.
Bill Hybels Books
Hybels has authored so many books and made contributions many more to. Here is a very short list of some of them:
- Authenticity: Being Honest with God and Others (and Kevin Harney) (Zondervan, 2005)
- Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs (Zondervan, 2008)
- Becoming a Contagious Christian (and Mark Mittelberg) (Zondervan, 1996)
- Character: Reclaiming Six Endangered Qualities (and Kevin Harney) (Zondervan, 2005)
- Commitment: Developing Deeper Devotion to Christ (and Kevin Harney) (Zondervan, 2005)
- Community: Building Relationships Within God’s Family (and Kevin Harney) (Zondervan, 2005)
- Courageous Faith Through the Year (and Keri Wyatt Kent) (InterVarsity Press, 2004)
- Courageous Leadership (Zondervan, 2002)
- Descending Into Greatness (Zondervan, 1994)
- Engraved on Your Heart: Living the Ten Commandments Day by Day (Cook Communications, 2000)
- Essential Christianity: Practical Steps for Spiritual Growth (and Kevin Harney) (Zondervan, 2005)
- The Power of a Whisper: Hearing God, Having the Guts to Respond (Zondervan, 2010)
- The Real Deal: Discover the Rewards of Authentic Relationships (and Kevin Harney) (Zondervan, 2005)
- The Real You (Zondervan, 1996)
- The Volunteer Revolution (Zondervan, 2004)
- Too Busy Not to Pray (InterVarsity Press, 1994)
- Transformation: Letting God Change You from the Inside Out (and Kevin Harney) (Zondervan, 2005)
- Transparency (Zondervan, 1997)
- When Leadership and Discipleship Collide (Zondervan, 2007)
- Who You Are When No One’s Looking (InterVarsity Press, 1995)
Bill Hybels Willow Creek Church
During his studies in the early 1970s at Trinity International University which was called Trinity College by then, a lecturer by the name Gilbert Bilezikian challenged the class about an Acts 2-based church. Hybels got attracted by the vision and abandoned his business aspirations for ministry.
He then began a youth group with his friend Dave Holmbo called Son City in 1971 as he served as the youth pastor at Park Ridge’s South Park Church. Modern music, dramatic skits and multimedia were joined with Bible studies in relevant language, and the group grew from 25 to 1,200 in just three years.
After Bill realized that 300 youth waited in line to be led to Christ in a service in May 1974, he and other leaders started dreaming of creating a new church. They investigated in the community to find out why people weren’t coming to church. Some of the answers included: “church is boring”, “they’re always asking for money”, or “I don’t like being preached down to.” These answers directed the group’s approach to the new church.
The group started its first service on October 12, 1975, in Palatine’s Willow Creek Theater and one hundred and twenty-five people attended the service. The rent and other costs were paid for with 1,200 baskets of tomatoes, sold door-to-door by 100 youths. Hybels spoke on “New Beginnings” and within two years, the church had grown to 2,000.
Many challenges in 1979 led to a recommissioning of the church’s vision to be broader and deeper than before. Hybels asked for pardon, for the example of his relentless schedule and overemphasis on grace. “We’ve set up all our leadership structures and goals to grow a full functioning Acts 2 community, as opposed to just an evangelizing machine that doesn’t drive the roots down deep and do all the other things it’s supposed to do.
The church re-located to its current location in South Barrington in 1981. By the year 2000, six services were being held every weekend for 15,000 attendees in a 352,000-square-foot (32,700 m2) building and a new Worship center was opened in 2004. The state-of-the-art auditorium is one of the largest theaters in the United States with a capacity of more than 7,000. The church has an average of 24,000 attendees per week, making it the third-largest church in America.
The Willow Creek Community Church has also become well known as the prototypical megachurch, with contemporary worship, drama and messages focused toward both Christians and those exploring the Christian faith. Later, Willow Creek’s three weekend services were more “seeker sensitive”, but have since become less so, since the “Reveal Study” which showed members desiring a deeper dive focused on scripture and spiritual growth.
Willow brought an even deeper dive into scripture in September 2011 by promoting Shane Farmer as Discipleship Director, and having him lead the Mid-week experience, meeting on Wednesday evenings. After Shane re-located to another location, Dr. Gary Burge of Wheaton College taught at the Midweek services until 2017.
Hybeks introduced President Obama for a speech on immigration reform on July 1, 2010.
Bill Hybels Leadership
He started the Global Leadership Summit in 1995 as an annual training event for church, ministry and other leaders to sharpen their skills. It exists to transform Christian leaders around the world with an injection of vision, skill development, and inspiration for the sake of the local church.
The Summit telecasts live from the campus of Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago, reaching more than 185 premier host sites across the United States. The Summit moves into more than 200 cities in 70+ countries across the globe, via Videocast in the following months. The 2010 summit attracted 122,000 leaders. In the same year Fast Company featured an article on Willow Creek and the Global Leadership Summit.
Bill Hybels Sermon – ” Be Prepared”
Bill Hybels Quotes
- If you lower the ambient noise of your life and listen expectantly for those whispers of God, your ears will hear them. And when you follow their lead, your world will be rocked.”
- You’re a leader. It’s your job to keep your passion hot. Do whatever you have to do, read whatever you have to read, go wherever you have to go to stay fired up. And don’t apologize to anybody. ”
- I would never want to reach out someday with a soft, uncallused hand-a hand never dirtied by serving-and shake the nail-pierced hand of Jesus
- “There isn’t a single motivation, thought, act, or word that has slipped out of your being and escaped the full, undivided attention of God.”
- “It’s not the things I don’t understand about the Bible that bother me; it’s the things I understand with perfect clarity and don’t comply with that keep me up at night.”