On October 11th in his sermon entitled "All In" on the church's 34th anniversary, Bill Hybels shared Willow Creek Community Church's renewed commitment to six characteristics in their weekend teaching. He said that he had gotten together over the summer with 20 leaders from Willow to talk about weekend teaching and they came to a consensus around six characteristics.
teaching at weekend services needs to be:
1. Biblically based--coming right out of the text of the Word of God.
2. High challenge--not low challenge, not a mild dose of anything.
3. Intellectually rigorous--we're not going to dumb it down for any reason or anyone. We want to produce intelligent Christians who think with a Christian worldview who can really interact with the complexity of a really complex world.
4. Theologically stretching--not just the easy parts of the Word of God but the doctrines that force us to think deeply and to put our roots down deeply.
5. Clear application--so that we all know what to do with the Word of God when we have to put it into practice on Mondays and Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
6. Accessible--We want it to be accessible to people who walk in the door who don't understand the Bible because they didn't grow up with it. It should be accessible to rookies and veterans.
Hybels went on to note that they have tried to embrace these characteristics in their September-October series The Forgotten Way.
Willow Creek is the third largest church in the U.S.A., 23,400 weekly attendance for 2009, according to Outreach Magazine.
Follow Willow on Twitter at http://twitter.com/WillowCreekCC
Teaching pastor Nancy Beach and Darren Whitehead (http://twitter.com/darrenwh) share the teaching duties with Hybels.
Interesting trivia: Beach notes on her blog post Anniversary Celebration at Willow that "On the very same weekend that Willow Creek was launched, the phenomenon known as Saturday Night Live also began."