In unveiling his new strategy to fill 9,000 vacant seats at Willow Creek Church and regional campuses, mega church pastor Bill Hybels relied heavily on survey information obtained from his 20,000 congregation to craft his Vision 2010 campaign. Hybels expects his congregants to pick up the pace and adopt a “bolder approach to outreach”[i]so that they can see God’s power released. The Christian Post reports that Hybels wants them to reach “out to the lonely and confused people across racial and socioeconomic lines.”[ii]As his presentation unfolded, many of the “confused” people must have been setting right in front of him.
When Hybels responded to information in the church survey where the “fully devoted followers of Christ” said they were less satisfied than the both newer and younger followers with church fare, and actually indicated they “want more deep truths of God,”[iii]Hybels announced he would begin teaching them, to survive on less. Again, The Christian Post:
In Vision 2010, Willow Creek leaders will be altering the way they coach to teach attendants how to be “self-feeding individuals” early on in their spiritual development. Rather than expecting to be spiritually fed each week with a 35-40 minute sermon on Sundays, congregants will start learning how to take responsibility for their own feeding. Everything else â€“ the worship services and the classes at Willow Creek â€“ will just be “whip cream” on top.[iv]
The third component of Hybels’ Vision 2010 is probably what will be taking up so much of his time that he can’t feed his flock. In what has become the mega church grand competition for most recognized, benevolent, and humble personality; Hybels is going to step up giving for fighting AIDS overseas (i.e. Africa), “and justice and fighting for the poor and oppressed in this world,” according to the Post.[v]Never mind the fact that the oppression is taking place right here in his own country with the crafting of hate crimes bills, like HR 1592, designed to eliminate the free-speech preaching of the gospel. Mega churches venturing to comment on these attacks would fear losing their 501c3 non-profit, tax-exempt status; and thus their silence at home, and urge to find a foreign battlefield.
The real reason these demagogues love Africa and AIDS so much is because they can raise a fortune in offerings and the only results they need to show for it are some pictures with some starving children, and dying victims on cots. After all, they aren’t expected to cure AIDS. When the personality and his entourage returns from overseas, they give the congregation a video show; as a nice big catharsis for the preceding guilt they put them under to extract the money, and some will remain under the delusion that they’ve once again earned their salvation.
It might be fair enough to say Hybels’ congregants who are wise enough to discern they are being fed empty calories and remain to eat it deserve this treatment, but there is a reason they are called sheep. There is a reason Jesus answered Peter’s claim that he loved Him with a command to feed His sheep, three times by the way. There is also a reason for Jesus’ prophetic warning given in Matthew, and I believe we are witnessing it unfolding today:
Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 24:45-51)
It is further interesting to note that the word translated “drunken” here in Matthew is used “metaphorically of one who has shed blood or murdered profusely,”[vi]and is the same word used in The Revelation at the final manifestation of the conglomerate, Popish, apostate church:
And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. (Rev 17:6)
The Christian Post, May 02, 2007.
[vi] Thayer’s Lexicon.