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Bill Hybels, Starbucks, and the anti-gay label…

Filed under: God's movement,leadership,willow — 5:41 pm

A couple hours ago, Bill addressed some drama that has been brewing about Willow’s Leadership Summit.
I love how he handled it and feel really proud…


  1. Bill hybels has always handled these kinds of issues w grace. Way to go. I have great respect for him, always have.

    Comment by Donna — August 11, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

  2. Shalom Aaron,

    Thanks for posting this. Nothing beats authenticity, transparency and humility in a leader. And from the top down and everywhere else on the way, Willow and its members have always impressed me as a community that walks the walk as well as walks the talk.

    Be well my friend

    Blessings of wholeness,

    Comment by Jordan Goodman — August 12, 2011 @ 4:34 pm

  3. Hey Aaron–

    I’ve been going to Mars since 2002, so I first wanted to let you know that I love when you come visit and share your music with us! I’m sure it’s not easy at all to be a worship leader in a big church and having lots of different people with different tastes in music to be in front of…but there are definitely times when I miss your music so much. So please keep coming every so often! 🙂

    Now, I really respect your thoughts and views, so that’s probably why I feel like I wanted to comment on this post. Here’s the way I see it: I don’t think the LGBT community necessarily thinks a church (or the church) is anti-gay because they feel people won’t be welcoming, or that they aren’t allowed in, or will be shuffled to the back of the pews (or gray chairs). Of course that has happened and does still happen. I think the other part of it is when they hear things like, “Sure, we welcome the gays! You just can’t BE gay…” What do you say to the gay couple who considers themselves Christians, followers of Jesus, and are committed to one another and love each other more than many heterosexual couples ever have? What do you say to the ones who believe they are God’s queer kids and he loves them for who they are?

    I could be completely wrong about this. I’m not a Bible scholar by any means, but I really do think the whole point is to love and respect and accept each other. Rather than say, “We love you, but… We welcome everyone, except…” can we just leave it at “We love you. We welcome you”? What if God actually cares more about how we love each other?

    Like I said, I could be completely wrong. I don’t know. I do think there’s a place for gay Christians (a lot of them are so much more accepting and loving and open to everyone else than I have seen in most others). And I think there’s more to feeling like a person or a place is “anti-gay” other than feeling welcome some place. I think it goes deeper. People want to feel like they are accepted for who they are. Whether or not the rest agree with them or how they live. They want to feel unconditionally loved and accepted. Just by allowing them through the door isn’t going to be enough, especially after the history of churches emotionally and spiritually burning them.

    Sorry, that was a lot of rambling. I hope I kind of made a point in there somewhere. I have a lot of respect for what all my gay friends, neighbors, and family members have been through, and how they still love God. It breaks my heart when they don’t feel like they can go to certain churches without people judging them or telling them they need to “degayify” themselves if they’re going to follow Jesus.

    Granted, I don’t think it was necessary or appropriate for all the hate mail. If Willow really was anti-gay, wouldn’t that be a great opportunity to come and show everyone how unconditional God’s love is? Maybe learn from each other? Is that a little too idealistic? 😉

    Comment by Brianna — August 15, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

  4. The summit was amazing. I enjoyed every single minute of it. But this 7 minute session was the highlight for me. How Bill addressed this issue was probably the best leadership example I have ever seen.

    I just can’t get enough of it. I’ve been wanting to write a blog post about but I just can’t seem to settle down and think this through. That is how much it blew my mind.

    As if that wasn’t enough, last week I tuned in to the WCA’s webinar were Jim Mellato and Bill sat down to discuss their highlights of the Summit. Jim asked Bill what had lead up to the events… and Bill told the story of how he had crafted the statement. That story amazed me again. Bill, being the leader that he is, still went to the various teams and asked them, what do you think about this.

    I guess he asked 5 or 6 different groups about how to address the letter. In addition to prayer I suppose.

    Something about that, which I can hardly explain, just truly blows my mind away.

    I don’t know Bill personally, but he has changed my life. I pray for him all the time.


    Comment by Brandon — August 29, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

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