Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Bill Hybels at HTB

On Sunday Bill Hybels spoke at HTB and was received like a rock star. The line to get in started about 20 minutes before the door opened and was easily 100 people deep when the doors opened 30 minutes prior to the service. After worship, Bill was introduced and I was immediately struck by his stage presence and ease of taking the stage. This wasn't a surprise since he regularlly speaks in front of 5,000 people on Sundays at his church. After his talk, I was glad that he listened to God's call to the ministry because if he didn't, we'd be refering to him as Senator Hybels. Bill was able to get across his passion for expanding God's kingdom, rebuking both the clergy and the congregation, being humble and seeming like a "regular guy". It is a very compelling and atractive stage persona.

Bill's talk was about his latest passion volunteering. He compared the life of two men. One named Jan and the other named Harold. Both were successful businessmen, both loved Jesus and both lived very different lives because of their involvement or non-involvement in the local church.

Bill asked Jan out to lunch and asked why Jan wasn't more involved in the church. Jan replied that he didn't have any special skills or talents to do stuff on Sunday. Through the course of the conversation it became clear that Jan loved building and construction. Bill tapped Jan to do all the building projects at Willow Creek for the next 22 years. His life was very fulfilling because he made great friends at the church and knew he was working toward expanding the kingdom.

Harold, was never asked and never volunteered and went to his grave without the joy and fulfillment that being involved in the body of Christ brings. Bill laid out 6 steps to making sure we live like Jan and avoid Harold's.

  1. Cultivate a church culture that is congregation centered and not clergy centered. Don't "leave it to the professionals", but all need to get involved because the church is much stronger when more people are combining energy, talent, etc.
  2. Ask people to serve. Jan was asked and Harold never was. That made a huge difference
  3. Challenge people according to their capacity. Unrelated to talents or intellect, but more related to people's wiring to enjoy a challenge. Some people are up for the high-stakes type of challenges, some for middle-level challenges and some for lower-level challenges.
  4. Organize all church work to develop community. Everyone should be on a team so that they have a smaller group to who they become loved and accountable
  5. Say thank-you. A little thank-you goes along way.
  6. Connect all volunteer work to the overall mission of the church. Make sure that the builder, baker and candlestick maker know that their effort will push forward the Kingdom of God

So there you have it. 6 steps to having a fabulous church that reaches people for Christ. Now go and do likewise.