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A Warning For Willow Chicago, Part 7: The Last Hesitation

December 3, 2013

You can read this “Public Letter” in it’s entirety here.

You can download this entire “Public Letter” here.

– August 27th 2013: Did Scott Meet With Bill As Promised?

Before I made the decision to warn the church and make this public, I sent an email to Scott asking if he had a chance to sit down with Bill. Eight days later Scott responded with the following email:

Hello Justin,

Sorry for the delay.

I was mistaken when I told you two weeks.  Bill’s return was this week.

I have sent him a note and will get back to you as soon as I hear something.




Remember, Scott told us during our second meeting, that Bill took the following two weeks off after the leadership summit. Tara and I knew that wasn’t the case because on August 17th (5 days after our meeting) we attended the Next Level retreat at Willow Creek Barrington. The retreat concluded with everyone attending the Saturday service in which Bill spoke.

– September 13th 2013: Scott confirms that Bill Hybels and the Executive Team have reviewed the “Elder’s Letter”.

Sixteen days after my initial email, I received the following email from Scott confirming that not only has Bill reviewed the “Elder’s Letter” but so did the Willow Creek Executive Team. You can read that email below:

Hello Justin,

Thank you so much for your patience.

Your letter has been reviewed by the WCCC Executive Team (including Bill).

They are aligned with the process and conclusions of the Elder Response Team.


Again, I thank you for the passion and courage it took for you and Tara to communicate your concerns.

If you would like to pursue further meetings to facilitate reconciliation with Jon we would be happy to assist.



While this was extremely disappointing for Tara and I, it was also a blessing. See one of my biggest hesitations in making this public was the respect I have for Bill Hybels. That respect is what prompted me at every step to inquire about Bill’s knowledge of this issue, and urge the person to bring it to his attention. God answered my prayer asking Him to remove my concerns by confirming Bill’s awareness, which in turn lifted my final hesitation.

After meeting with Scott and Chris and reading the “Elder’s Letter” about his actions, Jon has not reached out to us in any way. Soon after our first meeting with Scott and Chris, Jon defriended me on Facebook, even though I have never interacted with him or his page on Facebook in any way.

Even if you don’t personally agree with me about Jon’s deceptive behavior, it’s clear from Willow’s exclusively reactionary approach, Scott confirming that what John did was “harmful” and Jon removing posts from his Facebook page, that they all found serious reasons for concern.

If you’d like to discuss this further you can email me at

From → Willow Creek

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