Journey Community Church has been a host site for the Global Leadership Summit (GLS) run by the Willow Creek Association (now d.b.a. Global Leadership Network) for over 10 years. During this time, we have gleaned inspiration from world-class speakers who have spoken on a variety of topics. God has used GLS to inspire changes we have made organizationally and has been instrumental in birthing new ministries that are supported by Journey. GLS has also impacted numerous churches, businesses and non-profits. We consider it a great opportunity to host this high-quality leadership development event.
Last year, the GLS had to navigate some difficult circumstances related to its founder, Bill Hybels. In early 2018, Bill Hybels, both the founding pastor of Willow Creek Community Church and the founder of the GLS had a series of credible sexual misconduct allegations made against him from a variety of sources. These credible allegations spanned several years of Bill’s ministry.
In no way do we condone the actions of Bill Hybels, and we pray for healing for the various women that came forward. Be assured that sexual misconduct or harassment of any kind has no part in the cultural context of Journey Community Church. As a result, we have not and will not tolerate a culture that is not safe for all individuals. We also pray for Bill Hybels and his wife Lynne to find restoration and healing on their own journey.
We have put a great deal of thought and prayer into our decision to host the GLS in 2019. We feel confident that serving as a host site for 2019 is the right move for Journey Community Church for the following reasons:
- Hybels’s engagement with the Summit and Willow Creek Association was completely severed in early April, 2018. He has had no involvement in the 2019 Summit or the Global Leadership Network since, and there is no path for him to return.
- We believe in quality leadership training provided by the GLS for the development of our staff at Journey Community Church.
- We value the role that GLS provides to leaders in our congregation and local community.
Thank you for considering our thoughts on this matter. We hope that this post will provide clarification for any concerns.
– Leadership of Journey Community Church