Is Willow Creek Really Changing?

Matt Branagh at CT quotes some folks who say WC is making a fundamental shift, but the evidence from the “Reveal” study isn’t so clear cut. A fundamental shift at WC would for them to abandon their dated, failed, seeker model (in other words repent) and to embrace a Christ-centered, means of grace oriented approach to ministry of Word and sacrament. According one person quoted here whenever WC has attempted to introduce the least bit of substance to their morning services attendance suffers.

Good thing Jesus never said anything unpleasant or he might have been really unpopular. Oh wait a minute. He did and he got crucified for it. Well, that’ll never sell.

Has WC really changed? No. Have they abandoned a market-driven approach to ministry? No. What’s their plan for those who want to grow and become more mature in the faith? They plan to teach them to be “self-feeders.”

Yes, I think Jesus said something like that.

“Peter, if you love me, teach my sheep to feed themselves.

‘Peter do you love me? Teach my sheep to be self-feeders’

‘Peter, do you love me?”  ‘You know I do Lord.’ ‘Teach my sheep to be self-feeders.'”

    Post authored by:

  • R. Scott Clark
    Author Image

    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

    More by R. Scott Clark ›

Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!


  1. I must say, this self-feeder thing would be laughable if it weren’t so plain sad. Can one imagine a doctor telling a patient to take care of himself, or a parent telling a child to nurture himself? I seem to be on an American kick lately, but this seems like more bootstraps-individualistic-Americanism, more Evangelicalism to replace Evangelicalism.

    I think it could be said that WC has made some shifts, but they are still just more lateral moves along the Evangelical spectrum.

Comments are closed.