Willow Creek’s New Woman Lead Pastor | Ep 57

Willow Creek Lead PastorIn this episode we’re talking about woman lead pastors… dun, dun, dun. Of a Christian church… dun, dun, duuun. Of an Evangelical, Christian, megachurch… dun, dun, duuuuun.

This past week, megachurch pastor Bill Hybels, announced his replacement for when he retires in October 2018. What was surprising about the announcement was that it wasn’t just one person. In fact, it was two people, one was a woman and they aren’t married. I know. I’m pretty sure that if we hadn’t been angry at football, this would have sent shockwaves throughout Christendom.  Maybe not.

What I do know is that women leading men in church is still a pretty debated topic among many church leaders. So we decided to weigh in on it.

Woman. Wo-o-o-man.

I had someone ask me what I thought about some of Willow Creek’s answers surrounding their decision, specifically the fact that Heather Larson (the new Lead Pastor) will be Steve Carter‘s (the new Lead Teaching Pastor) boss. First let me say, they’re FAQ has a lot of great answers. That said, here’s what I thought:

I’m excited that a church that, by all intents and purposes, is one of the main faces of evangelicalism has taken this step. Those answers from WC seem incongruent with the way they made it sound in the article I read (keeping in mind media bias – it was Christianity Today, so… bias). She’s already the Executive Pastor and the quotes from them made it sound like she was going to be doing the same thing as she is now, which she’s already Steve’s boss. The shtick for me is, she can lead a 400 person staff, many of which are undoubtedly men, but she can teach them from a pulpit? There isn’t anything saying she won’t teach, but it doesn’t say she will and they made it a point to title him lead teaching pastor. So, I feel like it’s more of a shuffle forward than a step.

Regardless, she’s already leading all those people. The only person she can’t currently fire is Bill Hybels. So she got a new title. Awesome.


Christianity Today Article

Nadia Bolz Weber