16 Leadership Quotes From Bill Hybels, The Embodiment Of A Leader

Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, in Barrington, IL has embodied Christian leadership for my generation.  On the eve of the church’s 35th anniversary, Outreach Magazine interviewed Hybels about the subject of leadership, the church, social justice issues, and his new book The Power of a Whisper

The following are quotes that all leaders should read one at a time and ponder.  As you read these, notice Bill’s amazing ability to powerfully utilize words and language.

  1. He (my dad) really believed in me.  He thought there was no end to what I could accomplish in my life, and so he challenged me all the time.”
  2. There’s nothing like the local church when the local church is working right.”
  3. When the Holy Spirit is in charge…lost people are getting found, and found people are growing up, and lonely people are getting enfolded, and bored people are finding a purpose and a cause, and the poor are being cared for.”
  4. “You have to ask and challenge people to act and think a new way and do relationships much differently than they did in the past.”
  5. The central work of diligent leadership is to move people from ‘here’ to ‘there'”
  6. The role of the leader is to say ‘Here’s where we are at’ and then ask the question ‘Where is there?'” 
  7. Leaders need to offer people the opportunity to move out of a current reality by understanding the there…Then they need to develop a practical plan and resources that allow people to begin the journey from here to there.”
  8. Leadership must gauge what aspirations and impact they hope will be operative in the community in 12 to 24 months.”
  9. “There have been times at Willow when we had initiatives that were very important for that decade, and it accomplished what is was supposed to, and then we would move on.”
  10. “What a leader has to remember is that issues like compassion and justice are universal, timeless and central to God’s heart.”
  11. Imagine the day when every hungry person within a 30-minute drive from our church knew there was one place they knew they could count on to put food on their table.”
  12. “The whole idea that God gives all the great ideas through the senior pastor is absurd to me.”
  13. “If you look at important initiatives that have happened at Willow, the vast majority bubbled up from the congregation.”
  14. “We are a visual, story-driven generation.”
  15. “We don’t usually have to fight against boredom or inertia.”
  16. “One of the greatest thrills in all of life is to feel the hand of God working through you and to be a part of the working reality of the church engaged in a movement larger than self.”

 Leaders, are you part of something bigger than yourself?

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About Brian Dodd on Leadership

I am a church stewardship and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. This blog combines my personal passions of church, sports, pop culture and family into a single leadership resource. I trust your time on this site will create conversations and add value to your life.


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