Lynne and Bill Hybles share their story in detail of building Willow Creek Community Church from only a vision and dream. The first half of Rediscovering Church: The Story and Vision of Willow Creek Community Church is composed by Lynne who begins with Bill and her first engagement that she broke off. She shares of the two of them beginning their ministry together and Billy learning the gifts God had given him of teaching and leadership. Lynne describes their journey of stepping out in faith to plant a church while both of them were only twenty-three years old. She honestly shares the difficulties of this season of men coming to Bill stating they were about to lose all the collateral they had put on the line for the church, Bill trying to get out of debt by selling tomatoes door to door, a scandal in the church that split it in half, and the Lord protecting them from purchasing a condemned property.
Bill’s half of this work takes on less of a narrative form, but rather conveys his passion and zeal to see irreligious people become saints. Bill also shares about times of incredible joy in watching the congregation of Willow Creek grow, make disciples, reach out to others, and give so generously. He furthermore shares of difficult times and decisions as a leader, yet amidst every struggle and time of questioning of seeing God’s faithfulness. Hybles consistently focuses on the importance of continuing to reach out to unbelievers and charging members of the congregation to do the same in order to see growth.
A key helpful feature of Rediscvoering Church: The Story and Vision of Willow Creek Community Church is Lynne and Bill’s honestly. Lynne shared honestly and openly of times when Bill was “married to the ministry” and she had to seek companionship with fellow staff member’s wives in the loneliness. They share honestly about the difficulty of stewarding such a large congregation with such a small budget to begin with and such big decisions to be made with a team of only three elders. The Hybles are open and honest about their mistakes and point so consistently to God’s faithfulness to their obedience. A limiting feature of the Hybles’ work is the stark difference in Lynne and Bill’s writing styles as Lynne provides a narrative and seems to set Bill up to tell the rest of the story in the second half. Bill, instead, seems to passionately teach a sermon on continuing to reach beyond the walls of the church and tells stories of radical conversion.