Willow hired an independent advisory group that was to review the allegations against Bill Hybels, the culture of governance at Willow, and processes around the allegations.
The advisory group found the women credible, Bill Hybels guilty of verbal and sexual behaviors, verbal abuse of both women and men, and an assortment of power problems — creating a culture of fear.
Nothing new here. True but not new.What’s next?
It’s now up to Willow to do the right thing.
Willow must publicly (from the stage) receive this report, admit failure, apologize to the women and announce they are exonerated. They need to apologize to those railroaded out, to those who were gaslighted, to those who signed NDAs under duress.
Willow needs to apologize for the failure of the church to hold Bill in check, apologize for a culture of fear developing.
Willow needs to have a service of confession and repentance.
Not a production, not an opportunity for congratulations for doing it right, but a time that is remorseful … no music, no performance, lots of reading of Scripture, offering of prayers of confession, heart-felt prayers of repentance.
Then leave in silence.
This story is not about the advisory group; it reported its findings. It’s for Willow to respond, and the response is contrition.