Lynne Hybels is the wife of Bill Hybels–renowned founder and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois. This year, in 2018, Bill has been publicly accused of sexual harassment and as a result has resigned from the megachurch he and Lynne founded. In the last few months as this media storm has rained down confusion and grief on those at the Willow Creek Community Church, Bill’s family has been unsurprisingly silent.
Let’s be clear. These are accusations. Nothing has been proven but an independent investigation is in the works right now to dig deeper into the accusations brought forward by numerous women against Bill Hybels.
We believe Lynne Hybels is so much more than just Bill’s wife.
Lynne Hybels Is an Author
Forty-five years ago with her then-fiance Bill, Lynne Hybels started a high school ministry that later became Willow Creek Community Church–a church for adults. Neither Bill nor Lynne could’ve dreamed that it would become one of the largest and most influential churches in the United States.
Throughout her adult life, Lynne is someone who has been generous to share about her faith journey. Lynne writes on her blog that 25 years ago “when I was forty and married to a very public pastor, I entered an era of spiritual and emotional crisis. In the deep soils of my soul, the earth quaked; my life crumbled. Though the crumbling was quiet, it was agonizing. I could not imagine that anything could mend the fractures that split my soul.”
And yet, she says that with her husband’s support and guidance from deeply spiritual counselors, she “spent the next decade discovering healing truths about myself and about God.”
Lynne writes that her dark night of the soul “was a painful and messy decade,” but she says, “I entered the places of my deepest brokenness and I found Jesus there, loving me. That changed everything. Divine love was a foundation I could build a life on.”
Church, can we pray that Lynne and her family will once again find that divine love is the foundation they can build (and rebuild) their lives on?
Bill and Lynne penned Fit to Be Tied: Making Marriage Last a Lifetime about marriage during this time. Lynne writes, “Bill and I wrote this book twenty-five years ago out of the struggle of our own marriage. We’ve wondered during various times of deep marital challenge if we should have titled it Fit to be Un-tied. But the truth is: The lessons we learned and shared in that book have proven to keep us connected to one another, to our kids and to God for over forty years.”
Lynne Hybels Is a World-Changer
After that challenging decade, God called Lynne to follow Jesus deeper into the brokenness of the world.
“I ended up in places like South Africa, Zambia, DR Congo, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq,” she writes. “I met children orphaned by AIDS and women raped in war-zones. I met families destroyed by the despair of insurmountable poverty. I met refugees who had crossed country borders in the middle of the night with bullets chasing them. Such brokenness. Such pain.”
She writes, “But in the midst of what seemed hopeless I found hope.”
In 2005, Lynne wrote a book entitled: Nice Girls Don’t Change the World. She writes about this book: “At thirty-nine I was a people-pleasing ‘nice girl’ who knew how to keep everybody else happy but was seriously depressed myself. During the next decade, I gradually discovered hope and joy as I owned my own dreams, strengths, passion and calling to engage actively in the world.”
Oh, Church, instead of judging or clicking our tongues in disgust like we’re so often tempted to do in situations like this…can we join in praying for Lynne to continue to have boldness and courage?
Can we ask God to fill her with the peace that passes understanding?
Dear Church, can we pray for Lynne that in this time of brokenness for her family, that she will find hope? Again.
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SOURCE: Church Leaders – Christine Yount Jones is Content Director for Outreach Media Group. She has published several books and hundreds of articles about ministry in the last three decades. Before his death in 2003, Michael Yount and Christine had three children. Now, she and her husband, Ray Jones, together have five grown kids.