AACC President Tim Clinton Blames Employees, Grad Students, Etc. for Missing Citations

This morning to Inside Higher Ed, American Association of Christian Counselors owner and Trump advisor Tim Clinton blamed former employers, grad students, research assistants, and third-party partners for the missing citations in his online publications.

Significantly, Clinton also told Inside Higher Ed through spokesman Jimmy Queen that some of his published works “have involved more of his direct involvement than others since he has often been assisted by graduate students or research associates.” To me, that sounds like he acknowledged that he didn’t write everything with his byline. If that is true, then why didn’t the grad students and research assistants get co-authorship as the AACC Code of Ethics requires?

Consider Jimmy Queen’s defense in light of the AACC Code of Ethics:

1-880: Writing and Publication Ethics in Christian Counseling
Christian counselors maintain honesty and integrity in all writing and publication ventures, giving full credit to whom credit is due. Christian counselors recognize the work of
others on all projects, avoid plagiarism of another’s work, share credit by joint authorship or acknowledgement with others who have directly and substantially contributed to the work
published, and honor all copyright and other laws applicable to the work.

Deja Vu All Over Again?*

This defense reminds me of how people close to Mars Hill Church described Mark Driscoll’s “content management system.” His stated intent was not to plagiarize but rather to pump out as much content as possible. For some of the online work, Driscoll functioned as a manager of content or as a kind of editor. He put his name on things others wrote which he approved but didn’t always double check (e.g., his book on I Peter).

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*Attributed to Yogi Berra – I thought I’d better footnote that.

James Dobson and Family Talk: Who Really Wrote These Articles?

On Thursday, I brought to you news about the website maneuvers of American Association of Christian Counselors president and owner Tim Clinton after psychology professor Aaron New called out unsourced material in one of his online devotionals. Dr. Clinton has been removing articles identified in my post and in one case an article has been removed from the website of his new organization James Dobson’s Family Talk Radio. This morning, I submit Family Talk’s web team may have some more work to do.

Coping with Crisis

Currently, an article titled “Coping with Crisis” is hosted on Tim Clinton’s Family Talk blog page. However, if Clinton’s Bible for Hope can be believed (can we doubt anything with Bible in the title?), H. Norman Wright wrote that article. Clinton’s personal website also lists this article on his page without attribution to Wright.

UPDATE: After I wrote this, “Coping with Crisis” was removed from Family Talk’s website. It is available to view via the Wayback Machine.

Strive to Excel

Another article which may need scrubbing is “Strive to Excel.” Clinton has already removed it from his Medium, AACC, and personal pages. This article borrows material verbatim and without citation from a 1999 St. Petersburg Times article. Furthermore, this piece is taken from Clinton’s book with Max Davis, Ignite Your Faith without giving credit to Davis.  Go to the end of this post for a comparison of Clinton’s article with the 1999 newspaper article by Bruce Lowitt.

UPDATE: After I wrote this, “Strive to Excel” was removed from Family Talk’s website, It is available to view via the Wayback Machine.

Scrubbing in Progress

I see some scrubbing is underway. Clinton’s article citing Wikipedia without citation on respect has been scrubbed. The archived copy is here with the Wikipedia material in the first paragraph.

Family Talk Radio is aware of the situation because yesterday I asked them about another article which Family Talk attributed to Clinton which was actually written by Joshua Straub. That article was removed and I am waiting for some clarification about why. Since they are now scrubbing articles with uncited material, I can only assume that they know why they are doing it.

Celebrate Freedom

UPDATE: The articles I referred to above have now been scrubbed. Oddly enough, Clinton’s “Celebrate Freedom” post remains on the site even though he included inaccurate historical information from a source he didn’t cite.

UPDATE (8/13/18) – Ok, now “Celebrate Freedom” has been removed from Family Talk’s website. It is available to view here. It has also been removed from Clinton’s other websites.

Perhaps, Family Talk should just give me a call for the other posts which should be removed. I will have another one for you soon. Stay tuned…

A New Day A New You

UPDATE (8/13/18) – This piece has been posted at AACC‘s and Family Talk’s websites. It was also posted without an author back on 12/31/2010 on the AACC website. It has been scrubbed from the AACC website with that date but can be found via the Wayback Machine. Perhaps someone other than Clinton wrote it originally. In any case, it has material in it which appears to be lifted from a 1/4/10 Miami Herald piece by Jack Hardy titled, “New Year’s Resolutions Can Be Useful, Even When They Fail.”* Compare:

Clinton – It’s the “keeping them” part that gets us. In fact, 40 to 45 percent of people do make a New Year’s Resolution, and while it is true that 97% of resolutions are never fulfilled, 75% do make it past the first week, and 46% make it past the six month mark.

Miami Herald, Jack Hardy – Oscar Wilde wrote: “A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.” It’s true; statistics confirm that almost 97 percent of New Year’s resolutions are never fulfilled.   Even so, some 40 to 45 percent do use New Year’s Day to make resolutions and set goals.

While many may eventually ditch their resolutions, statistics show that setting goals is valuable. Research shows that 75 percent do make it past the first week; 46 percent make it past the six-month mark.

Not only is the phrasing and information identical, Clinton presents the information as the president of the AACC, an expert in mental health. However, he doesn’t cite his source. While any writer should take care with research, it is more necessary for mental health professionals to do so with social science data.

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Here is a pdf of Clinton’s article, “Press On.” (In Google’s cache for awhile)

Here is the archived copy of the original St. Petersburg Times article by Bruce Lowitt.

The articles use very similar words and phrases. Here are some examples.

Lowitt: At the start of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., the U.S. team was, like its gold-medal predecessor, little more than an afterthought — even in the mind of its coach.

Clinton: At the start of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., the U.S. hockey team was little more than an afterthought.

Lowitt: The Soviets were seeded No. 1, and deservedly so. They had won five gold medals and one bronze in the previous six Olympics. The seventh-seeded U.S. team could cling to one piece of history.

Clinton: The Soviets were seeded №1, and deservedly so. They had won five gold medals and one bronze in the previous six Olympics.

The U.S. team was seeded seventh.

Lowitt: The Soviets unleashed 30 shots in the first two periods to the United States’ 10. Only one dramatic save after another by former Boston University goaltender Jim Craig kept the United States close.

Clinton: The Soviets unleashed 30 shots in the first two periods to the United States’ 10. One dramatic save after another by goaltender Jim Craig kept the U.S. team close.

Lowitt: The explosion of cheers was deafening, and most of the 10,000 fans squeezed into the 8,500-seat arena began a chant of “USA! USA!” that never abated in the final 10 minutes.

Clinton: The explosion of cheers was deafening, and most of the 10,000 fans began a chant of “USA! USA!” that did not end for the final 10 minutes.

Lowitt: Later, Brooks pulled from his pocket a yellow card with a scrawled message. He said it contained the pregame message he read to his team:

“You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here.”

Clinton: After the game, coach Herb Brooks pulled a yellow card from his pocket with the scrawled message on it that he had read to his team just before the game:

“You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here.”

The quotes from the players in Clinton’s article were the same as in the Lowitt article although shortened. Read both pieces and decide for yourself.

*Hardy’s article isn’t available on the web. I was able to obtain it via the Miami Herald archives. A reprint of it is available via this chiropractic website.

Tim Clinton’s Bad History and Questionable Publishing (UPDATED)

(In the photo above, Tim Clinton is above Donald Trump’s head, to the right of V.P. Pence)

UPDATE (8/10/18) – Since I posted this information, Dr. Clinton or someone acting for him has deleted most of the articles referred to below. Archived copies of those articles exist and I have added links to them below.  The post has been edited to reflect those changes. Via Twitter, I asked Clinton for comment without reply as yet. While it is appropriate to remove content, it would be right to comment and take responsibility as well.

Sources continue to send other instances of Clinton’s web articles where information from other authors is used without citation. I plan to add them to this post as I find them. Check the end of the post and this link for additions. Family Talk Radio is also removing posts with borrowed material.

(Original post)

Oh my, you can find bad history in the strangest places.

Knowing my interest in historical claims, a colleague pointed out this historical faux pas in an article by Tim Clinton (also at James Dobson’s website), president and owner of the American Association of Christian Counselors. Dr. Clinton is also an advisor to President Trump.  Making this article of double interest is the lack of citation of the historical problem which is a problem according to the doctor’s own ethics code (1-880).

The article is a brief tribute to the founders of America and includes this paragraph:

In all, 5 of the 56 were captured and tortured by the British. 29 had their homes, businesses and property destroyed and eventually went bankrupt. Several lived off charity and died penniless. 9 were killed in the Revolution. 2 lost sons.

This information is lifted without citation from various sources (e.g., here). Much of it is inaccurate and exaggerated as documented by these pieces at Snopes and the Daily Signal. Dr. Clinton, which 9 were killed in the Revolution (implying they died in war)?

As of 8/13/18, Celebrate Freedom has been removed.

Press On!

This isn’t the first time for Dr. Clinton. Just yesterday, Dr. Clinton was called out by psychology professor Aaron New on Twitter about a piece posted on Medium.com. Here is that Twitter exchange.

In question was an August 7 article posted by Clinton on Medium about the 1980 USA Hockey team. After Dr. New pointed out the similarities between Clinton’s article and a 1999 article about the team’s win over the Soviet Union, Clinton deleted the tweet and the article from Medium and AACC.

Here is a pdf of Clinton’s article, “Press On.” (In Google’s cache for awhile)

Here is the archived copy of the original St. Petersburg Times article by Bruce Lowitt.

The articles use very similar words and phrases. Here are some examples.

Lowitt: At the start of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., the U.S. team was, like its gold-medal predecessor, little more than an afterthought — even in the mind of its coach.

Clinton: At the start of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., the U.S. hockey team was little more than an afterthought.

Lowitt: The Soviets were seeded No. 1, and deservedly so. They had won five gold medals and one bronze in the previous six Olympics. The seventh-seeded U.S. team could cling to one piece of history.

Clinton: The Soviets were seeded №1, and deservedly so. They had won five gold medals and one bronze in the previous six Olympics.

The U.S. team was seeded seventh.

Lowitt: The Soviets unleashed 30 shots in the first two periods to the United States’ 10. Only one dramatic save after another by former Boston University goaltender Jim Craig kept the United States close.

Clinton: The Soviets unleashed 30 shots in the first two periods to the United States’ 10. One dramatic save after another by goaltender Jim Craig kept the U.S. team close.

Lowitt: The explosion of cheers was deafening, and most of the 10,000 fans squeezed into the 8,500-seat arena began a chant of “USA! USA!” that never abated in the final 10 minutes.

Clinton: The explosion of cheers was deafening, and most of the 10,000 fans began a chant of “USA! USA!” that did not end for the final 10 minutes.

Lowitt: Later, Brooks pulled from his pocket a yellow card with a scrawled message. He said it contained the pregame message he read to his team:

“You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here.”

Clinton: After the game, coach Herb Brooks pulled a yellow card from his pocket with the scrawled message on it that he had read to his team just before the game:

“You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here.”

The quotes from the players in Clinton’s article were the same as in the Lowitt article although shortened. Read both pieces and decide for yourself.

This article is also in his book with Max Davis titled, Ignite Your Faith, and under another title at James Dobson’s Family Talk website.

THERE’S MORE

Dr. Clinton should also check in on this article titled “Do” since it has material taken from this article on a history website without citation.

Update (later the same day): Now this article titled, “Do” has been removed from the AACC website without comment. The article is still archived here

UPDATE: Clinton has removed all articles and apparently removed his account from Medium.com. An archived version of the page can be viewed but in real time, it is gone as of today.

UPDATE: See the comments section for three more examples provided by Dr. New. Here’s one from this article on the AACC website called “How About Some Respect.” The Wikipedia entry is an early version which was in turn adapted and used on LastFM.

(8/10/18) “How About Some Respect” has now been removed from the AACC website. However, it is available at the Internet Archive.

(8/10/18) Clinton also removed an article from both the AACC and Medium websites titled “Bounce Back.” Professor New referred to this piece in the blog comments section. This article is also available at the Internet Archive.

(8/10/18) Professor New alerted me that many of the articles on Clinton’s personal website have been written by other people. On his website, articles from a book titled the Soul Care Bible (edited by Clinton, Ed Hindson, & George Ohlschlager) appear with his name and photo but without attribution to the author. For instance, this article on forgiveness was written by Ev Worthington in the Soul Care Bible. On Clinton’s website  , it appears he wrote it:

There is no mention of Ev Worthington on the page. However, here is Worthington’s entry on forgiveness in the Soul Care Bible.  Clinton also has reproduced articles on adultery, honor, crisis, hope, parenting, suicide, divorce, addiction, legalism, and adolescent development on his page. None of these articles on Clinton’s website list the actual author.

UPDATE (8/10/18): His devotional section has now been removed from his personal website. Also, I have noted in several of the devotionals the use of material from Bible study books without citation. For instance, in this article on compassion, Clinton uses a quote without a citation and then uses material verbatim without quotes or citation. From the AACC article:

“Splagchnizomai” the Greek word for compassion literally means “to be moved as to one’s bowels” (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity).

This appears to come from Thayer’s Greek Lexicon and can be viewed on the web:

σπλαγχνίζομαι; 1 aorist ἐσπλαγχνίσθην (cf. Buttmann, 52 (45)); (σπλάγχνον, which see); properly, to be moved as to one’s bowels, hence, to be moved with compassion, have compassion (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity).

According to the code of conduct of Clinton’s former academic employer Liberty University (any writer or academic knows this), any direct quote should be cited and placed within quotes. In a devotional piece such as the one on the AACC website (although it is supposed to be a professional organization), a footnote could be used to give proper attribution. Although this might seem like a small instance, it is completely unnecessary. There is no reason why the use of the exact words from Thayer’s reference work can’t be cited as it should be.

Off and on through the afternoon of 8/10 timclinton.com has been down. There have been shifts in content through the day as well. However, no response has yet come to my inquiry.

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Willow Creek Association Addresses Bill Hybels Controversy at Opening of Global Leadership Summit (VIDEO)

After the resignation of Lead Pastor Heather Larson and all Willow Creek church elders last night, President and CEO of the Willow Creek Association Tom De Vries addressed the Bill Hybels controversy at the Global Leadership Summit this morning. Watch:

He seemed sorry for something and then said the Global Leadership Summit would continue doing good work as in the past. Many would disagree with De Vries self-justification. He said there will be three commitments. One is to promote an independent investigation of allegations against Hybels. A second commitment is to explore power dynamics between men and women in the workplace at the summit and then a commitment to extend the topic after the summit.

He also addressed why the WCA didn’t cancel the GLS this year. Essentially, he said leaders have to step out and do something (as if pausing isn’t doing something). Then he said they are doing it for the women attending and used numbers of host sites that don’t match his own website’s numbers. In other words, the world can’t go on without the GLS.

Imagine a World Without

It is this attitude (the world needs us) that turns me off and strikes me as presumptuous. I am open to reasons why the show must go on. Maybe somebody’s livelihood is dependent on it. I get that. But don’t tell me that the sun won’t come up or that women around the world would be lost without you.

I think this is what gets evangelical pastors — like Bill Hybels maybe?– into trouble. I think Mr. De Vries expressed some of that too. The GLS must go on  because we need it to. No, actually we don’t. Find some other reason.

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Willow Creek Church Elders to Resign by the End of 2018

UPDATE: In a statement issued at Willow Creek Church tonight, three steps were outlined. All elders of the church will step down by the end of 2018, the church will hire a consultant to assist with governance, and another committee of Christian leaders will conduct an investigation of the allegations of misconduct against Bill Hybels. Also, pastor Heather Larson announced that she is stepping down as a pastor. Essentially, it appears that the entire leadership team is moving aside.

The news of the elders and Ms. Larson stepping down was greeted with loud applause from the members of Willow Creek gathered in the meeting. Also speaking was Steve Gillan who will be the interim pastor during the transition. Gillan is currently pastor of Willow Creek North Shore.

The statements from elder representative Missy Rasmussen, pastor Heather Larson and interim pastor Steve Gillan can be seen in full here.

(Original post)

There are persistent rumblings out of Willow Creek that the elders of the church will resign over their handling of the Bill Hybels situation (for more on this, click here and here) perhaps as soon as tonight.

The elders have been under tremendous pressure due to their response to public and private allegations of misconduct against the former pastor of Willow Creek, Bill Hybels. Many inside and outside the church have questioned their reluctance to initiate an independent investigation of the allegations.

The church’s troubles have come into public view recently due to the start of this year’s Global Leadership Summit tomorrow. Many churches and simulcast hosts have backed out over the allegations. Five speakers including Denzel Washington have pulled out of the conference.

I will update this post as I get new information.

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Amid Scandal, the Global Leadership Summit Continues to Shrink

UPDATE: Just this morning, Willow Creek has deleted two more sites. I suspect this will continue through the beginning of the conference.

As the beginning of Willow Creek Association’s Global Leadership Summit nears, the number of host sites continues to decline. Despite the promotion of 600 sites on the conference website, a count of the number of publicly available sites has now fallen to 485. According to Willow Creek Association, there are additional private sites and some in prisons. However, for people wanting to sign up for the GLS, the number of options continues to decrease as the conference draws near.

Willow Creek Association continues to say that only 111 host sites have dropped out over the sexual misconduct allegations against Bill Hybels (e.g., to Christianity Today). However, a check of the sites posted on the GLS website indicates that more sites have dropped since I last checked.  At the beginning of 2018, Willow Creek promoted the GLS with claims of 700 host sites for the conference simulcast.

Leadership Reset

Sometimes in leadership, a leader must lead by not leading. What I mean is that followers simply won’t follow under some circumstances. I believe Willow Creek leaders are now in that position. I don’t think it matters what they do, they are compromised and their best leadership move is to step down. They may not believe it is fair and they may believe they have done their best. Nonetheless, the perception is that the situation is getting worse and that a reset is needed.

The GLS will be tainted by the Hybels’ controversy and the failure to handle it properly. Much of what is presented in the sessions will be compared to what has happened at Willow Creek. Maybe I’m wrong, but I sense that a situation is being set up where it will seem that the GLS speakers will talk about leadership without actually leading.

Christianity Today on Willow Creek and GLS

New York Times Sunday article with new allegations against Hybels which he denies.

Scot McKnight’s response to Willow Creek.

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Eric Metaxas Says Katie Hopkins is His Hero

As yet another indicator of how far into the alt-right Eric Metaxas has drifted, here is a recent love tweet to British nativist Katie Hopkins.

In no universe should Katie Hopkins be called sweet or be anybody’s hero.

Final Solution

She lost her radio show after tweeting that a “final solution” was needed for Muslims.

Euthanasia Vans

In 2015, she advocated euthanasia for the elderly in nursing homes, telling interviewer Michael Buerk that she would deploy “euthanasia vans” if she ruled the world. According to Metaxas’ hero:

“We just have far too many old people.” Did I know that one in three NHS beds was being blocked by the elderly and demented? A third of our hospitals filled up by people who don’t even know they’re there? She’d soon put a stop to that. “It’s ridiculous to be living in a country where we can put dogs to sleep but not people.” Her solution? “Easy. Euthanasia vans – just like ice-cream vans – that would come to your home.” After they’d finished in the hospitals, presumably. “It would all be perfectly charming. They might even have a nice little tune they’d play. I mean this genuinely. I’m super-keen on euthanasia vans. We need to accept that just because medical advances mean we can live longer, it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.”

Sweet.

She thinks racial profiling is a “good thing,” doesn’t mind being called a racist, promotes the white genocide conspiracy theory, and advocated using gunships to thwart migrants coming into the UK. She called refugees “cockroaches.”

Regarding Metaxas’ tweet, I don’t know what he refers to by removing Trump by “any means necessary.” Numerous people have called for impeachment, but this is a Constitutional means and well within our republican government.

Metaxas’ devotion to Trump has taken him to some dark places when he considers a person like Katie Hopkins “sweet” and a “hero.”

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Global Leadership Summit Will Give 10 Minutes to the Bill Hybels Controversy

According to blogger and Willow Creek church member Rob Speight, the leaders of the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit (August 9-10) have promised to give 10 minutes at the beginning of the conference to a “live acknowledgement” of the Bill Hybels controversy. Here is a beginning of Speight’s post:

I have become aware of some disturbing news about the Global Leadership Summit (GLS) 2018, and how it will be kicked off.

The WCA has made the decision to make a “live acknowledgement” approximately 10 minutes prior to Session #1 on August 9, 2018. The webinar that described this announcement was directed to the host site producers and tech staff of the GLS.

The Summit is God’s Event
By way of introduction, the following statement was made on the webinar:

“First off, the Summit is God’s event. It’s always been God’s event, not about one person. So it’s not something that we felt the ministry had to pause for a year.”

This statement is fraught with troublesome issues. Several inferences are obvious:

The WCA is reassuring the host sites that remain that they are participating in an event that belongs to God.

At the same time, the WCA implies that the host sites that have pulled out of the GLS have made a mistake by choosing to not participate in this event because it belongs to God.

By ascribing God’s name to and ownership of the GLS, one is not permitted to argue against it. It compares to the age old dilemma posed by “that” friend who would say to you, “God told me . . . (and then fill in the blank).“

If God told that person something, then the conversation ends. One can’t debate or question that which is of God.

The WCA falsely concludes that because the GLS belongs to God, they must automatically hold the event this year.

It could well be argued that if indeed the GLS is God’s event, the WCA ought to hit the pause button this year! After all, God is the Defender of the oppressed. The women have been oppressed at the hands of the powerful.

First, by Bill Hybels, and more recently by the leadership of Willow Creek. Until the truth is revealed regarding the women’s claims, would it not be wise for the WCA to err on the side of caution and on behalf of the women who claim personal violation?

It is technically true that the GLS is “not about one person.” But:

○ That one person originated the GLS.

○ That one person traveled the world representing the GLS.

○ That one person was the face of the GLS.

○ That one person was looked to by all other WCA senior leadership to give them their marching orders.

○ That one person raised untold millions of dollars for the WCA and GLS.

○ That one person’s own star power attracted other stars to participate in the GLS.

○ It is this same one person’s inappropriate conduct (while traveling globally on behalf of the WCA & GLS) with women (not his wife) that is at the center of the biggest scandal in the 26 year history of this iconic ministry.

It seems obvious that Willow Creek leaders presided over a massive failure of leadership. To put on a leadership meeting and think that a 10 minute acknowledgement will address the issues is another sign that the leaders need to be taught not teach.

Go read the rest of Speight’s piece here.

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Eagle Brook Church’s (MN) Statement About Pausing the Global Leadership Summit

Eagle Brook Church in the Twin Cities area of MN is not going to host the Global Leadership Summit this year. Although this decision has been made for awhile, public disclosure of it has been limited.

Back in May, Benjamin Ady tweeted this letter which the church sent to those who attended the GLS in the past.

Because you’ve been involved with the Global Leadership Summit in the past, we wanted you to be among the first to know that we’ve decided not to host the GLS this year. In all of the years we’ve been connected with the GLS, we’ve so appreciated the wisdom it’s instilled in our leaders, our attenders, and so many others in our community.

However, this year we felt it would no longer uphold the standard of excellence and integrity it has previously been known for due to the recent accusations surrounding Bill Hybels and his subsequent resignation. Because of all this, we decided to step down as a host site.

If you’d like to know more about this decision, here’s a note from our senior pastor, Bob Merritt.

Merritt’s letter is below:

Dear Friends,

From the moment the accusations regarding Bill Hybels became known, the Eagle Brook Executive Team met every week—and ultimately, we decided we could no longer host the Global Leadership Summit. We have labored over our decision and understand the full ramifications of it.

We have decided not to host the Summit this year for two primary reasons. First, we believe the value of the Summit has been compromised. Bill was historically a big draw for us, and as we evaluate this year’s lineup, we don’t believe it will offer the same value for attenders.

The second reason has to do with our own credibility and reputation. In the end, it would be a lot harder for us to defend why we’re hosting than it would for us to defend why we wouldn’t. It’s not an easy call either way, but we are simply not willing to risk our own reputation for the mistakes that Bill and Willow Creek made.

We are not trying to make a point, and we are deeply saddened by all that’s happened. But we believe this decision is best for our church.

We are grateful for the positive impact the GLS has had on our church and churches all over the world. If the GLS can right the ship and find a new leader or a greatly restored leader, we would consider hosting again.

Currently, if you count Willow Creek Church as one location, 494 simulcast sites are listed on the conference website as participating venues. Willow Creek Association started the year with 700 sites.

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Willow Creek Association Confirms Loss of Venues Due to Allegations Against Bill Hybels

On Wednesday, I asked Willow Creek Association how many churches had dropped out of their Global Leadership Summit due to allegations of sexual harassment against Bill Hybels. Two days later, WCA answered the question in the Christian Post yesterday saying 111 host sites dropped out as a “direct result of sexual misconduct allegations” which led to Bill Hybels’ resignation from Willow Creek Church and related ministries.

In contrast to more confident comments made to the Daily Herald in early July by WCA president and CEO Tom DeVries, WCA’s statement yesterday said attendance will be affected.  According to the July 2 report, DeVries said that attendance was not expected to suffer due to the controversy over Hybels.

Just 111?

Bill Hybels

Yesterday, I demonstrated how in Jaunary of this year WCA had advertised 700 host locations for the simulcast of the GLS. Currently, WCA is advertising 600 plus on the front page of the conference website and “over 500 locations” on their location search page. However, the actual number has fluctuated between 494-497 during the past week.  Thus, it appears the drop in venues is over 200 venues (almost 29%) since the beginning of the year. Perhaps some have dropped out without giving a reason or for reasons other than the Hybels’ controversy.

Some church leaders have declined to issue a detailed statement simply saying they want to pause their involvement due to the allegations. Others, such as the Vineyard in Cincinnati have posted statements on their website. Here is the opening part of the Vineyard’s statement:

Many of you know that we have been a host site for Willow Creek’s Global Leadership Summit for 14 years. Some of you may have heard that the pastor of Willow Creek Church, Bill Hybels, has recently resigned amid allegations of misconduct with women perpetrated over many years. (See CHRISTIANITY TODAY ARTICLES)

After much thought and prayer, we have decided that Vineyard Cincinnati Church will not be a host site of the Global Leadership Summit this year.

We are reminded from Scripture that God calls us to defend the vulnerable — the orphan, the widow, the oppressed and those who suffer under the misuse of power.

In short, God cares deeply how those who possess power use that power. We pray that women everywhere who have suffered would see that God’s people stand with them and love them and care for them.

If you are associated with a church/venue which has canceled and have a comment please get in touch with me. Likewise, if you are associated with a church/venue and plan to go ahead with the event, let me know why you are doing so.

 

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Photo: By Ianphilpot at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18726346