163. You Can't Be Found if You're Never Lost, with Steve Carter, author of The Thing Beneath the Thing
May 09, 2023
What do you do when you’re set up to be the successor of the lead pastor of one of the biggest and most well-known churches in the world and suddenly everything comes crashing down?
What do you do when it becomes clear that the beloved pastor you were meant to follow has been found to be abusive toward women—and the church’s leadership fails to take responsibility for the systems that allowed that?
What do you do?
This is exactly the situation that Steve Carter faced. Steve was set to succeed Bill Hybels at Willow Creek Church in Chicago. And when news broke of the things Hybels had done, Steve had to make a decision.
Would he stay and become complicit in the system that made Hybels’ abuse possible? Or would he step away and let go of everything that to this point had given him a sense of value and meaning?
Today, Steve Carter is the pastor of Forest City Church outside Chicago And the author of The Thing Beneath the Thing: What's Hidden Inside (and What God Helps Us Do About It).
THIS EPISODE'S HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
- Steve Carter and Markus Watson walked the Camino de Santiago together in October 2022 as part of the Journey Home cohort led by Jon Huckins.
- Steve Carter met Bill Hybels while interning with Rob Bell.
- Steve joined the staff of Willow Creek Church and was soon tapped to succeed Bill Hybels as pastor of the church.
- Eventually, Steve found out (from his book editor!) that a story was going to come out about Bill Hybels.
- Ultimately, Steve resigned from Willow Creek because the story of Bill Hybels’ history of abuse was being mishandled by the leadership. Steve felt that by staying he would have been complicit.
- Leaving Willow Creek was incredibly difficult and painful for Steve.
- It was while walking the Camino de Santiago that Steve Carter was finally able to say, “I love Bill Hybels.”
- Markus Watson shares about his experience of healing and transformation and healing while on the Camino de Santiago.
- According to Steve Carter, we need to respond to the reality of suffering in three ways:
- Past: Practice forgiveness for what has happened.
- Present: Rely on your core values—because you’re not going to make everyone happy.
- Future: Prepare and practice for what may come.
RELEVANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:
Download the FREE course, Becoming Leaders of Shalom.