Willow Creek Community Church, a Chicago-area mega-church that gained fame 20 years ago for its “seeker-sensitive” approach to evangelizing non-Christians, has announced that it will no longer partner with Exodus International, a national ministry that reaches out to individuals wishing to leave the homosexual lifestyle.
Willow Creek officials said the move has more to do with the church’s overall ministry approach than to a change in its view on homosexuality, which has been traditionally viewed by Christians as sinful. Susan DeLay, a spokeswoman for Willow Creek, told Christianity Today that the congregation has an open-door policy toward individuals struggling with same-sex attraction. “Willow Creek has a whole host of ministries for people dealing with these issues, and we would never intend for them to feel sidelined,” DeLay said. “All we’ve changed is how we’ve gone about inviting them into the church, which is the primary issue here.”
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