Bill Hybels is considered, by critics and admirers alike, the pioneer of the modern "seeker church" movement. He founded Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois nearly 30 years ago and led it to becoming one of the largest churches in North America.
I recall in a so-called "mutt session" on church growth at the church's 1996 Leadership Conference that Hybels talked about the transition the church made to a collaborative teaching structure. At one time, Hybels, as senior pastor, was pretty mcuh the only preacher in the weekend services. But he recognized that teaching was not his primary gift, leadership was. He still planned to teach, but he thought it valuable to raise up other voices in the pastoral team and begin a rotating preaching schedule. Hybels continued to be the lead pastor for the church's leadership team, but he became one of a few regular voices in the Willow Creek pulpit.
He could have easily maintained that pulpit monopoly. In fact, many of the congregants expected him to. But realizing his own strengths and weaknesses, and fearing for the church becoming, even by accident, a cult of personality, he gave up a fair share of time as the public face of Willow Creek.
And in this way, the collaborative teaching structure of Willow Creek has given evangelicalism important and influential pastoral voices like John Ortberg and Lee Strobel.
Bill Hybels is known for his passion, drive, and priority on excellence and quality. He is the founding pastor of what was until recently America's largest megachurch. But he had a firm knowledge of his own strengths and weaknesses and a heart for his church's growth, not for his own exposure. I suspect this is how the American pastor with the most right to be arrogant and influential came to write a great book on humility called Descending Into Greatness.