Greg L. Hawkins is a man of passion. He loves opera. He loves living out God’s love. And he loves Jesus. It was a desire to empower people to build Christian community that prompted Hawkins to leave a successful and profitable career with the consulting firm McKinsey & Company for an unpaid role at Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago.
After a few years, Hawkins became executive pastor at Willow Creek where he served alongside Bill Hybels for nearly 20 years. In this capacity, Hawkins spearheaded the Reveal research project to discover how to move involvement with church activities into greater spiritual growth. The survey questions asked changed the trajectory of Hawkins’ church and his life.
The big reveal of the Reveal study is that all of the church’s assumptions that church involvement leads to greater spiritual development were wrong. But there was one subset of respondents that fascinated Hawkins, and he was driven to learn more. One in eight of the Christians surveyed reported experiencing a higher level of intimacy with God, as well as greater joy, contentment and satisfaction. Hawkins began digging deeper into the data, conducting interviews and searching Scripture to discover why this group of people seemed to be living a life of what he calls “more” and how the rest of us can experience it too. The results are captured in More: How to Move from Activity for God into Intimacy with God.
Hawkins has co-authored with Cally Parkinson several church leadership books based on the Reveal research including Reveal, Follow Me, Focus and Move: What 1,000 Churches Reveal about Spiritual Growth.
Hawkins holds a degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M and an MBA from Stanford University. He lives in the Hill Country of Texas with his wife and three children.