Bono Interview by Bill Hybels

If you are a U2 fan, you may also be interested in my recent post, “My Top 10 12 Spiritually Significant U2 Songs.”


I was lucky enough to catch the interview with Bono Friday (11 August 2006) at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit. I thought the interview was amazing. Bono is very articulate — for a rock star 🙂

The taped interview by Bill Hybels was peppered with great footage from U2’s Elevation 2001 – Live From Boston DVD (Buy from | Buy from, their Vertigo 2005 – Live From Chicago DVD (Buy from | Buy from, and Rattle & Hum (Buy from | Buy from

I thought the interview was a great introduction to Bono, U2, and the various campaigns Bono is involved with, such as DATA and the ONE Campaign.

There were many highlights in the interview for me. Perhaps the most refreshing thing he said was in regards to his “celebrity” and how ridiculous the world is to pander to celebrities as it does. He sees his celebrity as currency, and he’s decided to spend it to raise awareness for important causes such as global poverty and the AIDs pandemic. Bono’s challenge to the church? Get involved! “‘Love thy neighbour’ is not advice; it is a command.”

I was going to type out a transcript of the interview, but instead decided to make an mp3 of it available for download (see below). I have edited out all of the music and down-sampled it so it is not too large a file. This is a personal recording I made of the interview and I am making it available for free for personal use only because I believe that Bono’s message needs to be heard and acted upon.

Bono and the Willow Creek Association are going to make the DVD available to churches, so make sure to bug your pastor to get a copy to show to your congregation!

Here is the link to the mp3 file of the interview:

The only question I wish Bill Hybels asked Bono was if the rumours that U2 is scheduled to return to the recording studio this September! That would be sweet!

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20 Responses to Bono Interview by Bill Hybels

  1. willow says:

    this is illegally providing a private interview that is copyrighted material from The Willow Creek Association. This is copyright infringement and unauthorized reproduction and distribution of copyrighted materials.

    best advised it be taked down immediately.

  2. matt says:

    Glad to see the church wanting to spread the good word. Someone must have missed the point of Christ clearing out the money changers in the temple. I also doubt that Bono would feel this way as well.

  3. Jeff says:

    Actually, you are right- Bono stated at the conference that he is fine with distributing it (the interview) to church bodies to view/listen to. This Willow guy seems strung a bit tight.

  4. Euan says:

    And what about Jesus saying “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s”? And that command about “Do not steal”? If the guys at Willow Creek used their resources to organise the interview and film it then they have the right to copyright it. I would’ve loved to be able to listen to the it (being a Christian and a U2 fan and having some questions about Bono’s faith) but private property is a God-given principle. Whether we agree or not with Willow’s Creek morals, Christians should be bound the law.

  5. John says:

    I saw the Bono interview at a conference on Saturday.
    It is compelling and it is a pity that it is not freeware.
    Your Homer comment D’Oh is appropriate. The theme of the interview was to spread the word. It is amazing if Bill Hybels could support the Willow action.

  6. John says:

    Hi again,
    For those that are interested, and I’m sure there are many, Bono’s spoke at the US National Prayer Breakfast in Feb 06:
    The transcript of this is free and mirrors to a very large extent what he said in the later interview with Hybels. The link to this is:
    It is lucky that Jesus did not copyright his words otherwise how could the poor afford them (?)

  7. Andrew says:

    Completely ridiculous that this interview is not free. Willow Creek should offer a stream of the interview from their own site. I have been googling for 30 min trying to find the video or audio, I found this site and the link is dead, then I see the first comment:

    “this is illegally providing a private interview that is copyrighted material from The Willow Creek Association. This is copyright infringement and unauthorized reproduction and distribution of copyrighted materials.

    best advised it be taked down immediately.”

    What church do you attend so I can advise others not too, geez.

  8. -=Tony=- says:

    Euan, right on.

    I’d love to see this posted publicly so that everyone can experience it… my pastor shared the DVD with me, and I was floored by what Bono had to say. Ultimately, however, the copyright holder is entitled to distribute it however they see fit, period. We don’t have to like it, but we do have to respect it.

    What’s completely ridiculous is to say that Willow is wrong to copyright this interview. Saying that someone is entitled to circumvent the copyright because “the word should be spread” is like saying that it’s okay to illegally download the music that worship musicians produce because a closer relationship to God is everyone’s right… or like walking into Barnes & Noble and stealing a Bible because is acceptable because the Word of God should be free to all. While deeper relationship with God is something God desires for us, the worship musician must still feed his family. Barnes & Noble has a responsibility to the people who invest in it, and theft hurts the future of the company.

    Should this message be spread? Absolutely. Even so, there is no justification for theft of copyrighted material.

  9. -=Tony=- says:

    Forgive the typographical errors in my previous post… I revised it several times in the spirit of phrasing my arguments with more grace, apparently at the expense of less accurate syntax.

  10. hydee lindenlaub says:

    it’s all about spreading the word. My church showed the DVD last weekend and I was not able to attend; But the church book store said it’s not availible because of copyright, well ok. Why not publish it and charge money, raise money for Africa. Ins’t that the whole point. Making it availible only to churches to show their congregation is soooo narrow minded.
    It could be such a win win situation for all. I would buy 50 and send them to all my friends.

  11. not sure if any emails of the mp3 interview went out… would love to hear it or see a transcript. I am a youth pastor not a senior pastor and so i’m not sure WC would send my church a copy.

    Young life director here said it was great… chomping at the bit to hear it.


  12. Jim says:

    Euan, you are apparently suggesting that Willow Creek operates for a profit and not to spread the word of God. The Church is not Barnes & Nobles, nor is it a Christian artist. But if you want to liken the Church to Ceasar collecting taxes, then go ahead. That’s not my church.

  13. PJ says:

    I saw the interview this weekend at church and it was absolutely amazing. My church will typically offer the previous weekends sermons for download and I was very frustrated when the interview was not posted because of copyright reasons. Has anyone thought of trying to contact Bono about this. If anything, he would be the one to own the copyright since he was the subject of the interview.

  14. Matt says:

    Even the church has to realize that bloggers and video uploads actually *help* with both “advertising” their particular church and at the same time spreading the good news of Christ and encouraging the good works of Christ-followers.

    I always have had a queasy feeling about churches “selling” the sermons for *WAY* more than the cost of production. It’s selling the gospel for a huge profit. Jesus didn’t have a problem with the sacrifices being offered in the temple, it was the “thieves” making huge profits off of an essential part of the worship and disrespectful to the Lord.

    Churches should rely upon tithes and donations to pay the bills; but with mega-church-itis, it’s all about American-style capitalistic business models — taken right from the Hollywood Media corp model: copyright and overcharge, and threaten legal action if anyone gets excited enough about a message to share it with others online. Sounds like the RIAA. []

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m a capitalist and pro Wal-Mart, but not when it comes to the church: tithes and donations, please, not CD’s and DVD’s for full retail prices! How about a buck a CD and 2 bucks a DVD? Blanks aren’t *that* expensive, and you can have nerd volunteers (like me!) as a ministry doing media copying. Now *that* is how to jump-start a movement.

    The church has got to be different. This is just one way to do “Church 2.0”.

    Dr. Rings

  15. Mark says:

    I’m a member of the U2 fan club and I’ve sent them several emails asking if I could buy the DVD but they either don’t respond or they just say it’s not available. That’s what Willow Creek said too – they only distributed it to churches. I’d pay full price, I don’t care, I just want it to be made available but it sounds like that will never happen.

  16. Lon says:

    hi there, any chance you can email that mp3 to me?

    much appreciated, thanks.

  17. Matt says:

    It’s a shady situation, and frankly I don’t want to jump into the argument, I think it’s rediculous the way it’s going down, but, I know I’m not gonna change it… whatever.

    Now, on to why I posted… Just have your senior pastor order a copy, yes, as far as I know, it has to be a senior pastor. A college pastor I know, actually ordained at the same church, couldn’t order the DVD, he had to have one of the head pastors order it. From what I’ve heard, it’s even free, but you have to jump through their BS little hoop…

    Just have them submit the order and just ask if you can borrow it… they’ll only send one copy per church, so if you want your own copy, you know what you have to do.

    Whatever, blah.

  18. Ryan says:

    I recently attended a conference at Willow Creek. Not only is the building obscene in its grandiosity, but there is stuff for sale nearly everywhere you turn. I guess the upkeep on that tower of Babel is costly. I really would like a copy of this interview as well. Saw a portion of it and it’s fascinating.

  19. wim visscher says:

    van you please send the mp3 to me god bless wim

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