Marcus Bieschke - Lead Pastor
We are SO glad you’re checking us out. We’ve actually been waiting for you and praying for you. If you’re looking for a safe place to process your toughest questions around God, life, purpose and healing, I believe you may just find your home at Willow. While you’re here, I encourage you to consider Christ’s outrageous claims with your whole heart and mind and to courageously take whatever may be your next step of spiritual growth. At Willow, we believe life is better with Jesus at the center. You won’t be bored for lack of challenge or spiritual adventure here. But how deeply you engage that is up to you. Why not dive in head-first?! We’re here to help and to belong, grow, and serve together with you. Welcome!
What’s your background?
I was born and raised on the northwest side of Chicago (Montrose and Pulaski). I’m married to one of the richest blessings of my life, Annie, and we adore our 4 fabulous children—George, Benjamin, Lucy, and Emma. Before I seek to be a pastor, I’m dedicated to being the most fantastic husband and father I can possibly be. When it comes to our faith in Christ, Annie and I truly strive to really “Bring It Home”—to making our home the primary place of spiritual development for our family. We know that if we’re really living out our faith at home, it will overflow into every other area of life.
Wanting to be able to accurately handle God’s Word and lead a congregation with courageous diligence, I earned a Masters of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary with emphases in Pastoral Leadership and Expository Teaching. I’ve also earned a Doctorate in Strategic Leadership from Regent University’s School for Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship with an emphasis in Futuring and helping church leaders navigate the Modern to Postmodern worldview transition.
What is it that motivates you to serve at Willow? What’s your “holy hunger”?
I believe the Apostle Paul wasn’t kidding when he said, “Now you are the Body of Christ” (1 Co 12:27). My steely resolve is to energetically apply my gifts to build the Church… the way God intended. Following the model of Christ’s incarnation (Jn 1:14; 20:21), the Body of Christ is to be a living, dynamic movement, not a monument; a revolution, not an institution; a refuge for the world, not from the world. In our disconnected postmodern world—a world of unprecedented spiritual receptivity where people have rejected the Church but not Christ—we have a unique opportunity to represent the exquisite power and hope of Christ by fleshing out Christ to a world that desperately needs His touch.
As a trophy of God’s grace and an addict to His guidance, I’m dedicated to devoting my life to leading, feeding and nurturing our leaders and congregation to fully engage the lifelong adventure of re-architecting and re-activating the Body of Christ to be the revolutionary, redemptive, life-changing, and world-transforming force it was intended to be. It is this God-given dream of a truly biblical community that causes sleepless nights and a holy discontent… one I’m confident God will fulfill in our lifetime. And we haven’t a moment to lose…
What do you do for fun?
I love to read books on leadership and ministry, but being outdoors is my most preferred way of connecting with God. Get me in the woods or mountains somewhere with my bible and a pipe, and I’m good to go. I just love Creation and going on hikes or bike rides with my family. To me, one important facet of my own self-leadership is to stay physically fit. One way I do this is to train for and compete in triathlons. So far, I’ve survived 8, the toughest being a 70.3 Ironman in July, 2010.
How can we pray for you?
My “life leadership” verse is Psalm 78:72—“David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillfulness of hands he led them.” I would be forever indebted to you if you would ask God to make me a servant-leader of upstanding character (to lead with “integrity of heart”) and outstanding competence (to lead with “skillfulness of hands”).