Elder Selection Update: 2023 Candidate Affirmation

Willow Creek | March 3, 2023

A few months ago, we began our Elder Selection Process to seek out qualified individuals to join the Elder Board later this year. After a thorough vetting process including more than 100 candidates, three individuals were selected by the Elders as Elders-in-Training.

DeAnne Appleton has been active at Willow since 2004, serving for a time at the Care Center and the Relate ministry. She currently participates in the leadership of her small group, and oversees the Rebuild Grief Ministry at the South Barrington campus alongside her husband, Lance. She is a retired educator and a contract musician, and the co-founder of their Village’s Historical Society. DeAnne and Lance are parents of three adult children, one of whom resides in Heaven. DeAnne’s spiritual gifts are shepherding, wisdom, knowledge, teaching, leadership, administration, and giving.

Harold Engelmann has been an active member of Willow since 1990. Over the years he has served as a small group leader for men, for couples, and also served in Willow Kids and Willow Students. Harold is married to Pam, and they have three kids, two in college and one in high school. Harold works as an enterprise architect in IT. His spiritual gifts are teaching, leadership and discernment.

Mike Shintani has been actively involved at Willow since 2002. He served on staff until 2020, most recently as an Associate Executive Director.  Mike has served in a number of volunteer roles over the past 20 years. He is currently serving on the South Barrington Campus Advisory Council and on the Prayer Team. Mike and his wife, Trinity, have two young children who are involved in Willow Kids. Mike is the Chief Operating Officer at a local construction company. His spiritual gifts are shepherding, leadership, discernment, wisdom, hospitality, and administration.

As Elders-in-Training, Deanne, Harold and Mike will engage in an onboarding and development process over the next six-months, leading toward becoming full elders later this year. If you are aware of anything that would disqualify DeAnne, Harold, or Mike from serving on the Willow Creek Elder Board, or you have any concerns about either candidate doing so, please speak to them directly as soon as you are able. If this conversation does not allay your concerns, please submit your concerns to emily.southfield@willowcreek.org by March 20, 2023, and we will have an elder reach out to you for a conversation.