Willow Creek's Elders are nominated by the congregation and serve according to the role of an Elder laid out in Scripture. To learn about the characteristics, skills, commitment, and duties of an Elder, read Willow's Elder qualifications.
View all Elder bios below.
Shoji has attended Willow Creek South Barrington for 20 years, serving in both local and global Compassion and Justice ministries. She has also served in Sections, neighborhood communities, marriage, parenting, small groups, discipleship, and evangelism ministries. Her spiritual gifts include wisdom, mercy, and faith.
Shoji is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has been in practice for over 18 years. She is the owner and Clinical Director of Awakenings Counseling Center. She holds a Master in Counseling Psychology and an Advanced Counselor Certificate in Trauma and Abuse Counseling.
Shoji and her husband, Ryan, live in Algonquin with their two children.
Barb has attended Willow Creek for 25 years and began attending Willow North Shore in 2017. She currently serves with Safe Families and the Prison Ministry, and previously served with human trafficking, global hospitality, neighborhood tables, global serving teams, Promiseland, marriage, Moms through Adoption, and the infertility support group. Her spiritual gifts include wisdom and discernment.
Barb has worked as a corporate training consultant using her MBA in Marketing, Finance, and Strategy and now works as a homemaker and volunteer. She has served on the boards of Christian Heritage Academy, Bethany Christian Services-Chicago, and Park Industries.
Barb and her husband, Marty, live in Mount Prospect and have three children.
Jeff has attended Willow North Shore for 11 years, serving on the prayer team, leading a men’s small group, and as an advisor to the Leadership Advisory Council. His spiritual gifts include teaching, mercy, and intercession.
Jeff is a practicing Interventional Radiologist specializing in Interventional Oncology. He serves on a non-profit board supporting medical education in North Korea.
Jeff and his wife, Ann, live in Long Grove and have three adult children.
Silvia has attended Willow Creek for 18 years, serving as a family pastor and teacher at Casa de Luz and on the Casa de Luz Leadership Advisory Council (LAC) and Latin America Global boards. Her spiritual gifts include teaching, wisdom, leadership, and faith.
Silvia is a Women & Family Life Coach and the Business Director and Home Coach for Escobar Homes at Keller Williams.
Silvia and her husband, Arturo, live in Lake in the Hills and have six children and two grandchildren.
Steve Kang has attended Willow Creek for 8 years and Willow North Shore for 3 years, serving in Promiseland and as a mentor. His spiritual gifts include wisdom, discernment, shepherding, and teaching.
Steve is semi-retired, but works as an independent scholar and spiritual advisor. Previously, he taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Gordon-Cornwell Theological Seminary, and Wheaton College. He also served as a pastor in pastoral ministry at a church in the Chicago area. He holds a Bachelor’s degree, an M.Div, MRE degree and a Ph.D. He has served on the boards of Catalyst, Pioneer Clubs, Religious Education Association, and Religious Education (journal), and Society of Professors in Christian Education.
Steve and his wife, Chris, live in Glenview and have two adult children.
Jeff has attended Willow Creek South Barrington for 27 years, serving in Promiseland in the Age 4/Pre-K room. His spiritual gifts include discernment, wisdom, and leadership.
Jeff works as the President of AT&T Capital Services, Inc. and previously served as Chief Financial Officer, Human Resources Vice President, and Regional Director. He has served on the board for the Crystal Lake School District 47 for 14 years, the last six as president.
Jeff and his wife, Karen, live in Crystal Lake and have five daughters, three sons-in-law, and three grandchildren with one on the way.
Michael has attended Willow North Shore for 12 years, serving as a small group leader, prison pen pal, volunteer Baptism coordinator, men’s breakfast speaker, and on the Discipleship board teaching weekly classes. His spiritual gifts include wisdom, teaching, and giving.
Michael is the President of a financial technology firm. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Bethel University and a MBA in Leadership and Change Management from DePaul. Michael has served on the Discipleship Board for three years, teaching weekly classes for both business and church events.
Michael and his wife, Ashley, live in Lake Forest with their two daughters. Michael grew up with both parents as pastors and has a deep love for reading and teaching on the Christian faith.
John has attended Willow Creek South Barrington for 35 years, with a gap during which he attended university and lived in Michigan and Maryland. He attended Willow Creek Huntley from 2011–2012. He served in Promiseland and as a team strategist on the Willow Huntley Leadership Advisory Council when Crystal Lake launched the Huntley campus. His spiritual gifts include leadership, administration, and giving.
John is a Partner at Clearwater Capital Partners, LLC, with previous experience in strategy, finance, and risk management. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and an MBA in Finance from the University of Maryland. He serves on the boards for Clearwater Capital Partners, Cox Family Holdings’, Private Family Foundation & Private Operating Foundation, and National Christian Foundation’s Greater Chicago Advisory Board.
John and his wife, Melissa, live in Barrington Hills and have three adult children.
Mary has attended Willow Creek South Barrington for 8 years, serving in Student Impact, Alpha, and the Prison Ministry. Her spiritual gifts include wisdom, faith, and discernment.
Mary grew up on the south side of Chicago and attended exceptional academic and leadership institutions. She graduated from Culver Academy, studied Cultural Anthropology and Spanish at Davidson College, and spent time abroad researching public health initiatives to combat addiction. She has spent more than 10 years doing project management in non-profit organizations.
Mary lives in Schaumburg with her daughter.