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.
Phil has been attending Willow Creek since 1978. He met his wife Sue in a Willow Creek small group. They live in Inverness, and have two grown sons, Stephen and Michael.
He is a partner in a national firm that provides financial and consulting services to businesses.
Phil and Sue began serving at Willow Creek as small-group leaders for couples and in Promiseland. He has also served as an offering collector and counter, on Willow’s Board of Directors, and on the Elder board. His spiritual gifts include leadership and administration.
Warren has attended Willow Creek since 1981. He and his wife, Lindsay, live in North Barrington with their three children, Alee, Blake and Jacob. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master degree in business administration. Warren is an executive with a major real estate services company and is a chairman of Safe Families and Lydia Home, a non-profit social services organization that serves children in need. Warren has served in Willow’s young adult ministry, and led several small groups for many years. His spiritual gifts include leadership, wisdom, and discernment.
Brian Johnson has attended Willow Creek since he was in junior high school. He has had multiple volunteer experiences within Willow and at other organizations, and his spiritual gifts include giving, faith, and leadership. He works for a company that provides non-profit organizations, parachurch ministries, and churches with a technical platform solution to help them spiritually develop the people they serve.
Brian and his wife, Jorie, live in Barrington and have three daughters: Kylie, Avery, and Cameryn. Brian served previously on Willow’s Elder board, and has also served on other special projects and committees.
Lane and his wife, Patty, have been attending Willow since 1988 and live in Deer Park with their two children, Christopher and Megan.
Lane earned both a law degree and MBA and currently works as a corporate legal partner at a firm in Chicago. Lane has served in a number of ministries at Willow including Promiseland, Elevate, and basketball sports ministry and has led a men’s small group for 22 years. Lane has served on numerous Boards of Directors, including the Orphan Network, Young Executives Club, and the Harper College Foundation Board.
Lane’s spiritual gifts include leadership, administration and discernment.
Pam Orr and her husband, Barrie, live in Hoffman Estates and began attending Willow in 1989. They have four children: Hannah, Jake, Caleb, and Liz. Pam is the associate director for a local nonprofit organization that provides housing, financial training, and mentoring to single moms.
Pam served previously on the Elder board and has also served in Elevate, women’s daytime classes, Promiseland, and PADS. Her spiritual gifts include leadership, discernment, and teaching.
Missy has been a part of Willow Creek since 1990. Missy and her husband, Gary, live in Deer Park with their son, Alex. Missy has worked in public education as a teacher and advocate.
Missy served previously on the Elder board and has also served in Sonlight Express (Elevate), women’s daytime classes, the Care Center, and local and global Compassion & Justice.
Her spiritual gifts include mercy, faith and discernment.
Michael Riddle has been a part of Willow Creek since 1989. His years in Willow’s young adult ministry in the late 90s and early 2000s were deeply formative for him, helping him develop his character, catch the vision of an Acts 2 community—and find Jen, his wife. Michael and Jen live in Palatine with their four children: Autumn, Ashlyn, Benjamin, and Joshua. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northwestern University and works in the financial industry as an executive for a futures exchange startup company.
Michael has served in Sonlight Express (Elevate), Information Systems, the WCA, Axis, Blitz Build serving trips, Global Connections, and the Care Center. His spiritual gifts include leadership, wisdom, and administration.
Verlyn has attended Willow Creek since 1979, when he was in junior high school. He has previously served on Willow's Elder Board, as well as in its music, sports, conciliation, and small group ministries. His spiritual gifts include wisdom, administration, and teaching.
Verlyn works as a lawyer advising transportation and logistics companies, and he and his wife, Julie, live in Palatine with their children Libby, Aaron, and Samantha.
Connie has been a part of Willow Creek for the last 18 years. She and her husband, Chad, live in Wheaton with their two children, Dakota and Hannah.
In 2002, when Willow launched its first regional campus in DuPage, Connie’s family planted deep roots in that community. Connie is a licensed attorney, having practiced in the area of commercial litigation. She also owned a sole proprietorship that provided lifestyle photography.
Her ministry experience includes serving on the Willow DuPage Leadership Advisory Council, leading small groups, photographing Willow DuPage events, serving as an Area Pastor, volunteering in Promiseland, and leading at satellite locations of the Global Leadership Summit.
Connie’s spiritual gifts include leadership, administration, and wisdom.