Imagine. Imagine what church was, what it is now, and what it could be. Remember how church impacted you, changed you, and grew you? Now imagine those who desperately need a message of hope, a lifeline, a new purpose, or a helping hand.
This is our call. To be the hands and feet of Jesus where we live, work, and play. We were never intended to stay in our seats, but to go and show the power of Christ to set people free.
This is our story. Willow was birthed with a dream to be a different kind of church—one that even the greatest cynics would seek. From drums to dramas, we pushed limits on what people knew church to be.
Now imagine. Imagine what's next. Imagine what would happen if we were irrationally generous, unapologetically missonal, and inexplicably innovative.
This is what we can be. This is next.
Up until now we have spent millions to reach thousands. We now live in a world where we can spend thousands to reach millions! So let's invest in new digital experiences and reimagine how our physical buildings can better serve our communities.
We shouldn't be a church with small groups, we should be a church of small groups. Groups are where we grow, and groups push us to go and be the church where we live, work, and play.
We want to multiply at every level: attenders invite others, group leaders launch apprentice leaders, team leaders train new leaders to launch more teams, and campuses grow to launch new campuses and independent church plants locally and globally.
We need to be a multiethnic, multigenerational, and multi-campus church marked by our unity (John 17). We will pursue racial justice in our church and world, align and support our staff at all campuses, and close the trust gap between our leadership, staff, Elders, and the congregation.
This December, we will hold gatherings for anyone in our church who want to fuel this mission through their generosity. In January, we will have worship and vision nights at every campus where you can hear even more specifics about what this NEXT vision means in our local campus contexts. Dates and details to come!
Our goal is to be a unified church—one that links arms in mission across all our campuses. We believe we are better together, when we collaborate and learn from one another, so we are restructuring our staff to make that happen.
Each Willow campus will continue to have a campus pastor and team that serve the people and ministries at that campus. In addition, we are building “core” teams who, working directly with the campus department leaders on the same team, will work on systems and strategies, while also streamlining administration and redundancy across our locations. Each decision made, each strategy built, and each program planned will be done with collaboration from all campuses, creating a system of support for campus staff and volunteers. Our staff at each campus will be freed up to pastor at a deep level and continue to be the local church to those who call Willow home.
Each week, you’ll be led by your local worship leaders and hear from your pastors who are there to love, care, and shepherd the congregation. Your campus will be empowered to pursue compassion and justice initiatives locally with partner ministries making a difference in your community. Prayer, Bible study, and discipleship opportunities will happen in groups at every campus and will help us all take next steps with God.
We do know position changes and a staff rightsizing expedited by our financial realities are impacting staff families deeply, and in a church, that always hurts. We ask that you pray for our staff as they navigate the decisions ahead of them. If you are close to staff, take time to encourage them and share how they’ve impacted your life. Whether they continue serving at Willow or find themselves led elsewhere, we are trusting that God has good plans for each one of us and will continue to use us to build His Kingdom on earth.