Learn how you can be part of the 2:42 Community—and the responsibilities and privileges of belonging.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND PRIVILEGES
Those who are part of the 2:42 Community at Willow Creek seek to follow Christ in every area of their lives. By joining the 2:42 Community, you affirm the following:
1. I am a follower of Jesus. I acknowledge that my wrongdoings in this life create a barrier between me and our holy God—a chasm that no amount of effort on my part can bridge. Through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, I receive forgiveness for my wrongdoings, accept God’s grace as the only way by which I can be reconciled with Him, choose to follow Christ with my life, and anticipate being united with God in heaven for eternity.
2. I have been baptized since becoming a Christian. I have mirrored the example of Jesus in the New Testament by being baptized following my decision to become a Christian. My Baptism is not the means of my salvation but is an outward sign of Christ’s inner work in me—my redemption and His cleansing me from past and future wrongdoings. If I was baptized as an infant or child, my Baptism after making a decision to become a Christian fulfills the intent of my parents that I would someday follow Christ with my life. For more information, read the Elders’ Statement on Baptism, click here.
3. I have read and accept what Willow Creek believes. I have read the contents of this guidebook and understand the values, beliefs, and positions of Willow Creek, our Elders, and senior leadership as described in:
• Willow Creek’s theological teachings as found in the Elders’ Position Papers.
4. I agree not to be divisive. I accept the core beliefs of our church as being founded in and supported by the clearest passages of the Bible. I will avoid being dogmatic about matters on which Bible-based believers have held divergent views. In any areas where my opinions or views about doctrine, ministry decisions, or church direction differ from the Elders, senior leadership, or staff, I will be respectful rather than divisive in how I communicate. If I have a serious disagreement about something happening in the church, I will go directly to the person involved, my section leader, or my ministry leader, rather than talking about it with others.
5. I want to help build this church by using my gifts and resources for God. I understand that being part of a local church means using my spiritual gifts, talents, skills, and financial resources to help the church and its mission thrive. If I’m not clear on what gifts God has given me, I will seek to identify and understand them through Willow’s “Discover Your Spiritual Gifts” class. I will find a volunteer role that maximizes my gifts, talents, skills, and areas of interest—both to benefit our church and community and to develop myself as a fully devoted follower of Christ. In addition, I recognize that everything I have comes from the loving hand of God. I will steward the resources He entrusts to me in a way that honors Him, giving with a joyful heart toward the mission and vision of my local church. I will move toward giving the full tithe to God’s work, traditionally viewed in Scripture as 10 percent of my earnings.
IF SOMETHING CHANGES
While anyone can belong at Willow Creek as an attender, being part of the 2:42 Community or the Leadership Community is not a once-and-for-all commitment. If you decide you can no longer abide by the descriptions of the 2:42 Community (page 11) or the Leadership Community (page 14), please notify your section leader, ministry supervisor, or the church so we can update your belonging status. In addition, if you move to another church home (or out of the area altogether), please let Willow Creek leaders know about the change.
Belonging has its privileges. As part of the 2:42 Community:
• You have the right to influence key decisions of the church—most importantly through the selection and affirmation of Elder candidates, but also through your ministry involvement, development, and contributions in the area(s) where you volunteer.
• You’re invited to attend all 2:42 gatherings and “family meetings,” in which latest updates and future plans of the church are discussed.
• You have access to Willow Creek’s facilities and staff members’ time and assistance for weddings, funerals, benevolence needs, and personal development and support in your area of ministry.
Those who have taken the additional step of joining Willow Creek’s Leadership Community are also eligible to serve in leadership positions within the church.
Just as a reminder, God does not expect you to be a perfect Christian, living a struggle-free life—and we don’t expect that either! But since every believer is called to be like Christ, we ask that as part of the 2:42 Community, you seek to demonstrate your commitment to love and follow Christ by living in His teachings, serving His church, and allowing Him to shape your character into His image.