A Note from Matt

Willow Family,

Wow. I have tried writing this note about 10 times already, and my heart is full of emotions that are hard to put into words. As you know, my time on staff at Willow Creek is coming to a close. Actually, today is my last day. I’ve been a part of this church family for 13 years, and I’m overwhelmed and deeply grateful for the ways you all have impacted my life.

Back in 2007, I started as a worship pastor at our North Shore campus. Together, we learned more about our God, who is worthy of worship. Each of us devoted our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength to Him. As God added to our number, you inspired me to follow your example in allowing God to use every aspect of my life. As I moved into other positions at Willow, you taught me about patience, full devotion, and humility. Thank you. 

Then, in 2014 and 2015, I had the joy of watching God launch our South Lake congregation. Together, we saw God open door after door, giving birth to a new church full of people from very diverse backgrounds who shared a common passion to see the Kingdom come in our neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces. We stood in awe as God performed literal miracles. And with patience, you taught me about the beautiful power in every tribe and every tongue. Thank you. 

In 2018, I joined the team leading all of Willow as the executive pastor and invested more heavily in our South Barrington congregation. That “short” assignment (remember when we thought it would be three to six months?!) turned into years—some of the most challenging of my life. But through it all, God provided. You taught me about grace, repentance, and forgiveness. You taught me to glory in my weakness so that Christ’s power may have the full spotlight. Together, we were further shaped into His image. Thank you. 

And now, as you’ve heard from me before, Jesus is inviting me to “come and have breakfast” with Him. While I don’t know what is next, I am confident God does. I humbly ask for your prayers as my family and I rest and recover. 

As I close this chapter of ministry, I step away with a deep sense of gratitude and friendship, trusting that when we see each other again—whether that be in 10 days or 10 years—we can connect and catch up with good favor and well wishes. I want our hearts to be those of blessing toward each other. I am cheering you on and have full faith that God is leading Willow into a beautiful new season. 

I love you, Willow. 

Until next time,

Matt Wright
Executive Pastor
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