Dear Willow Family:
As the Elder Board, we are committed to keeping the congregation informed of ministry direction and important status updates. This message provides an update on the acting senior pastor and our search for the next senior pastor.
We are grateful to Steve Gillen for serving as acting senior pastor during this challenging season in the life of our church. He has provided caring leadership and a stabilizing presence during a time of significant and unforeseen change. We recognize the sacrifice he and his family have made in service to God and our church, and we are grateful for their example. We affirm Steve’s leadership and are pleased to share that Steve has agreed to continue as acting senior pastor during the search for our next senior pastor.
We have evaluated several approaches to conducting this search. After much prayer and consideration, we decided to put together a Senior Pastor Search Committee comprised of five Elders. In addition, the committee is partnering with a pastoral search firm to facilitate the process. Our initial estimate is that the search process will take approximately six months, with a goal to conclude by year-end 2019. We ask for your continued prayers in the coming months as we discern the next steps for church leadership.
We trust God to guide and lead this process, and we recognize that there will be many questions in the coming days and months. We value the input of staff and congregants across all campuses and are already planning ways for you to participate in this process.
In the last Elder update, we shared our commitment to send out Elder teams to each of the campuses and we started with visits to Willow Chicago, Willow Huntley, and Casa De Luz in April. The next scheduled visit is for South Barrington. A team of Elders will be available after each service this weekend, May 25/26, in Guest Central at the South Barrington campus.
As we look toward the future, let us be reminded of God’s sovereignty. During the time of the prophet Jeremiah, the nation of Israel was exiled from their land, facing what appeared to be a hopeless situation. God spoke words of comfort and hope for their future. May we trust in God’s sovereignty and remember the truth of His character as shown in His Word:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. —Jeremiah 29:11–13
The Willow Creek Elder Board
Jeff Mason, Chief Governance Officer
John Sleeting, Secretary
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