Willow Chicago has been searching for a permanent home for a number of years. While we have enjoyed hosting services in the Auditorium Theatre, the cost and the limitations are hindering us as a church community.
We do not have the flexibility to have multiple services on Sunday morning, or to schedule alternative dates and times for services on the weekends or during midweek.
We do not have space for fellowship or classes immediately after service.
Promiseland – located in a different building from where we have service - has outgrown the Ministry Center.
We do not have workable space for Student Ministries.
Approximately 40% of our operating budget goes to rent the Auditorium Theatre just for Sunday mornings and to lease the Ministry Center.
After years of searching for a permanent home, God has answered our prayer with the property at 1319-1347 S State Street.
THE WORSHIP CENTER
The south building will become our Worship Center, with seating for approximately 700 people. We expect to begin holding services in our Worship Center in Spring 2018. With this move, we will have the ability and flexibility to schedule services to meet the needs of our church community and enhance our outreach to our neighborhood and the city. Please pray for God’s guidance on how we craft services that will move people along in becoming fully devoted followers of Jesus.
PERMANENT PROMISELAND SPACE
For the first time in Willow Chicago’s history, we will have dedicated space for our children. In Promiseland, we serve children and families – helping prepare our children for a lifelong commitment to Jesus.
From the start of Willow Chicago, our Promiseland ministry has been squeezed, crunched, packed, and forced to be mobile. In the early days, children and volunteers sat in the stairways and alcoves at the Auditorium Theatre. While the procurement of the Ministry Center helped, our current Promiseland ministry is bursting at the seams — it takes over the entire building and also a room at the Theatre.
Imagine a permanent space that allows the ministry to grow without the worry of being too crowded, one that allows time, resources, and energy to be spent on curriculum and activities to bring children closer to Jesus — and not on logistical concerns around being a mobile ministry.
We believe that life is best done in community, and our new home will have space to allow for just that. No longer will folks have to wait outside — rain or shine — until the Ministry Center opens. This is another consequence of Promiseland using the entire Ministry Center during Sunday Service. At the new building, we will have room for folks to be together before and after service — to experience the unhurried community to which Jesus calls us to.
OFFICES AND STUDENT MINISTRY SPACE
On the north end of our property, we will transform the first floor of the building into our church offices. There is additional space in the building that we will use for Student Ministries – so that we can help students prepare for a life commited to Jesus.
At the Ministry Center, there is no set office space – staff sit throughout the entire building during the week. This is an obstacle when it comes to integration and communication, something we won't have to battle in the new building.
Our Elevate (6-8 Grade) and Impact (9-12 Grade) Student Ministries, like Promiseland, have been mobile throughout Willow Chicago's existence. Currently, they rent a space in Roosevelt University, an additional cost to the church. At 1319 S State Street, Elevate and Impact will have its own space, one that will help it grow and develop into a driving ministry of our church, as we tap into the South Loop neighborhood, middle schools, and high schools.