We’ve seen Him in our big moments together, as we celebrated Easter, Christmas, baptisms, and Celebration of Hope. We’ve experienced His faithfulness in the unseen moments of prayers being answered, strongholds being broken, and lives being changed. As we begin 2023, we thank God for all He has done in 2022 and look forward to all He has in store.
“I am so grateful for the ways our church has looked like that first church we see over in the book of Acts: a dynamic group of Christians that followed God, lived in community with one another, took care of one another, and gave generously to their community.
Here at Willow, our mission is to help people take next steps to love God, love people, and change the World. We have been spending this entire year intentionally taking next steps as a church to live out our mission in practical ways….”
2022 has already been an incredible year for our church so far. We have so much to celebrate, and the year isn’t over yet!
I am so grateful for the ways our church has looked like that first church we see over in the book of Acts: a dynamic group of Christians that followed God, lived in community with one another, took care of one another, and gave generously to their community.
Here at Willow, our mission is to help people take next steps to love God, love people, and change the World. We have been spending this entire year intentionally taking next steps as a church to live out our mission in practical ways.
Early in the year we focused on what it means to love God through the practices of baptism and communion, studying God’s Word, and giving generously. Then we had over 25,000 people join us in person across our campuses for Good Friday and Easter. That is amazing!
Over the summer we zeroed in on changing the world: the idea that we want to be a church focused not on our seating capacity, but our sending capacity.
We kicked things off with Celebration of Hope where we were able to celebrate and engage with our global partners. We filled 1 million envelopes of seed packs that supported 200,000 families in Zambia and South Africa. We were also able to give $1.6 million to support the work being done by our ministry partners locally and globally.
In June we had almost 400 people step up to serve for the first time on a team at Willow. That’s 400 people saying, “I don’t go to Church…I am the Church!” Then as a church we collected 3000 backpacks and hundreds of pounds of school supplies for kids heading back to school.
In October we had over 600 people across our church rallied to join Team World Vision to run the Chicago Marathon and raise nearly $750,000 to build wells for clean water that will serve our partners in India.
We have also launched Rooted, a dynamic 10-week discipleship experience that not only teaches us spiritual rhythms like prayer, Bible study, sharing our stories, and breaking free from those things in our lives that hold us back, but Rooted helps us to experience these rhythms in community with others. This fall, over 3000 people who call Willow Creek “home” have gone through Rooted. The next session will start in January. Don’t miss this transformational experience. You can register at willowcreek.org/rooted.
The best part of all of this is the life change happening as a result of the Good News of Jesus. So far this year, 385 people have been baptized.
We have so many things to celebrate looking back on 2022 and as we look towards the end of the year I am anticipating many more stories of changed lives as people take their next steps with God.
Your generosity fuels the ministry happening through Willow Creek. I’d like to invite you to prayerfully consider how God might be calling you to make an impact through your giving the upcoming holiday season.
Willow, thank you for your continued generosity. Thank you for being the church where you live, work, and play. I am convinced now more than ever that because of Jesus, the best is yet to come.
"Being a JHM leader has made me realize how big of an impact God has had on my life as a high schooler and in general. I want to bring that same joy to these girls so they can carry it with them for the rest of their lives. I have learned how much these girls really mean to me. It’s such a proud and happy feeling to see their hands go up in worship for the first time or share something about their faith in small group. I have learned along the way how much of an influence I have on them. I love when they ask for my advice because most of the time I have been through the same situation they are going through! Although they may not know it, my small group girls are such a motivation for me to grow closer to God and get to know him better. This helps me be able to share his greatness with them. I have matured a lot in relationship with God right along with the girls, as we all create a deeper understanding and love for him together."
—Jayden Geier, Junior at Barrington High School
“My kindergartener has developed friendships in Willow Kids, and he loves coming to church and learning about Jesus! He absolutely LOVES reading his Bible - he asks to read it every night. Thank you to the small group leaders for investing in our kids and partnering with us parents as we try to raise up kids who love Jesus! You are making a difference in the lives of these kids."
—Willow Kids Parent
“God called me to be a part of Rooted in a season where I was seeking direction from Him for my life. He is faithful and spoke to me through this small group study. I also enjoyed getting to know my church community in a deeper way. We shared what God was doing in our lives, prayed, laughed and even cried together. The weeks we discussed how to make the most of our lives were especially impactful as well as the revelation of the types of strongholds that may keep us from being effective. I definitely recommend this study for every church member in Willow. It will help us with our mission to Love God, Love People and Change the World.”
—Donna, Willow South Lake
“During Rooted, I was able to be more vulnerable about the truth of my story than I ever have been before (other than with my husband). It was a transformative experience for me. I found support, comfort, and affirmation in my group. I had always feared judgment from my story; being considered not good enough to do God's work because of where I came from. But I experienced the opposite of this. I came out of Rooted feeling affirmed, that my childhood traumas were not my fault. I felt stronger and more confident through the affirmation I received from the wonderful group I was placed in. Over the past few months, I have begun to answer the calling and listen to the promptings that I've been ignoring for years out of fear of the "not good enough." I'm both excited and (admittedly) nervous about where God is asking me to go, but I know that the Rooted experience helped give me the confidence to overcome the fear and continue follow God's path even deeper in my life.”
—Jess, Willow South Barrington
"A new beginning is always difficult, especially when it involves leaving everything behind and starting from scratch. Luckily, God put the Willow Creek family in our path to ease our burden. Thanks to you we were able to turn our house into a home and we will always be grateful for that. God bless!"
"We were displaced and lost almost everything to a house fire. Your generosity helped us to find and ready a home back into our community." —Dollar Club recipient
"I am the primary caregiver for my grandchildren. Your generosity helped me make repairs to my home, creating a safer environment for my grandkids." —Dollar Club recipient
"We have so many wonderful things to say about our experience at Willow Preschool. Our son started in the program last year and is finishing his last year of pre-k at Willow Preschool. The teachers go above and beyond to make the kids feel comfortable, learn social skills, and have fun with a tremendous amount of creativity.
This is such a safe and nurturing environment for all of the kids in the program. My son that is enrolled in Willow Preschool is my 6th child and we have been enrolled in several preschool programs throughout the years. Willow is by far the best! Thank you for giving my son and our whole family such a wonderful experience!"
—Willow Preschool Parent
As you can tell, God has been on the move at Willow! We invite you fuel life change through generosity. You can also give above-and-beyond through our catalyst initiatives, which support our kids and student programs, compassion and justice partnerships, church planting efforts, and Willow development projects!
General Giving: Select “General Fund” in the dropdown menu here.
Above and beyond: Select your gift designation here.