For Willow Creek’s executive team, the months leading up to the 40th Anniversary service have been a time of reflecting on the work only God can do. “Two thousand years ago, God whispered to Jesus’ followers, who were gathered in someone’s home,” says Senior Pastor Bill Hybels. “He filled them with dreams and infused them with passion. They believed that all men and women were gifted to further the work of Christ—and with their hands open, God used those believers to start the first church.”
Fast-forward centuries later to the 1970s: “Only God could have paved the way for a church to be started in a theater by a bunch of high school and college kids,” Bill says. “But He had a plan. He was on the move, and the Willow Creek we know today is evidence of that.”
As we march toward the 40th Anniversary service on October 18, Willow’s programming team has been capturing stories of the ways God has led our church. Creative Directors Nick Benoit and Blaine Hogan offer these hints about what the 40th celebration will entail:
From the moment the service begins, you will be immersed in an interactive experience with worship, videos, spoken word, and stories of what God has done. Each segment will highlight how God’s whisper has led us, grown us, and expanded our hearts.
It has been very moving to span our entire 40-year history and paint a picture of all God has done through Willow, both locally and globally, and we are excited to bring you on the journey. There will be some surprises in the 40th service that you will remember for years to come—trust us! But the heart behind this event is to honor the God who leads us!
Sunday, October 18 is a day for all campuses to celebrate the past and look ahead to where God is leading Willow. “This is a don’t-miss event for our entire Willow family,” says Bill, “If you have tickets, use them! If you can’t use all your tickets, please gift them back to the church. We want everyone to be able to attend!”