“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.” – Psalm 105:1-3
Many families start Thanksgiving dinner sharing what they’re thankful for. We thought it would be fun to ask members of our Willow Creek team to do the same thing. Here’s what they had to say!
Guest Experience (Welcome Team)
Betsy Carr, Willow’s Guest Experience Coordinator, says, “We want everyone who comes here to know they are our guest and are of first importance. That starts in the parking lot with our traffic and shuttle teams and extends to every experience they have in the building. We couldn’t do that without committed volunteers who serve month-in and month-out and we are so thankful for every one of them!”
To learn more about joining a team who wants to welcome you to an experience with the God who loves you, click here.
Section Communities (Making our church small through relationships)
Keri Ladouceur, Director of Section Strategy, is incredibly grateful that “we remember the value Jesus placed on a single life and relentlessly love people just like He did.”
She remembers Jim, who plugged in with a friend’s section a year ago. He went to two sessions of Alpha, multiple small groups, and a handful of one-on-ones with their section leader. Two weeks ago at Willow’s baptism service, he chose to be baptized on the spot! Keri is still so excited, saying, “If it hadn’t been for people in his section walking with him and loving him as he explored the claims of Christ, Jim might not have crossed the line of faith!”
Want to know more or get connected to a section? Click here.
Student Impact (High School)
Bryan Jones, Director of Student Impact, serves with a sense of gratitude reaching back to Willow’s roots. “I’m thankful Bill started a church from a youth group, demonstrating the kind of fruit possible in kids’ lives and ministries—and that would not be possible without the hundreds of volunteers in Impact who roll up their sleeves and invest their skills and talents in our students.”
But that’s not all, he says. “Dozens of parents provide lunch and open their homes for 70 kids at House Group communities every Sunday; and God did incredible things this year at our two retreats.”
Plans are already under way for ‘Blast,’ this year’s winter retreat (January 23-25). To learn more, click here. And if you’re interested in joining our Parents Team of small group leaders, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alpha (Exploring the basics of the Christian faith)
Director Mike Shintani is still rejoicing over the 800+ people who went through the Alpha course this year– and half of them placed their trust in Christ! He says, “Many began nervous, frustrated, or confused. I am so thankful for the way God used our musicians, speakers, and volunteers to care for them as they wrestled with big questions about faith and life.”
At the baptism two weeks ago, he had the privilege of baptizing some of those new believers –and sitting on the front row to watch others “go under water and come up with joy, peace, and excitement all over their faces!”
To learn more about Alpha’s Winter session this January, or to join the Alpha team, click here.
Promiseland (Infants to fifth grade)
Barb DeWaard, Promiseland’s Volunteer Coordinator, is thankful to watch God work with children and families. “Our staff has a front row seat to transformation every weekend. Children go from being nervous about leaving their parents to running toward their friends without looking back.”
She knows Promiseland’s success is due to God answering hundreds of prayers every year. She’s grateful for volunteers who love children and enjoys watching God “match the right volunteers with the right kids. It’s just beautiful,” she says. “I’m so thankful for the volunteers who say yes to serving.”
To discover whether serving with Promiseland might be your calling, click here.
Recover (Support for people [and their friends and family] hurting with habits and addictions)
Chris Hurta oversees Recover and says, “I’m so thankful our church has a culture that allows people to come as they are. It’s not a place of shame or guilt but one that offers hope, healing and a brighter future.” To learn more about experiencing God’s grace at Recover, click here.
God NEVER grows tired of showing people His compassion and grace. He’s written thousands of new stories of it in our hearts and lives this year. Enjoy Him this Thanksgiving—and look forward to more of the same in the year ahead!