This weekend Willow Creek Church took a spirited and courageous step in announcing the successors to Bill Hybels
After co-founding (along with Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian) Willow Creek 42 years ago; Bill Hybels announced that Willow Creek has chosen Heather Larson and Steve Carter to serve in dual leadership roles as Lead Pastor (Heather) and Lead Teaching Pastor (Steve)
To read more about this strategic and visionary next step go to https://www.willowcreek.org/en/about/succession
As many of you know, anne+i began attending Willow in 1978 (this was when Willow met in an old movie theatre); and we loved being a part of Willow for twenty years. It was always inspiring for us to see Willow encourage women to serve in every church capacity—without any gender based restrictions. Since Willow’s inception women have faithfully served as elders, pastors, preachers, teachers, leaders…
A personal highlight for us as we watched Willow’s services this weekend was seeing 90+ years “young” Dr. B. (Dr. Bilezikian) in attendance. Dr. B. has been an invaluable mentor to Bill since before Willow held its first service.
For fifty+ years Dr. B. has been passionately committed to promoting a church leadership model that defers to giftedness, and is grounded in community. As many of you know, this message has not always been embraced by church leaders who prefer a traditional-hierarchical church model, one that typically includes male privileges.
We believe the decision to appoint a woman and man to dual leadership roles is a church-game-changing milestone in Willow’s life—and in the life of the big-C church world
We cheer on Dr. B… Bill… and Willow Creek’s team…
This weekend Bill asked for daily prayers for Heather and Steve—we are committed to pray for them;
and we will also be praying that more churches embrace full functional equality for women.
With love and oneness in Christ,
PS- Christianity Today wrote the following article about Willow’s transition
PO Box 6800
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80934