Willow Creek Association

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Willow Creek Association
Abbreviation WCA
Formation 1992
Headquarters South Barrington, Illinois
Gary Schwammlein
Website [2]

The Willow Creek Association (WCA), a 501(c)3 not-for-profit ministry, is an international Christian association of more than 7,000+ member churches from 90+ denominations and 90 countries.[1]

About the WCA[edit]

In 1992, the Willow Creek Association was created as a way to link together churches for the purpose of “Reaching increasing numbers of lost people." The WCA develops training and leadership conferences and resources for its member churches. The Willow Creek Association is often confused with Willow Creek Community Church, or mistaken for a denomination. However, it is a distinctly separate organization which has close affiliations with Willow Creek Community Church. There are more than 13,000 member churches, which come from 90 denominations, and 45 different countries. There is an annual membership fee of $249 which gives the member church access to discounts on Willow Creek Resources and conferences, as well as a magazine, an audio journal, several web-based ministry tools, and a variety of Select Service Providers. Select Service Providers are ministries and organizations that provide products and services to member churches for a discounted price. [2]

To be a member of WCA it is a requirement that the member church, ministry, or leader hold to an “historic, orthodox understanding of biblical Christianity.”

The Global Leadership Summit[edit]

The Global Leadership Summit (GLS) is a two-day leadership broadcast event experienced by more than 170,000 leaders around the world, representing more than 14,000 churches. It is telecast Live from WCA's campus (near Chicago) every August. Throughout the fall, Summit events take place in 300 cities in 92 countries, and they are translated into 42 languages.

Bill Hybels started TGLS in 1995 as an annual training event for church, ministry and other leaders to sharpen their skills. The Global Leadership Summit exists to transform Christian leaders around the world with an injection of vision, skill development, and inspiration for the sake of the local church. The Summit telecasts live from the campus of Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago, reaching more than 185 premier host sites across the United States. In the months following, the Summit moves into more than 200 cities in 70+ countries across the globe via videocast. Summit 2010 attracted 122,000 leaders. That year, Fast Company featured an article on Willow Creek and The Global Leadership Summit.[3]

The Global Leadership Summit 2011 videocast events took place from late September through January 2012 and were planned to reach 268 cities within 75 countries. The Summit is translated into 34 languages. Over 165,000 leaders from over 20,000 churches worldwide experienced the 2011 Summit.

Each year, this event features experts in the arena of leadership in lecture and interview formats. Worship music and dramas are also incorporated into the event. Past speakers have included Bono (former Time Magazine Co-Man of the Year and U2 lead singer), Ken Blanchard ("The One Minute Manager"), Marcus Buckingham ("StrengthFinders"), Jim Collins ("Good to Great" and "Built to Last"), and Mike Singletary (NFL Hall of Fame linebacker for the Chicago Bears). The 2007 event featured live and taped sessions with Colin Powell, Carly Fiorina, Floyd Flake, Marcus Buckingham, John Ortberg, Michael E. Porter (Harvard), Richard Curtis (film producer) and Former president Jimmy Carter.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz canceled a scheduled appearance at the 2011 event following calls to denounce Willow Creek’s position on homosexuality. In response, Hybels clarified that the church adhered to "the sexual ethics taught in Scriptures, which encourage sexual expression between a man and a woman in the context of marriage."[4]

Global Leadership Summit statistics—2012

  • Summit Leaders Registered: 170,000
  • Churches Represented at the Summit: 14,000
  • Countries: 90
  • Languages: 42
  • U.S. Host Sites: 230
  • International Host Sites: 300
  • WCA Member Churches Worldwide: 7,000+
  • Denominations represented: 90+

Summit Speaker Roster[edit]

Year Name Credentials
2011 Erwin McManus Activist; Filmmaker; Cultural Architect of Mosiac
2011 Michelle Rhee Founder and CEO of StudentsFirst.org
2011 Dr. Henry Cloud Clinical Psychologist; Bestselling Author
2011 Seth Godin Bestselling Author; Squidoo Founder; Marketing Blogger
2011 Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil Speaker; Thought Leader; Founder & President of Salter McNeil & Assoc.
2011 Len Schlesinger President of Babson College
2011 Steven Furtick Lead Pastor of Elevation Church
2011 John Dickson Sr. Minister, St. Andrews Anglican Church in Sydney, Australia
2011 Cory Booker Mayor of Newark, NJ
2011 Mama Maggie Gobran Founder & CEO, Stephen's Children Ministry; Nobel Peace Prize Nominee
2012 Condoleezza Rice Former U.S. Secretary of State
2012 James C. Collins Nationally Acclaimed Business Thinker and Author
2012 Geoffrey Canada President & CEO, Harlem Children's Zone
2012 Sheryl WuDunn Best-Selling Author; Pulitzer Prize Winner; Business Executive
2012 Craig Groeschel Founder and Senior Pastor, LifeChurch.tv
2012 John Ortberg Senior Pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and Author
2012 Mario Vega Senior Pastor, Mision Christiana Elim, El Salvador
2012 Marc Kielburger Co-Founder, Free The Children; Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Me to We, Toronto, Ontario
2012 Pranitha Timothy Director of Aftercare, International Justice Mission, Chennai, India
2012 William L. Ury Co-Founder and Senior Fellow, Harvard University's Program on Negotiation
2012 Patrick Lencioni Founder and President, The Table Group; Best-Selling Author
2013 Gen. Colin Powell Former U.S. Secretary of State
2013 Dr. Brene Brown Research Professor University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work
2013 Mark Burnett Executive Producer Four-time Emmy Award Winner; Executive Producer, Survivor, The Voice, and The Bible
2013 Patrick Lencioni Founder and President, The Table Group; Best-selling Author
2013 Vijay Govindarajan Top 50 Management Thinker; Professor, Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business
2013 Liz Wiseman Executive Strategy & Leadership Consultant; Best-selling Author
2013 Oscar Muriu Senior Pastor, Nairobi Chapel, Kenya
2013 Chris Brown Co-Senior Pastor and Teaching Pastor, North Coast Church
2013 Dr. Henry Cloud Clinical Psychologist; Leadership Consultant; Best-selling Author
2013 Joseph Grenny Co-Founder, VitalSmarts; Best-selling Business Author
2013 Bob Goff Founder and CEO, Restore International; Attorney
2013 Andy Stanley Founder and Senior Pastor, North Point Ministries
2014* Tyler Perry Filmmaker, Actor and Philanthropist
2014* Jeffrey R. Immelt President and CEO, General Electric
2014* Susan Cain Best-selling Author; Viral TED Speaker on The Power of Introverts
2014* Wilfredo De Jesus Senior Pastor, New Life Covenant Church
2014* Patrick Lencioni Best-selling Business Author; Founder and President, The Table Group
2014* Carly Fiorina Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard; Opportunity Intl. Global Board Chair
2014* Ivan Satyavrata Senior Pastor, Assembly of God Church, Kolkata, India
2014* Bryan Loritts Founder and Lead Pastor, Fellowship Memphis
2014* Joseph Greeny Co-Founder, VitalSmarts; Social Scientist for Business Performance
2014* Allen Catherine Kagina Commissioner General, Uganda Revenue Authority
2014* Louie Giglio Pastor, Passion City Church; Founder of the Passion Movement
2014* Erica Ariel Fox New York Times Best-selling Author; President of Mobius Executive Leadership
2014* Don Flow Chairman and CEO, Flow Companies Inc.

*Scheduled to appear

See also[edit]


External links[edit]