Over Four Thousand Church Leaders Model After Early Church in Acts 2

More than 4,000 leaders from hundreds of churches around the world gathered Oct. 12-14 at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., to catch anew the vision of the early church.

According to the Willow Creek Association (WCA), “A2 churches” strive to follow the vision of building churches similar to the one depicted in the second chapter of the book of Acts, particularly in verses 42 to 47.

The A2 sessions’ teaching, music, drama, and application helped participants learn about the latest breakthrough strategies working in the nation's churches. The strategies included creating irresistible church environments (led by North Point Community Church's Andy Stanley); building family ministries (led by North Point's Reggie Joiner); evangelizing post-moderns (led by Mosaic's Erwin McManus); reaching into neighborhoods (led by Willow Creek's Randy Frazee); and undertaking holistic ministry that transforms lives and communities (led by Windsor Valley united Methodist's Kirby Jon Caldwell).

Other sessions included “Building an Acts 2 Church,” “Reaching Seekers,” “Building Believers,” with the sessions being led by willow Creek’s senior and lead pastors Bill Hybels and Gene Appel, respectively.

A session called, “Creating Moments of Transformation” was performed by the Willow Creek Arts Team, showing how biblical teachings and arts can combine to create moments of transformation and wonder in services.

According to Bill Hybels, the founder and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, those who attend the A2 sessions “head home filled with fresh ideas, motivation, and inspiration to make those new dreams and ministries a reality.”

The leadership of Willow Creek plans to make the all-new conference a staple, and have plans to hold it in 2006. The A2 2006 conference will be held from Wednesday through Friday, Oct. 25-27. The topics will include: Preaching and Teaching, Compassion/Extension Ministries, Women and Ministry, Stewardship Ministry, and Spiritual Formation.

For more information, visit www.willowcreek.com/A2.