Willow Creek Church Satellite Campus Gets First Pastor

Willow Creek Community Church-Huntley, one of the seven campuses of the Chicago-area megachurch, recently welcomed its first pastor, Craig Springer.

Springer actually came to Christ through Willow Creek Community Church in 1994. He has held various leadership roles at Willow Creek after accepting Christ, and also spent several years planting a church in Prague, Czech Republic, with his wife, Sarah. He was officially announced as Huntley's campus pastor on Jan. 29.

"Craig Springer brings a strong balance of character and competence to the role of campus pastor at Willow Huntley," Susan DeLay, a Willow Creek spokesperson, told The Christian Post on Tuesday. "He has served well Willow Creek and God's Kingdom in many areas of ministry and he has a deep-seated passion to live out Philippians 3:8 – to make Christ known."

On the night that Springer officially became the campus pastor, the Huntley campus "unplugged" from the main campus video feed in South Barrington, and Springer taught his new congregation from the message in Philippians 3:8: "What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ."

The message received a standing ovation as Springer urged his new flock to become the kind of Christ followers who say that nothing compares to knowing the power of Christ and making him known.

Springer, who had previous served as ministries director of Willow Creek's Compassion and Justice ministry, shared about his calling to the Huntley campus, "I felt called to remain at this young campus when it pained me to think of leaving it behind."

The Springers have two children, Isaiah and Isabelle, and they advocate for the idea that spiritual practices should be upheld as a family unit. The family observes the Sabbath on Fridays and Saturdays, using the days to focus all their thoughts on God. "Stop, delight, rest, contemplate" have become spiritual guidelines that Springer uses, based on the book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Pete Scazzero.

Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, one of the largest and most influential churches in America, has satellite locations in other Chicago-area communities besides Huntley, including: North Shore, Casa de Luz, Crystal Lake, DuPage, and Chicago.