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Pastor Kevin's Blog

A NEXT Mission Update from England

Willow Creek has a new ministry vision. We're calling it NEXT, and it involves 10 goals for the next 10 years. One of those goals is to develop and/or strengthen vital mission partnerships in six key areas of the globe: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Native America, and a significantly underserved area of the United States of America.

At the beginning of this year, Willow Creek entered into a partnership with two friends as they serve in London, England. The following is a recent update from them. Please keep them in your earnest prayers!

Dear Friends at Willow Creek Church,

Today marks three months that we've been in London. After two months of settling in and lots of illness, January was a month of learning and building relationships in our community. We are grateful for the connections God has given us this month and look with hope toward the future. As we do, we also realize that our hearts so easily tend toward elevating our own comfort and control instead of resting in the easy yoke and light burden that Jesus has purchased for us. Would you take the next few minutes you would have spent reading our update and turn it into a prayer for the things I mention here?

Contentment > Settled In
While we do feel like we are settling in well and enjoying life here, that is not our end goal. We long for contentment in the place and circumstances to which God has called us. Please pray that no matter what breaks, what the weather is like, or what our health is like we will find our joy in the Lord and in living where he has placed us.

God’s Plan > Our Plan
We want to plan well and be strategic, but we also want to be open to seeing how God is at work and follow his leading. We've met with many people in ministry to learn about their work in the community and have joined in some of their established avenues of outreach to get a feel for the work that's being done. As we explore lots of opportunities for relationships and partnerships, we need wisdom to know where we ought to invest our time and resources.

God’s Acts > Our Acts
As we continue to find and create opportunities for regular outreach, we have been reminded in multiple ways that God is the one at work and the one who must work. It is always true that the Spirit works to bring faith in hearts of people, but we work in a context where there are particularly hard barriers to the gospel. Pray for God to work miraculously to open eyes and soften hearts here in East London.

Disciples > Converts
We don't simply want to see people become Christians but to see people develop into faithful disciples of King Jesus. That involves investing in long-term relationships and being willing to walk alongside people as they grow and mature in faith. This month we've been meeting believers and neighbors, and have started to dive deeper into some of those relationships. Pray for sustaining relationships and long-term fruit.

Your prayers are valuable and necessary in this work to see the Kingdom of God grow here in East London. Please know that as you pray for us, we are also praying for you, and we love to hear ways in which we can better do so.