We hold to the Westminster Confession of Faith (1647 AD), including the Larger Catechism and the Shorter Catechism, as sound reflections of our belief, subordinate to the supreme standard of God's Word, the only infallible rule of faith and practice.
Beyond this, we sometimes use five descriptors to describe Willow Creek Church. Although not exhaustive, they provide a clear snapshot of our identity.
First and foremost, we are followers of Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We believe that he is God, the second person of the Trinity, and our only redeemer. This is our ultimate and essential identity: children of God by his grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. In this regard, we are united to all true believers throughout space and time, in heaven and on earth. Our denominational affiliation and convictions on secondary matters do not undermine or overshadow our fundamental unity with the universal church.
We unashamedly and graciously preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news that salvation is by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. We want to live and share the awe-inspiring message of God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness.
We believe that to share the gospel in word and deed requires that we live on mission in our families, schools, workplaces, communities, and culture with a posture of grace and peace. We long for members to have vital and loving connections in their communities, sharing the light and love of Christ with their neighbors.
We are striving to be thoroughly biblical in our understanding of and approach to discipleship. We affirm that Scripture, and Scripture alone is the highest authority in faith and practice. Searching the Scriptures, we hold to the apostolic and biblical teachings concerning God, humanity, and redemption recovered during the Protestant Reformation.
We believe that the Scriptures clearly teach a governing structure for the church, and we enthusiastically embrace it: Presbyterianism.
With that said, one of our preeminent ministry maxims is this:
In the essentials, unity; in the non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.
In other words, not all aspects of our identity or belief are equally important; some things are more important than others. We unite as a church family around what matters most and do not break fellowship on secondary matters. While the latter are important, they are clearly not essential to salvation in Christ and thus membership in his Church.
What unites us as members of Willow Creek Church is our shared affirmation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, that we are Christians. On secondary matters, we affirm a wonderful and godly diversity. And in everything, we strive toward grace and peace–together!