It is with a considerable amount mixed emotion that I write this post. However, after much prayer and considerable processing, I have decided to resign from my position of leading Information Technology at Willow Creek Community Church. The responsibilities for I.T. have been restructured as follows.
- Ted Allen Miller will now oversee the newly combined software/web development teams for Willow Creek Community Church. This includes all church management platforms, custom software and other ancillary systems that support sub-ministry and accounting processes. Ted also oversees communications and all primary web sites for the church. Ted comes to Willow with extensive software and communications experience. We can rest assured that our software development strategies are in good hands. I am also very excited that we are combining the user experience skills of web design with the process engineering skills of software development.
- Rick Ciesiolka will continue to manage the software development side of things. He and his team will now report to Ted Allen Miller. It has been exciting for me to watch Rick step into a key management position running software operations for the church. Rick embodies a calm, servant leadership style. These attributes coupled with many years of hands on software development experience and an incurable optimistic spirit results in a pretty amazing guy who cares about his team and has the competence to deliver solid software solutions to the church. I am looking forward to seeing what he and his team will deliver in the future.
- Beth Hayes will now oversee Network Infrastructure and Technical Support. Beth has already been running most of the day-to-day operations for Information Technology at Willow Creek. Customer service, organizational management and technology insight are in her DNA. Overseeing the I.T. operations for all Willow Creek locations is the perfect next step for Beth to move to as she assumes this critical leadership role at the church. I am excited and proud to see Beth take on this expanded responsibility, and I am confident that she is up for the challenge.
- Vicki Dolikian will continue to oversee and manage the Computer Connection; which will also report up through Beth Hayes. Vicki has continued to add much needed faithful and consistent management and administration to the Computer Connection. She brings great administrative skill and tremendous passion for serving people in need. I am confident that Vicki is also up to the challenge of moving the Computer Connection into the future.
As for me…For almost 23 years now Willow Creek has been my home. I found Christ here, was baptized here, met my bride here and dedicated my children here. Every major life decision I have faced over the past 23 years has revolved around God’s work in this local church. When I was in college and my major started to conflict with my availability to be involved at Willow, I changed majors and even schools. Sounds crazy…I know…but I loved and continue to love what God is doing here at Willow, and the blessings that I have received over the years are outrageously higher than anything I may have contributed.
That said, My family and I believe that God has now called us to take a step of faith out of Willow and to bring all that He built into us over the years to a new place. My family and I are not completely clear on where we will land, however, I am confident that God will make this path clear very soon. In the mean time, while my family and I continue to seek God and His wisdom, we continue to help our friends in Chicago plant Glorious Light Church http://www.glorious-light.org and continue to stay heavily involved in our childrens’ school, Trinity Oaks Christian Academyhttp://www.trinity-oaks.org.
With regard to the schedule of my transition, Beth and Ted assumed the bulk of my responsibilities on Monday, November 23rd. I will continue to remain on Willow Creek staff until December 31st in a consulting role to support Beth and Ted and to finish up some projects I’ve been working on for the church and the WCA. My email address, firstname.lastname@example.org will be active until December 31st.
To keep the spam down, I’m not posting my new email address on this blog. Please feel free to email me at my current Willow Creek address over the next few weeks and I’ll be happy to send you my new address.
Earlier today I sent out an email to all our faithful volunteers who currently serve on the Willow Creek I.T. Team. However there are many other volunteers who are no longer on our email lists. There are also many other people with whom I have had the privilege of knowing and working with for many years now as well. Of course, I hope to stay connected with as many of you as possible in the future.
However, as I end a season of ministry at Willow Creek, I want to close this post by taking a moment to extend a heart felt thank you to all the faithful volunteers, staff, colleagues, ministry partners, service providers and friends for all the blessings you have added to my life over the years during my time at Willow Creek.
I have served side by side with many of you and I have countless memories of late nights in server rooms, all nighters debugging code, weekends troubleshooting computer problems, afternoons flushing out bad data from databases, whole weeks in other countries sharing ideas and implementing technology for people in need, weekdays figuring out the best ways to tackle projects and evenings prayerfully seeking the best technology strategies for Willow.
Sometimes we worked like crazy and other times we just hung out together talking about life or geeking out on some new technology. Any way you look at it…I have been so blessed to know so many of you. For many years I have had the privilege of serving along side some amazing people like you, doing some of the most amazing work on the planet. You have added a richness to my life that I will never forget.
I thank God for the privilege I have had of serving at Willow Creek, and I thank God for every moment I have had serving along side people like you. As my family and I move into the future we move with sincerely grateful hearts.