Greetings, friends! We are the Willits, a family of five on an extraordinary journey of pursuing Jesus and the rhythms of abundant life that God has created us to live. We are thankful you're here to share in our story.
We have stepped out in faith and are pursuing the call God has given us. Erik is preparing for ministry as a priest in the Anglican Church of North America, and as a family, we are praying about and planning to plant a church. For us, church planting is all about helping people know Jesus and the abundant life He gives, and to grow as His cooperative partners on mission to love and serve our neighbors and the world.
Church planting has been on my (Erik's) heart and mind for more than a decade. If you know me well, you know I've thought, talked, prayed and dreamed about a community of people who love and lead one another to become better disciples of Jesus and extend His transformative love to their neighbors and city. After serving for over four years in Student Ministry at Christ Church in Plano, Texas, where my family had been loved and nurtured by an amazing community of people, we felt led to prepare for the next chapter of our story. Through prayer and discernment we believe God is saying it's time for those many years of thinking and praying about church planting to come to life in a new work, a community of people following Jesus in McKinney, TX.
In the fall of 2015 we moved to Nashotah, Wisconsin. We spent two year on the campus of Nashotah House Theological Seminary where I completed my Masters in Theological Studies and continued to prepared and practice for a life of ordained ministry in the Anglican Church. We believe the church needs leaders who are trained and equipped for the work of ministry. Nashotah House is a historic place, rich in tradition and committed to prayer and theological, pastoral and spiritual formation. One of the things we love about Nashotah House is its embrace of Benedictine spirituality. Benedictine monks are known for their rigor in work and prayer. It was amazing to live into a rhythm of intentional prayer and contemplation, believing that those rhythm will be foundational for the church planting work we are venturing into. I can't think of a better way to launch into such a challenging ministry than by spending time in prayer, work and theological reflection. What a great springboard! And now that we have landed back in McKinney to begin church planting, I find this to be more true and right than I could have imagined.
Our Five-Year Vision
- Year 1-2: Spiritual and theological formation at Nashotah House Theological Seminary, moving toward ordination as a priest in the Anglican Church.
- Year 3: Return to Texas and establish our family in McKinney. Begin the church planting process. Cast a vision for a Mckinney church plant, establish a sustainable foundation for life and ministry, develop a team to pray, prepare and participate in the exciting work of church planting.
- Years 4-5: Launch a church that helps people to know Jesus and His redemptive love. Move into a neighborhood and embody God’s gracious kindness and neighborly involvement. Disciple people in the way of Jesus so they can participate in God’s mission with us.
We are so excited about all that God has in-store. The scripture is clear that when we step out in faith and respond to the call of Abraham, “Go to the place that I will show you,” God will be faithful to lead and provide. A strong, loving and supportive community like you strengthens our faith and gives us the courage to step out and say yes to the vision God has given us.
Will you consider partnering with us?