Willow Creek Community Church: What Really Makes a Difference?

Case Solution

Bill Meehan, Davina Drabkin
Stanford Graduate School of Business ()

Willow Creek Community Church, located outside of Chicago, IL, was one of the best attended and most influential churches in the United States. It was devoted to attracting seekers, people who were otherwise “unchurched,” and helping them along a journey towards conversion and spiritual maturity. Greg Hawkins, executive pastor, wondered, of all the things that the Church did, what really made a difference? If a generous donor gave Willow $100,000 to invest in having the biggest impact on helping parishioners grow into disciples of Christ, would Hawkins and the leadership team truly know what to do with the money? In 2003, Hawkins was about to lead Willow in a strategic planning process. They introduced him to a consumer research expert who had helped an impressive list of large companies understand “what was going on in the hearts and minds of their current and potential customers.” This case examines Willow’s decision to bring this type of research to her church and to use rigorous analytical techniques to understand the needs and motivations of her parishioners. It shows how Willow used the surprising ideas to discover what programs and services really helped people grow spiritually and changed the way they approach the Church.

We don‘t have the case solution, but we pay up to $50 for yours!

  • Set a reminder to receive an email after your university‘s case study deadline.
  • Upload your case study solution. We will review it for quality.
  • Get your money via PayPal or to your bank account.