Helping Christians grow their leadership…
Our Vision: To reach, train and encourage leaders in church, government, business and non-profits who want to develop professionally and in leadership skills, based on ethical, Christian values. We will inspire leaders to start a change in their community, organisation, and in the whole country.
Meet The Board
Meet the board at Willow Creek New Zealand
Naomi Cowan is the CEO of Equip Mental Health Services, a faith-based organisation affiliated with Windsor Park Baptist Church. With her husband, John, she has presented Parenting and Relationship seminars in New Zealand for the Parenting Place for over 23 years.
She has been involved in Pastoral ministry for a number of years and is currently a member of Windsor Park Baptist Church. Naomi has extensive leadership and Governance experience and has been a keen attendee of the GLS for many years.
Selena Fox is the Chief Executive of New Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC), a specialist early childhood teacher education and health and wellbeing college with campuses in Auckland, Christchurch and Mumbai.
Selena has attended the GLS since 2005 and in recent years has travelled to Chicago annually to attend the Summit. NZTC has been hosting GLS in Auckland and Christchurch since 2011, and all NZTC staff are invited to attend.
Passionate about every child’s right to an education, Selena supported creating a safe haven for girls living in the New Delhi slums and founded the Jagriti Foundation.
The Jagriti Foundation is a charitable trust focused on gifting hope through education for children and families in desperate need.
Selena leans on the GLS year-round inspiration to support NZTC and the Jagriti Foundation, grow leaders and ensure values are front and central to all.
Selena is married to her most awesome Brent and has three treasured adult children.
Rev Richard Dawson
The Right Rev Richard Dawson of Dunedin is the new Moderator or elected leader of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. His two year term is from Tuesday 15 November 2016 to 3 October 2018.
Richard is minister at St Stephens/Leith Valley Presbyterian Church in Dunedin. Born in Dunedin, he studied at the University of Otago. After graduating in 1980 he worked for Youth For Christ and then as a forestry contractor until 1985. He then studied at the Presbyterian Theological Hall completing his training in 1988.
Richard ministered at the South Otago Presbyterian church of Stirling/Kaitangata/ Lovell’s Flat from 1990 until 1999 when he returned to Dunedin to minister at Leith Valley Presbyterian Church.
In 2002 he helped to launch ‘studentsoul’, a ministry to students of the University of Otago and the Otago Polytech which is hosted by Stephens/Leith Valley Presbyterian.
Richard has served the Presbyterian Church as moderator of the Presbyterian Synod of Otago & Southland, as well as on its Council of Assembly and National Assessment Committee, and was convener of the committee which created the Church’s new confession of faith, Kupu Whakapono.
Richard is married to Fran and together they have three children. Over the past 25 years he and Fran have developed together a team ministry.
Rev Grant Harris
Grant is the Senior Pastor of Windsor Park Baptist Church on Auckland’s North Shore, a diverse church with a diverse range of outward focused ministries. Prior to coming to Windsor Park almost 10 years ago, Grant led Northpoint Baptist Church in New Plymouth for seven years. Church-based ministry is Grant’s second career after his first was carved out in banking. He has an entrepreneurial outlook backed up by a host of new initiatives, and through that has learnt the joys and challenges of leading people through change; he has the scars to prove it. Grant is in involved in several governance boards and has served for eight years as Chaplain to the SkyCity Breakers Basketball Club.
Outside of work, Grant and his wife Jo have 4 young adult children, one fluffy dog, and enjoy getting away to Lake Maraetai where Grant tries (unsuccessfully) to keep up with his kids’ wakeboarding tricks; he has the scars to prove that too.
Scott Cochrane serves on the executive team for the Willow Creek Association, as Vice President, International Ministries.
Scott was born and raised in Canada, where he became connected to the Willow Creek Association, first as a marketing director and later as the ministry’s Chief Operating Officer. Following a five-year stint as Executive Pastor of a large church, Scott returned to Willow Creek Canada in 2009 as Executive Director, and in 2012 relocated to Illinois to take up his current post with the Willow Creek Association.
Scott has been married to Nora since 1985, and they have three grown married children, Adam, Amy and John, as well as three grandchildren.
Ken and his wife, Tai, pastor the Porirua Elim Christian Church in Wellington.
Ken has a long-standing relationship with Willow New Zealand – he’s been a member of the Board for over five years and hosted the Global Leadership Summit several times.
We seek to serve and support leaders across three focal areas
We focus on the emotional and spiritual health of leaders. If leaders are unhealthy then their churches and movements will be unhealthy. Evidence suggests that over half of the Christian leaders in New Zealand consider themselves to be less than healthy, either due to overwork, stress or unhealthy practices. Our goal is to connect leaders with teaching, resources and avenues to support so they can live and lead in healthy ways.
When a leader gets better everyone wins. Leaders grow in their leadership capacity through intentional development pathways. Leadership capacity can’t be developed in one day or one event – it is a daily discipline of learning and practice. So Willow Creek trains and resources leaders through its conferences, resources, networks and online programs.
We don’t focus on leadership for leadership’s sake. We seek to see healthy and skilled leaders leading transformational movements that seek to bring God’s Kingdom here on earth through living the gospel in word and action. So we seek to equip and inspire leaders in areas of evangelism, discipleship and care and compassion.
What We Believe
Willow Creek NZ holds to the beliefs of the international Willow Creek community outlined here.
- The Bible is God’s unique revelation to people. It is the inspired, infallible Word of God, and the supreme and final authority on all matters upon which it teaches. No other writings are vested with such divine authority.
- There is only one God, creator of heaven and earth, who exists eternally as three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each fully God yet each personally distinct from the other.
- All people are created in God’s image and matter deeply to Him. Central to the message of the Bible is that God loves people, and invites them to live in communion with Himself and in community with each other.
- Apart from Jesus Christ, all people are spiritually lost and, because of sin, deserve the judgment of God. However, God gives salvation and eternal life to anyone who trusts in Jesus Christ and in His sacrifice on his or her behalf. Salvation cannot be earned through personal goodness or human effort. It is a gift that must be received by humble repentance and faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross.
- Jesus Christ, second Person of the Trinity, was born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless human life, willingly took upon Himself all of our sins, died and rose again bodily, and is at the right hand of the Father as our advocate and mediator. Some day, He will return to consummate history and to fulfill the eternal plan of God.
- The Holy Spirit, third Person of the Trinity, convicts the world of sin and draws people to Christ. He also indwells all believers. He is available to empower them to lead Christ-like lives, and gives them spiritual gifts with which to serve the church and reach out to a lost and needy world.
- Death seals the eternal destiny of each person. At the final judgment, unbelievers will be separated from God into condemnation. Believers will be received into God’s loving presence and rewarded for their faithfulness to Him in this life.
- All believers are members of the body of Christ, the one true church universal. Spiritual unity is to be expressed among Christians by acceptance and love of one another across ethnic, cultural, socio-economic, national, generational, gender, and denominational lines.
- The local church is a congregation of believers who gather for worship, prayer, instruction, encouragement, mutual accountability, and community with each other. Through it, believers invest time, energy, and resources to fulfill the Great Commission – reaching lost people and growing them into fully devoted followers of Christ.