What To Expect
Village Church is a place where, no matter where you are in life, you are welcome here. We invite you to explore our website, and even more so, come and visit to discover your place in the Village Church family!
Make sure you stop by Guest Central so we can say hi, get to know you a bit, answer any questions you may have, and share a small gift with you.
Getting here is easy, but knowing what to expect requires some bullet points! Here they are:
- You can dress casually or you can dress up...it your choice!
- We will not single you out by asking you to stand or wear a name tag.
- As our guest we do not expect you to give to the offering.
- Wifi: Click on VCOG Guest; password: lifesteps
- 9 & 10:45am - contemporary worship, 70-75 min
- Stop by Guest Central for a gift, a free coffee, and answers to your questions.
- Kid Zone ministries (nursery - 5th grade) meet only during the 9 & 10:45am worship times. Visit the Kid Zone page for more information.
- Middle School (6th-8th grade) and High School (9th-12th grade) classes take place during the 10:45am service. Visit the Students page for more information.
- Should your family choose to stick together, that’s fine too! All ages are welcome in the worship services.
- We have a room just off the auditorium (Room 202) for families with small children in case you need to step out of service, and nursing moms are welcome too! You can view the service on a monitor so you won't miss a beat.
- Village Church is fully accessible to our guests in wheelchairs and others who have difficulty navigating stairs. The elevator is located in the north side entrance. At the Connect Center we offer assistive listening devices and large print bulletins/song sheets.
- Special Needs Ministry: THRIVE is for adults, 9th grade & older, and meets during the 9am service in Room 106. THRIVE Alive is a friendship group that meets the 3rd Friday of each month in Room 101 at Village Church.
- You can dress casually or you can dress up...it your choice!
It is our deep conviction that the following ten paragraphs summarize the biblical doctrines which are essential to the Christian faith.
God has spoken through the 66 books of the bible. As its divine author, God has uniquely guided the writing of scripture in such a way that the human authors he chose were protected from all error as they wrote. The bible remains for all time the unchanging and trustworthy authority on all matters it addresses, including every realm of the human experience.
[2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21; Hebrews 4:12, 1 Peter 1:24-25; Matthew 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Psalm 119:105]
There is one true God, who eternally exists in a loving unity of three equally-divine persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This one God, unlimited and unrivaled in power and wisdom, is the creator, sustainer, and ruler of all things. He is present everywhere at all times, and possesses exhaustive knowledge of everything. In all he is and does, God is perfectly holy, fully righteous, and infinitely loving - and demonstrates a special concern for the human race.
[Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Timothy 1:17; Psalm 90:2; Exodus 3:14; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Genesis 1:1; Nehemiah 9:6; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:2-3; Psalm 11:7; Psalm 139:1-12; Psalm 147:5; Isaiah 6:3, I John 4:8]
Human beings have been created in the image and likeness of God to glorify him and enjoy him forever. Because humans are divine image-bearers, we believe human life should be protected and valued from conception until death. Since our creator made humans male and female, and brought the first man and woman together for a one-flesh relationship, we believe that God’s good design for human sexual behavior consists of either monogamous marital relations between one man and one woman, or celibate singleness.
[Genesis 1:27; Psalm 139:13-16; Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Corinthians 6:18-20; 1 Corinthians 7:7-9]
The first humans, Adam and Eve, were tempted by Satan and fell into sin, distorting the divine image they bore. As a consequence of their disobedience, all of creation and all of humanity have been corrupted by sin. Like our original parents, we all find ourselves either rejecting or neglecting God, trying to be self-sufficient and independent. As sinners by nature and by choice, the entire human race is alienated from God and stands under his just condemnation, deserving of his punishment.
[Genesis 3; Isaiah 53:6; Isaiah 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:23; Romans 5:12-19; Romans 8:18-25; Ephesians 2:1-3; Colossians 1:21; Titus 3:3]
Jesus Christ is God incarnate, one person in two natures, fully divine and fully human. Jesus Christ was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit, and was born of the virgin Mary. Though he experienced the full spectrum of human temptations, Jesus never sinned in any way. His perfect life uniquely qualified him to take upon himself the punishment for our sin, as our substitute. Following his crucifixion, we believe that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead, proving Christ’s innocence and confirming that God the Father accepted Christ’s death as payment in full for the sins of the human race. Having finished his work on earth, Jesus ascended to heaven, where he lives and reigns today.
[John 1:1, 14, 18; Colossians 1:15-20; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:1-9; Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:30-35; Hebrews 4:15; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18; Isaiah 53:4-6; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Acts 2:23-24; Romans 4:25; Acts 1:9-11]
Jesus Christ is the only way back to God. His saving work makes it possible for people to become spiritually alive as they are restored into a right relationship with their holy creator. Individual sinners must repent of their sin in order to turn to God. Out of his unmerited grace and mercy, God gives the gift of forgiveness and eternal life to people as they turn from their sin and trust in the finished work of Christ.
[John 14:6; Acts 3:19-20; Acts 4:12; Romans 1:16-17; Romans 4:5-6; Romans 5:1-11; Romans 6:23; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:4-10; Philippians 3:8-9; Colossians 1:22-23; Colossians 2:13-14]
The Holy Spirit
God the Holy Spirit makes people aware of their need to turn from sin, and turn to Christ. He enables people to make this turn, and takes up residence in the lives of those who turn to Christ in order to teach, guide, and empower them to live a life that pleases and honors God. As believers increasingly yield their lives to his control, the Holy Spirit provides strength and motivation to successfully battle the opposing forces of the world, the flesh, and the devil. The Holy Spirit equips Christ-followers for ministry, and empowers them as witnesses for the gospel.
[John 3:3-8; John 16:8-11; John 16:12-14; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Corinthians 12:3-8; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Romans 8:9-14, Galatians 5:16-23; James 4:7-8; 1 John 4:4; 1 John 5:4-5; Acts 1:8]
The invisible and universal church is comprised of all believers in Christ. This one, true church, of which Christ is the head, is embodied on earth in local congregations where Christ’s followers join together for worship and prayer, for learning to live God’s word, for fellowship, and for evangelism. We believe that the two biblically mandated ordinances of the church - water baptism and the Lord’s Supper - visibly and tangibly express the gospel, and strengthen our faith. They are not means of salvation, but signs and seals of its reality.
[Hebrews 12:22-23; Revelation 5:9; Ephesians 1:19-22; Ephesians 4:11-16; Colossians 1:18; Acts 2:42-47; Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26]
Jesus Christ will return to earth a second time to establish his kingdom in this world. Christ’s return will be personal, bodily, and visible. It is the great expectation of the church, and the only hope for the world. His return, for which we must constantly be prepared, is a source of encouragement, a motive for holy living, and an inspiration for ministry and mission.
[John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; Acts 3:20-21; Hebrews 9:28; Revelation 1:7; Revelation 22:12; Titus 2:13; 1 John 3:2-3; Matthew 24:36-44; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:58]
Heaven & Hell
Every person who has ever lived will experience a bodily resurrection and will face one of two eternal destinies. Ultimately, those without faith in Christ will appear before God for final judgment and condemnation, and will be justly sentenced to eternal conscious punishment in hell. All people who have placed their faith in Christ’s saving grace will have their lives and works judged for rewards and will live forever, experiencing eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord in the new heaven and new earth - where God will receive worship from his people forever and ever.
[Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; Hebrews 9:27; Philippians 3:20-21; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 21:1-22:5]
The 1980s: Through The Fire And The Flood
In September 1982, Lakeview Church of Zion, IL commissioned its Associate Pastor, Todd Habegger and four of its laymen to provide leadership for developing and organizing a daughter church. Sixty-five men, women and children from Lakeview committed themselves to form the nucleus of the Village Church of Gurnee.
Beginning in January of 1983, the nucleus met for weekly Bible studies and occasional socials in order to fellowship, pray, and plan. In April, they held their first public worship service on Easter Sunday morning in the gymnasium at Warren Township High School (WTHS). Attendance was 101.
By July 1984, the growing congregation signed a contract to purchase seven acres on Hunt Club Road. Then in December, a major fire destroyed all but the gymnasium of WTHS, forcing Village Church to relocate temporarily. The congregation immediately found a new place to meet, and in January 1985, they began holding Sunday services in the Viking Park Dance Hall in Gurnee, until they were able to return to WTHS. In November of that year, attendance surpassed the 200 mark for the first time.
In July 1986, construction on WTHS required Village Church to move again. The congregation began meeting at Viking Middle School for just eleven weeks before a major flood closed the school building for repairs. In October, the congregation settled into its fifth temporary facility – The King’s Academy, a Christian school on Lewis Avenue in Waukegan.
In the midst of these transitions and challenges, Village Church continued to grow spiritually and numerically. Attendance first surpassed the 300 mark during the 1987 Easter Sunday worship service. On a Sunday afternoon that May, a groundbreaking service was held on the Hunt Club Road facility.
In April 1988, Village Church of Gurnee met in its new facility for the first time. The people of Village Church celebrated and gave thanks to God that Sunday for His faithfulness to us through these “nomadic” first years! Attendance that morning was 331. One year later, worship attendance surpassed the 400 mark for the first time.
The 1990s: Forward By Faith
As the new decade began, Village Church of Gurnee continued to experience rapid numeric growth. On Easter Sunday in 1990, worship attendance surpassed the 500 mark for the first time. Later that year, Village Church was faced with the “good problem” of needing to begin meeting in two worship services, to accommodate the continued growth it was experiencing! By Easter Sunday of 1993, worship attendance surpassed the 800 mark for the first time.
In March 1994, a groundbreaking ceremony was held in preparation for the construction of a new worship auditorium as well as additional classroom and office space. By February 1995, Village Church was able to meet in its new auditorium for the first time. Attendance that Sunday was 899.
Being a church plant itself, Village Church always desired to multiply the impact of its ministry by planting additional congregations in the surrounding area. In February 1999, Village Church of Gurnee commissioned Mike Bullmore and over 100 people to plant a daughter church, CrossWay Community Church, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
By the end of the decade, Sunday morning attendance was regularly approaching the 1,400 mark. We all felt the “squeeze” of limited building and parking space - how was God leading us to address these new challenges? In a way that can only be explained by God’s miraculous provision, He made it possible for Village Church to purchase an additional eight acres of land to the south of its existing campus. Purchase of this land was finalized in December 1999.
The 2000s: Growing Deeper
As Village Church of Gurnee welcomed the new century, it was evident that additional work needed to be done in order to better minister to the people that God was bringing our way. In July 2002, work began to develop additional parking on the eight acres of land purchased in 1999. Then in May 2003, another groundbreaking ceremony was held to prepare for the construction of additional classroom space, as well as a new gym and kitchen, to better accommodate the ministry needs of a growing congregation.
In addition to developing our facilities, the church’s ministry leadership also saw the need to better develop our approach to ministry. The outcome of many months of prayer and discussion was the introduction of Village Church’s LifeSteps ministry strategy - a discipleship approach designed to help Christ-followers mature in growing, connecting, serving, and reaching.
Though Village Church did much in these years to fortify and strengthen ministry to our own people, we also maintained our desire to reach out to the surrounding community. In January 2004, Pastor Wayne Okamoto and a group of 85 people were commissioned to plant a new congregation, Hope Community Church, in the Antioch/Lake Villa/Lindenhurst area.
As the nation’s economy nosedived in the final years of the decade, many families in our church and community were hard-hit with challenges and hardships. Through these hard times, Village Church sought to help people in many ways, such as through a newly-formed Congregational Care ministry. Though Village Church of Gurnee did not escape the Great Recession completely unscathed, we were humbled and grateful to see the many, many ways that God provided for our church during these lean years.
The 2010s: Reaching Wider
Reaching the world with the gospel message has always been important to Village Church of Gurnee - and, during the 2010s, God continued to use Village Church to advance the work of missions. Many individuals and families found ways to be involved in short-term missions projects in our local community, throughout the United States, and even across the globe. Others from our congregation were commissioned to serve as vocational missionaries. Strategic projects to develop leaders and resources for global ministry were funded as the people of Village Church gave generously to these special opportunities!
While Village Church has always counted other nearby evangelical churches as our friends and allies, we were blessed in these years to watch God take this partnership to new levels. Village Church was one of 11 area congregations which committed to partner together to give every household in Gurnee the opportunity to hear a relevant presentation of the Gospel. This cooperative endeavor, known as the Go! Project, has been a model for churches in communities nationwide - and has challenged them to consider how they might partner together to reach their communities with the love and truth of Christ!
In 2013, Village Church celebrated its 30th anniversary. As we look back on our history, we see that we have much to thank God for - but, above all else, we gave thanks to Him for all of the lives that He has transformed through this church. As we move forward into the future, our desire is to see God continue to use Village Church of Gurnee to help people follow Jesus more...so that more will follow Jesus!
In 2019, Pastor Todd Habegger retired after 36 years of faithful ministry. We also welcomed our new lead pastor, David Giese. David and his wife Sally came from Chicago and have made Gurnee their new home.
There will be baptism in the services on Sunday, December 29. Contact the church office (847-244-6606) if you are interested in being baptized.
Baptism is an outward expression of our inward faith. It is a way of publicly declaring that you are a follower of Christ. With baptism by immersion, we believe it is a picture of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
If you are interested in being baptized or have questions, contact the church office (847.244.6606). We would love to get a date scheduled or talk more.
We have several opportunities throughout the year to get baptized. Our annual outdoor service in August is a great time to get baptized.
Our prayer is that your partnership with Village Church will help you walk in the LifeSteps of Jesus - and provide you opportunities to help many others make progress on their journey of discipleship as well.
If you are interested in becoming a member contact the church office (847.244.6606) for more info.
Map & Directions
Village Church of Gurnee
1319 N Hunt Club Rd
Gurnee, IL 60031
Village Church of Gurnee is located on the east side of Hunt Club Rd and Dada Rd intersection, across the street from Jewel-Osco and next door to the Center Club Fitness Center. You can park in either our main south lot or the Center Club lot to the north of our campus.