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Entries Being Accepted for Second Annual Courageous Leadership Award

Willow Creek Association and World Vision Seeking to Inspire Action and Impact on AIDS Pandemic


Contact: Dean R. Owen, World Vision, 253-815-2103; dowen@worldvision.org; Lisa Hartman, Willow Creek Association, 224-512-1521; hartmanl@willowcreek.org


SOUTH BARRINGTON, Ill., March 13 /Christian Newswire/ -- For the second consecutive year, the Willow Creek Association and World Vision are inviting churches to compete for The Courageous Leadership Award to honor churches helping address the AIDS pandemic.


The $!80,000 award will be given to three churches, anywhere in the world, that demonstrate outstanding involvement and effectiveness in the fight against what many call the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time. A total of $100,000 will be awarded to the first church and $40,000 to each of two runners up.


Last year, Fish Hoek Baptist Church in Cape Town, South Africa won the award, runners-up were Rockland Community Church in Golden, Colorado and West Angeles Church of God in Christ of Los Angeles.


"AIDS demands an active response from those who are called to be followers of Jesus Christ," says Bill Hybels, founding pastor of Willow Creek Community Church and chairman of the board of the Willow Creek Association.  "If we truly wish to represent Christ in the world today, we must seek out those who are poor and sick and forgotten, offering both eternal hope and practical help."


"The goal of the award is not only to honor those churches already involved in fighting HIV and AIDS, but also to be a catalyst, encouraging other churches to explore how they might get involved in what God is doing through His Church to have an impact," says Richard E. Stearns, president of World Vision, U.S. "Regardless of the churches' size or budget, the recipients of The Courageous Leadership Award will be selected based on how they have leveraged their God-given vision, gifts and resources to help address AIDS."


The award is open to any Christian church that affirms an historic, orthodox understanding of biblical Christianity. The deadline to apply is April 1, with the winners to be announced in August at the Willow Creek Association's Leadership Summit in South Barrington, IL. Among the other qualifications include:


- Proven, measurable results

- Ministries targeting the hardest-hit, under-resourced regions of the world

- Sustainable initiatives


The complete application and more information about the award are available at: www.courageousleadershipaward.com.