Willow Creek Leadership Summit:

Yesterday I attended my twelfth Leadership Summit in a row.  In 1998 I was awakened to the leadership gift the Holy Spirit has given me when I attended my first Summit.  My life and ministry hasn’t been the same since.  Yesterday once again was a great line-up of speakers.  Bill Hybels always begins the Summit with a talk.  Then others followed.  I’ll list the ones below I took notes on and what they had to say.  If you can get to a Summit site today, GO!  If not plan on attending next year.

Bill Hybels: Contending with the new reality.  He likened the new reality to being hit by a rogue wave at sea.  He had four observations about what Willow has been through.

  1. No matter what the church will still be the church.  That was their goal.  We will continue to be an Acts 2 church.
  2. Kingdom economics mean more during this time than any other time.  And people will give to a cause that moves them.  A cause that’s larger than they are that will have a kingdom impact.
  3. Relational reflections: Being more in touch with staff and others. He has changed the way they work with staff and leadership.
    1. Are we attracting fully committed staff?
    2. Are we mentoring them?
    3. Are we challenging those staff members that are flagging?
    4. Do we have the right leaders in the right key seats?  Are we raising up the #2 people who will fill that seat when that staff member leaves?
  4. Personal Reflections: Bill had to re-order his personal life to stay up with the personal demands of this new reality we find ourselves in.

Gary Hamel was a profound speaker.  He has had more articles published in the Harvard Business Review than anyone else.  Here was his take on the church in the US today.

  1. We are not overcoming the temptation to live in denial.  Things are really bad in the church in the US today and we are in denial.
  2. We need to do a better job of creating strategic options.  It takes 1,000 ideas to come up with one winner.
  3. Deconstruct what you believe about the church.  By this he meant how the church is organized and deployed, not the doctrinal mission of the church.
  4. We can no longer have churches that are top-down autocratic leadership styles in our churches.  The Millennial Generation won’t tolerate that.

Tim Keller spoke about renewal in the church.  Frankly it was so riveting, I didn’t take notes.

Well tomorrow I’ll give you more reports from the Summit.

That’s this leader’s view.




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