With a strong vision for leadership growth and excellence, the Willow Creek Association’s 2013 Global Leadership Summit was held on August 8 and 9. Olivet Nazarene University hosted a live telecast site at College Church’s North Campus in Bourbonnais, with more than 200 attending there.
Bill Hybels, senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., and founder of the Summit, set the tone for the two-day event with his opening message. “Every significant vision God puts in you is going to be put to the test,” he said. “Don’t kill your visions because you’re afraid. Step out in faith, even when you’re vibrating with fear.”
Following Hybels were presentations by a stellar line-up of leadership experts, including Gen. Colin Powell, former U.S. secretary of state. Following his illustrious career as a senior level advisor to four U.S. presidents and a four-star general in the U.S. Army, he founded two not-for-profit organizations to encourage future leaders.
“Trust is the glue that holds organizations together and the lubricant that moves it forward,” Gen. Powell said during an interview with Bill Hybels. “Put your followers in the best possible leadership environment to get things done.”
Thursday’s topics and speakers also included:
• “How to Lose Your Best People” by Patrick Lencioni, best-selling author, founder and president of The Table Group, and named one of America’s Most Sought-After Businesses Speakers by The Wall Street Journal
• “The Multiplier Effect” by Liz Wiseman, executive strategy and leadership consultant, author of the best seller Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter
• “Right Title … Wrong Kingdom” by Chris Brown, co-senior pastor and teaching pastor of North Coast Church with 9,000-plus attendees, 25 worship services and multiple campuses
• “Love Takes Action” by Bob Goff, founder and CEO of Restore International, giving voice to oppressed children and the poorest of the poor
• “Unscripted Leadership” with Bill Hybels interviewing Mark Burnett, four-time Emmy Award winner and executive television producer of “The Voice” and “The Bible”
Friday’s presentations included:
• “Mastering the Skill of Influence” by Joseph Grenny, co-founder of VitalSmarts and author of four best-selling books, including Crucial Conversations
• “The Innovation Challenge” with Vijay Bovindarajan, Top 50 Management Thinker, and author of Reverse Innovation and The Other Side of Innovation
• “Daring Greatly” by Dr. Brené Brown, research professor at University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work
• “Viral Leadership: Multiplying Your Impact Exponentially” by Oscar Muriu, senior pastor of Nairobi Chapel, Kenya, with 14,000 weekly worshippers and a network of 30 churches
• “Reversing the Death Spiral of a Leader” by Dr. Henry Cloud, clinical psychologist, leadership consultant and author of the 2-million seller Boundaries
In the closing session on Friday, Andy Stanley, founder and senior pastor of North Point Ministries, Atlanta, Ga., shared an important reminder with attendees: “All churches, all denominations gather around one truth. Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God. Jesus is and has been and will continue to be at the epicenter of the local church. Nothing is going to stop the building of his Church. The Church is the activity of God on this planet!”
Times of worship plus artistic presentations by William Close, founder and artistic director of The Earth Harp Collective; David Garibaldi, performance artist; and the comedy of Michael Jr. rounded out the schedule.
Dr. John C. Bowling, University president, hosted two local additions to the event this year: a luncheon for Kankakee area business leaders on Thursday and a luncheon for pastors on Friday. Those attending had the opportunity to meet other University leaders and to learn more about what is new at Olivet.
Over the next five months, the Summit will be launched in 100 countries, 350 cities and 45 languages — eventually reaching more than 170,000 leaders worldwide. This group represents more than 90 denominations and 14,000 churches.
Audio speaker sessions are now available. A DVD of the presentations is also available and will be shipped after October 15.
Registration is already open for the 2014 Summit, August 14 and 15.