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Category Archives: Events

6 Takeaways from the 2015 Global Leadership Summit

We recently attended our fifth Global Leadership Summit in a row. They’ve all been great. This year was no exception!

Here are some of my key takeaways …

1. Develop grit!

As usual, the talk which impacted me most was the opening session by Bill Hybels, who talked about the intangibles of leadership, inspired by the book, The Intangibles of Leadership by Richard A. Davis.

All of the intangibles Hybels talked about resonated with me and challenged me, particularly the first one, grit. An example of grit is The Little Engine That Could: “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” Real-life examples include, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Hybels said, “Gritty people don’t quit!”

Thankfully, Hybels said …

Grit can be developed, but the arch enemy of grit is ease. Grit development demands difficulty.

This also has implications for parenting, as Hybels mentioned. When we try to make our kids’ lives easy, we prevent them from developing grit!

It also caught my attention when Hybels noted that “many top leaders push themselves physically.” This gives a whole new sense of motivation for things like exercise!

Hybels said, “When senior leaders demonstrate grittiness in their day to day leadership … the organization gets grittier.” He added, “Gritty organizations are unstoppable!”

Other intangibles of leadership include self-awareness, resourcefulness, self-sacrificing love, and a sense of meaning. All equally important!

2. Increase commitment!

Craig Groeschel focused on five areas …

  • Build your Confidence
  • Expand your Connections
  • Improve your Competence
  • Strengthen your Character
  • Increase your Commitment

I especially loved what he said about commitment. In fact, this statement is worth remembering …

There is more in you! Your brain does not understand what God is capable of doing through you.

Groeschel quoted Ephesians 3.20, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since …

Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us. (CEB)

After telling the story about a board of ordained ministry rejecting his call to ministry (incidentally, it was a United Methodist board, though he didn’t name it in his talk), he said he sensed God speak to him …

You are not who others say you are. You are who God says you are!

3. Lead with courage!

Leadership requires grit, tenacity, and courage. I love what Brené Brown said this year, as well as last year …

As leaders, you can choose courage or you can choose comfort. You cannot choose both.

It’s a good reminder!

4. Lead with right motives!

Too often, leaders simply focus on gaining followers. Nigerian pastor, Sam Adeyemi, made two points …

  • “You will not find the definition of success for your ministry or organization until you help the
    people I sent to you to succeed.”
  • “The object of leadership for many leaders is their own success, but the object of Christ’s
    leadership was the success of His followers.”

Leaders must have a healthy, biblical view of success!

5. Be shaped by worship music!

As great as the talks were, and I enjoyed all of them, some of the most-impacting moments were the music. On the first day, Sharon Irving sang “Calling on Fire,” which was awesome. I love the line, “Come set our hearts ablaze!”

On the second day, Bill Hybels led a segment on leadership and music where he shared how music ministered to him at crucial times in his leadership. This segment, which was not a typical leadership conference segment, really resonated with me. I’ve written posts about the role of worship music in my life, including Songs for Leaders, Songs for the Valley, and Sing Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs!

Hybels said …

Music and leadership have an interesting juxtaposition. The leaders I know who face the greatest pressure, climbing the biggest hills, have the closest affinity to the power of music.

The segment was interspersed with songs. I was especially impacted by Sharon Irving’s rendition of “No Longer Slaves,” especially the line, “I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God!” Another important reminder!

After this segment, I posted on Facebook, “I listen to a lot of worship music. So do our kids (Sarah calls it ‘God music’). Pretty sure we’ll ramp it up a few notches after that session!”

6. Keep growing!
There were so many takeaways, it’s impossible to focus on all of them. In fact, Bill Hybels said his goal is for leaders to grow 5% each year. You can do that by focusing on a few key takeaways.

And, growing is so important. Hybels often says, “Everybody wins when a leader gets better!”

Favorite Quotes From the Global Leadership Summit

Our favorite leadership development event is the Willow Creek Association’s Global Leadership Summit. This year’s Summit was the 20th event, and our fourth in a row (see my posts on the 2011 and 2013 Summits). Here are some of my favorite quotes/thoughts from this year’s Summit … Bill Hybels Hybels is the leader who challenges… Continue Reading

2014 Bishop’s Retreat

We just returned from the 2014 Bishop’s Retreat for Our Clergy Family, which was held in Lancaster, PA. The retreat is for pastors and their families from our conference. Tracy Radosevic, this year’s presenter, is a storyteller, and she was excellent. Tracy spoke often about, and from the perspective of, the Network of Biblical Storytellers.… Continue Reading

Meeting Bishop & Mrs. Park

One of the highlights of the Bishop’s Retreat, which ended yesterday in Lancaster, PA, was the kids getting to meet Bishop Jeremiah Park, and his wife, Lisa, who are both from Korea. We took a photo with the Parks after the closing communion service. Unfortunately, we had to crop the right side of the picture… Continue Reading

Returning From Retreat With Hope

On Monday evening at the Bishop’s Retreat, Randy led a time of prayer and reflection, looking at 1 Kings 19.1-9a. He asked “What are you running from?” and “What are you running to?” On Tuesday evening, I concluded our look at Elijah with 1 Kings 19.9b-15a, which begins with Elijah in a cave where he… Continue Reading

Bishop William Willimon To Speak at Bishop’s Retreat!

Bishop William Willimon is coming to the Susquehanna Conference next week as a guest speaker at the Bishop’s Retreat for our clergy family. Bishop Willimon recently retired from serving as bishop of the North Alabama Conference. He has since returned to Duke, where he taught for twenty years before being elected bishop in 2004. He… Continue Reading