Monday, August 11, 2008

Leadership Summit

For the second year in a row, I attended the Leadership Summit, an annual conference hosted by Willow Creek. I was at one of the many satellite sites, Granger Community Church.

This year's roster of speakers included Bill Hybels, Gary Haugen, Wendy Kopp, Bill George, John Burke, Efrem Smith, Craig Groeschel, Catherine Rohr, Chuck Colson and Brad Anderson.

Two of those speakers really stuck out to me - Gary Haugen and Craig Groeschel. That is not to say the other speakers weren't great, it's just that Haugen and Groeschel really captivated me.

Before I get into those two I wanted to point out how impressive Wendy Kopp and Catherine Rohr were. These two women founded organizations based on their passions, stuck it out in the midst of adversity and are making a difference in the world.

Gary Haugen is the president if International Justice Mission and spoke on Leadership That Matters (To God and to God's People). He works with people who are victims of injustice and asked, "How are they supposed to believe God is good?" Then he pointed out how the Bible says God's only plan to convince those people is US!

A few powerful points from Haugen:

Just because I'm leading and people are following doesn't mean I'm leading them in things that matter to their maker.

When the task seems hopeless, we lead by re-centering the basis of our hope. Give what you have to God and let Him work the miracles.

When the task seems scary, we lead by remind God's people that Jesus came to make us brave - not safe. Follow Jesus beyond what you can control.

When the task seems hard, we must choose not to be safe, seek deep spiritual health, pursue excellence and seize the joy.

If you want to ignite passion, lead people on a more demanding climb where it is unsafe to go without God.

Craig Groeschel is the senior pastor of and talked about IT. That's not IT as in computer stuff, but as in the IT factor. Groeschel candidly admitted that he doesn't know exactly what IT is or how to get IT, but he pointed out several qualities that are evident when IT is present and coupled each quality with a question:

1. Laser Focus (not more ministries, better ministries)
Q: What do we need to stop doing?

2. Seeing opportunities where others see obstacles (you have everything you need to do what God wants you to do)
Q: What is God trying to show you through your greatest limitation?

3. Willingness to fail (failure is not an option, it's a necessity)
Q: What has God called you to do that you're afraid to attempt? When will you do it?

4. Led by people who have IT (you need to have IT for your ministry to get IT)
Q: If you don't have IT what are you going to do to get IT?

Now, there are several people in my blogroll who have also written about their experience at Leadership Summit. Read their much more insightful comments here, here, here and here.


Rachel said...

i wish i had known there were satelites ... do they do that with all the conferences like that or just the summit? several people i know who went to chi-town were awed by groeschel.

Anonymous said...

I read one of Groeschel's books: "Going All the Way: Preparing for a Marriage That Goes the Distance" and was completely wowed by his writing and insight!