Today was day 1 of the Willow Creek Leadership Summit, which my church pastoral and program staff attended at a satelite location here in Houston. Awesome day! They do an exceptional job of building the teaching team for the event. Today we heard from:
- Bill Hybels, Sr. Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, on “decision making and leadership”
- Gary Haugen, President and CEO of International Justice Mission (IJM), which he founded, on “leadership that matters”
- Bill George, professor at Harvard Business School and former CEO of Medtronic, on “finding your true north” or recentering as a leader
- Wendy Kopp, CEO and founder of Teach for America, an interview with Bill Hybels on leadership, touching on vision, passion, difference-making, and calling oneself and others to sacrifice to battle injustice
- John Burke, Lead Pastor of Gateway Community Church in Austin, on “leading in new cultural realities: postmodern & emerging culture”
- Efrem Smith, Sr. Pastor of The Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minneapolis, on “leading in new cultural realities: building multi-cultural churches”
All of these were very good. The ones that rung my bell the most are those that touch what I feel most convicted about in my own life, all persons whose work touches on justice issues: Gary Haugen, Wendy Kopp, and Efrem Smith. Thinking back, and keeping in mind that I thought all were very good, the best talk in my view was from Gary Haugen. He was exceptional and he dealt with our reluctance to engage in the ministry of justice that God desires and calls us to and that Scripture envisions. Definitely check out the IJM website if you’re not familiar with the ministry: http://www.ijm.org/
Ok, that said, here are some quotes (or paraphrases) from the day as I look back at the notes I was able to scribble down during some of the sessions.
Bill Hybels – Spoke about the importance of decision-making and about the work of collapsing a decision-making process into axioms or proverbs that express our core values and can guide us, then shared an invitation to reflect on our leadership: “Do I reflect on my leadership and decision-making enough to create my own axioms?”
Gary Haugen – Spoke about the need for courage in following Jesus in the work of justice:
- “What is God’s plan to make believeable the claim that he is good for people who only know the darkness of slavery and oppression? The biblical answer is surprising: Us, and there is no other plan.”
- “Jesus didn’t come to make us safe, he came to make us brave.”
- “We need liberations from the mediocrity of safe bets.”
- “We must follow God beyond what we can control and past the limits of our intelligence and strengths and gifts, and we will find God. Does that God won’t use our intelligence and strengths and gifts? No. He will challenge them to a more demanding climb [following up an illustration of a mountain hike], to heights where we actually need him in order to make it.”
Efrem Smith – Spoke about the need for leadership and for building multi-cultural churches: “We need to make church a sneak peak of heaven.”
3 thoughts on “willow creek leadership summit, day 1”
Wow! Sounds really cool. Where was the remote location? What a great opportunity!
Thanks for sharing your reflections about Wendy Kopp’s interview at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit. It was a fantastic conference overall, and we’re glad you found Wendy’s thoughts on the importance of service valuable. We are so excited about continuing to grow our movement, and want leaders to join us. If you, or someone you know, is interested in learning more or joining our movement, please visit http://www.teachforamerica.org/jointhemovement.
Recruitment Coordinator, Faith Community Relations Team
Thanks for your notes :)
I was hoping someone put some notes up as I listened to the talks while driving and wasn’t able to jot down the key points myself!