Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Going to the Summit

Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek
Tomorrow morning, I will make my way to a church in nearby community to participate in the 2015 Global Leadership Summit via live video streaming.  This will be one of some 300 sites across the country that will host this annual presentation by the Willow Creek Association.  

I always feel that I have to provide a disclaimer for my friends who think “megachurch” is a dirty word when I tell them I am attending the Summit. Let me say that I attend for three reasons:

First, Willow Creek Community Church, the “mother church” of the Willow Creek Association, does “big church” well, and they are transparent when they falter.  The same spirit infuses the Summit.

Second, the worship is always different from what I usually experience and that is not bad.  I need to be “stretched” a bit.  Worship is always creative, participative, and sometimes a bit “weird.”

Third, the Summit organizers enlist some of the most creative and challenging leaders—religious, business, not-for-profit, political, and academic—for the program.  I always come away with some fresh ideas and two or three new books to read.

This year’s presenters include business guru Jim Collins, vulnerability evangelist Brene Brown, Life pastor Craig Groeschel, and many others who are new to me.

In Exploring Practices of Ministry, Pamela and Michael Cooper-White point out that “professors of leadership and evangelism [in theological education] are well studied in the arts or organizational development, finance, and even marketing!”  The practical theologian can find a wealth of ideas and resources in the Global Leadership Summit related to leadership, innovation, and organizational development.  It is a rich opportunity to learn, react, and reflect.  I look forward to it.

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