By Mark Cathey
Last week, I was privileged to attend the Century II simulcast of this year’s Global Leadership Summit with our pastors and several other members of our church leadership team. The Summit is an annual two-day event presented by Willow Creek Community Church and Association (Chicago), and is led by noted pastor and author Bill Hybels. The agenda featured a wonderful array of speakers from the ranks of pastors, educators, business and social sector leaders that included John Maxwell (Christian Leadership Expert), Bishop TD Jakes (The Potter’s House Church of Dallas), Alan Mulally (Retired Ford CEO), Melinda Gates (The Gates Foundation) and too many others to list. All were committed to pursuing their daily endeavors in a God-inspired manner and willing to share their experiences to the betterment of all.
As you would expect, messages shared were inspiring and I came away with a notebook full of ideas and references that will more than augment my studies in the future months. And there were certainly personal “takeaways” that I will attempt to apply immediately, such as a wish to be more intentional in my attempts to daily add value to the lives of others that I gleaned from John Maxwell’s talk.
The obvious target participants for the Global Leadership Summit are those in leadership and management positions in churches, companies, educational institutions, government entities and virtually any human organization. Bill Hybels, in his opening message, shared the following statements about leadership which I have experienced and accepted as accurate. First that, the act of leadership is really no more than convincing people that they need to go from “here to there.”
What is necessary to lead is to understand where “here” is, and why “there” is better and a place where we need to go. With this thought I was reminded that every Christian attempting to obey The Great Commission described in Matthew 28 is performing an act of leadership.
There can be no more urgent need than the sharing of God’s Word with individuals that have a “here” of unsaved, and presenting them with a “there” of eternal salvation through acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Finally, Hybels reminded us that people are drawn to and tend to follow those who exhibit passion in their direction of leadership. This is something we all know and have witnessed. For the Christian, this knowledge emphasizes our need to do those things that help us keep our faith and devotion at a high level looking toward the mountain tops rather than focused of the valleys of life. We do this with study of God’s Word, continual worship, prayer, fostering a thankful attitude, and fellowship with other believers. These are just a few hints. The bottom line is that it is up to each of us to determine what we need to do to keep our passion for our Lord and Savior where it needs to be. This and this alone will make us more effective in leading people to Christ.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
Matthew 7:7 (ESV)