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Global Leadership Summit: No Disappointment

When my kids were small, whatever was “now” was the best – best vacation, best pizza, best birthday present. When I stood in the atrium and heard, “This was the best Summit ever,” I wondered if this was true, or just now.

As Bill Hybels opened the two-day event, he expressed concern about the lack of civility in our society. He encouraged attenders to develop a “civility code of conduct” in their organizations, including:

  • Acknowledge one another
  • Say please and thank you
  • Treat each person equally and with respect
  • Be direct, sensitive and honest
  • Address incivility whenever it occurs

Hybels went on to challenge us to spend 15 minutes each morning reflecting on what God has done in our lives, setting the tone for the day. We were also encouraged to develop a “personal betterment plan, no matter our stage of life.”

Many in the audience remembered the passing of Sheryl Sandberg’s husband a few years ago. Sandberg is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. She spoke about dealing with the horrible grief of losing her husband while parenting young children and having a major role in a large organization. One practice which helped her in those difficult days was this: “At the end of the day, write down three moments of joy. They can be as simple as my coffee tasted good.”

A few quotes

“In our brokenness, we can understand redemption. Our character as a leader cannot be judged by how we treat the rich and powerful, but how we treat the poor and powerless.” Bryan Stevenson, Equal Justice Initiative

“Do not be afraid. Everything can be undone by fear. Jesus knows this is the most powerful force standing between the disciples and doing what they have learned. . . The fear of failure in front of other people can be crippling.”  Gary Haugen International Justice Mission

“What is there to learn when we’re not unique anymore? We can still make things better, but not unique.” Andy Stanley, North Point Ministries.

Pastor Bob’s perspective

While he appreciated the rich content, Pastor Bob Bouwer’s favorite part was more than a speaker, more than a topic. “I find deep joy in seeing Faith Church put on such a great event,” he said. “It was two days of incredible serving in addition to weeks of preparation. Hosting the GLS has become an important part of Faith’s story, an example of how this congregation serves other so very well.”

Faith Church has been a GLS host for 12 years. Initially Pastor Jason DeVries worked hard to convince Willow Creek that Faith could handle it. Three years in, Willow contacted Faith and said, “You guys are so efficient. You’ve proven you can handle this. From now on, just keep on doing what you’re doing. We’re very busy fixing problems with other sites, we know you can handle whatever comes along.” Quite a vote of confidence!

Pastor Bob compared his experience attending the GLS this year to attending a Cubs game. “I’ve been at games and seen owner Tom Ricketts walking through the crowd a little like a proud grandpa, paying attention and being proud of how his workers are providing a great experience for those in attendance. I feel a little like Ricketts. I am so proud of the Faith team and the way they serve with excellence.”