In past years, I have blogged about each session at Leadership Summit. This year, I decided to tweet through them instead. To be honest, I didn’t really have the time or energy to blog on all the sessions. But here are my thoughts/take-aways from this year’s Global Leadership Summit…
I have been to Leadership Summit every year for the past decade — except for the past two years. In 2009, I skipped it. My life was in turmoil and I had no real plan for moving forward — I decided it was more important to spend time with my family that summer. Last summer, my sister’s wedding was in the same weekend as Leadership Summit.
But otherwise, I consider the Global Leadership Summit a non-negotiable in my annual schedule. In the past, I considered it essential for my professional development as a pastor and professional church leader. Now, as a volunteer leader (Board President at MACC Charities; church board member at Riverfront Family Church) and now business leader (Sous Chef/manager), I find it as essential.
For me, Leadership Summit is an annual infusion of energy, encouragement, vision and skill all focused on leadership and ultimately Kingdom advancement. My top spiritual gift is leadership and for me, leadership summit is better than any other conference I go to, better than any seminary class I ever took, and like being a kid in a candy store. It feeds my soul, stretches my heart and sharpens my mind.
This year was no different. Every session I attended delivered big time! (I missed the last two sessions due to work; I am listening to Erwin McManus’s session right now as I right this blog; I will listen to the other one later today).
Here are some observations:
1. This Summit was great! Top to bottom. It seemed more focused on inspiration/motivation than past years — less skill oriented. But still great. That said, the skills stuff was awesome. Hybel’s opening message was truly Hybels at his best — practical, applicable, full of wisdom and overflowing with passion and vision.
2. There was some serious preaching going on — and I mean that in a good way! Corey Booker, Steve Furtick, Erwin McManus, Brenda Salter McNeil — all awesome!
3. The over-arching theme this year was definitely around action — do something! Start something! Action is the key!
4. My respect and admiration for Hybels and Willow goes up every year.
5. I was very much challenged throughout the Summit. While I am happy working as a chef, Summit reminds me that it is probably inevitable that I will end up back in full time ministry at some point. It is in my blood, it is who God made me. And I am ready for my next assignment — whenever it comes.
6. This Summit was full of grace for me. I attended at the site in Bloomfield CT — only about 150 people or so were there. This is also the site that my former church attends. They had a good-sized group there, as they do every year. I was a bit anxious going in to see what the dynamic would be like. Several of the people there are folks haven’t spoken to me in two years, since everything blew up. As it turned out, it was great and grace. No awkwardness and really good to see people and connect. I even was able to sit with the current pastor at the church in several sessions and we got lunch together. Leadership Summit used to be the place where we would set the strategic plan for the coming year together — dreaming, praying, bouncing ideas off each other through each session. It was a blast. It was fun — and grace — to get a taste of that again.
7. Irony… because of the Howard Schultz controversy, the issue of homosexuality was front–and-center this year. I knew that before I got there. I thought this would make things even more awkward. It didn’t — and Bill handled the issue well. I actually blogged about it the night before, and someone I know through past ministry, who is now on staff at Willow, reached out to me. We had a couple of email exchanges about the topic. It helped confirm for me where Willow is in the process — and while I don’t agree with where they are, I am encouraged by their openness to the discussion and journey.
I don’t know where you will be August 9-10, 2012… but I will be at Leadership Summit.