Leadership Summit – Part Three

Day Two of the Leadership Summit was just as busy as Day One.  We heard from some outstanding leaders and pastors.

Here is a rundown of memorable moments:

Craig Groeschel is the pastor of LifeChurch.tv.  He was a United Methodist pastor who decided to do something extremely different.  Now, he is the lead pastor of a group of churches that worship is several western states.  They also stream their worship in a very participatory way on the web.  In fact, they would say that they have a web-based church.

Catherine Rohr founded the Prison Entrepreneurship Program after leaving her lucrative job as a stock broker and selling off her 401k.  She moved to Texas to go into prisons to lead prisoners (the hardest prisoners) into a better way of life.  Part of this is helping them to take the skills that made them good criminals and use them to contribute to society.  It’s quite a story.

Brad Anderson is the CEO of Best Buy (you may have heard of it).  His story is quite interesting.  He worked the floor of the original store in Minnesota for seven years before rising to be a manager.  Prior to that, he was a seminary dropout.  Prior to that, he was an average high school student who was advised to not go to college.  His interview with Bill Hybels was interesting because he had very little to say about leadership principles.  Instead, he highlighted the importance of relationship and helping each person find their proper vocation and helping them to be reconciled to others.  It was good stuff.

Finally, Bill Hybels shared about the life of Mother Theresa.  He highlighted the little fidelities and the personal commitments that she made before God.  He also told of the struggle she faced when trying to convince her superiors to allow her to go.

The day was capped with an entirely too expensive meal that was very good.

We are now back in Wilmore, and there was much rejoicing.

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Leadership Summit – Part Two

Yesterday was a long day.  Our flight on Wednesday night was cancelled, so our best option was to leave Wilmore at 4am (that’s real early) to catch another flight.

The delay was worth it.  The first day at Willow featured Bill Hybels, Gary Haugen, Bill George, Wendy Kopp, and Efrem Smith.

Bill Hybels is the founding pastor of Willow Creek Community Church.  He spoke on the importance of decision making in leadership.  It was a helpful talk that led through important steps in decision-making.

Gary Haugen is the president of the International Justice Mission.  IJM fights for rights of the poor and oppressed around the world.  Stories of freeing children from labor slavery, sex slavery, and supporting adult victims of governmental abuse were scattered through an inspiring talk.  It’s an incredible organization.

Bill George is a professor at Harvard Business School.  He ran MedTech for years.  He gave good leadership advice with an incredibly humble spirit.  He was experienced and knowing without being patronizing.  One of his main points was that many leaders go through a personal crucible.

Wendy Kopp is the founder of Teach for America, which sends the best young teachers into the lowest performing schools around the country to make a difference.  Kopp was interviewed by Hybels.  It was a great conversation that underscored the desire of people to make a difference with their lives.

Efrem Smith preached.  And he brought it.  His primary focus was ministry in this multi-cultural world.  His primary point was that urban areas are getting comfortable being diverse, yet the Church in North America still believes it’s best to gather a homogenous group.  Smith is the pastor of Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minneapolis.

It was a great day!  Now, on to Day Two.

The Leadership Summit – Part 1

The Beeson Pastors are preparing for a journey.  We will be leaving this afternoon to attend The Leadership Summit at Willow Creek in Chicago.  The Summit, like just about anything at Willow, is a high-powered experience.  There will be great speakers who will motivate, and there will be times of intentional, step-by-step equipping.  I’m really looking forward to it.

Of note, our group has grown.  While there are 10 of us who are experiencing the residential track of the Beeson Pastor program.  There are 10 other Beeson Pastors who are non-residential.  These guys are in ministry and come to WIlmore for a couple of weeks at a time.  So, they just arrived in Wilmore on Sunday.  Now, we’re wisking them away to Chicago.

PS – Anyone have Cubs tickets?  Just kidding.  Sort of.