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The Willow Creek Leadership Summit Summary - Day One

Hundreds of thousands of church leaders have assembled around the world to take part in the Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit. Business people, church leaders, marketers and social leaders from across all spans of life make up this year’s faculty. This is truly a world class event!

The speakers are gathered on the Willow Creek campus in South Barrington, IL, but only 5% of the total viewing audience is present on-site. I was fortunate enough to join the official blogging team for the event, gaining backstage access to the entire Summit.

Below are my highlight takeaways from each speaker today. I’ve selected one point from each of them and explained why it hit me. You can read all of my notes at the end of each synopsis.

Bill Hybels

What's our main thing? Are we clear about our core? Could we explain what we're about on the front of a t-shirt?

Why this struck me: Most organizations would do well to define their “organizational big idea.” Hybels calls it “the main thing”. Either way, can you put what you, and only, do on the front of a t-shirt? For most of us, the answer is “no” to our own peril.

Read the rest here

Len Schlesinger

Pick something that you want to do and then act on it! It’s amazing how that works.

Why this struck me: Len’s main point was that we spend so much time trying to “figure out” what we should do that we miss the opportunities right in front of us. Successful entrepreneurs get started with something that they have a vested interest in and go from there. Pick the lifestyle you want and then find something do to that matches it!

Read the rest here.

Hon. Cory Booker

You know when you're around someone who sees their life as a gift. They infuse truth into every moment.

Why this struck me: Cory was as gripping as he was intelligent. I found his ability to turn the ordinary into extraordinary to be profound. When we’re around people who sense the holiness of life, we know it. Don’t we?

Read the rest here.

Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil

Maybe we, as catalytic leaders, need to interpret world-changing events through the eyes of faith, not fear.

Why this struck me: If I had to pick a favorite today, Brenda was it. To be fair, she preached a message six years ago that changed my life. I’m a bit biased. She interpreted Scripture in a way that I’ve never thought of before, challenging us to go and do the things that scare us the most. What if we saw the catastrophes around us as opportunities, not setbacks?

Seth Godin

No one's ever done creative, important work on a Blackberry.

Why this struck me: I was convicted to the core when he said this. I’m an iPhone user, but the point still remains. How often are we distracted by our gadgets and miss out on the real-world stuff that sits right in front of us? Often, I’m afraid.

Read the rest here.

Steven Furtick

If all you have is a good idea and nothing else, you're a daydreamer not a visionary.

Why this struck me: Do you know people who constantly come up with new and creative ideas? They seem to be the most imaginative people you know. That is, until it comes time to do something. Then they seem to slink away into the background, content to dream the day away. Furtick reminded us that to truly be a dreamer means we’re a doer as well.

Read the rest here.

More Coverage Tomorrow!

Today was, to be sure, a monumental event. I haven’t been this stretched both spiritually and mentally since seminary! With a full line-up tomorrow, I have a feeling the stretching isn’t done yet.

You can watch this space for more summaries or follow along with all the action tomorrow on!

Question: Were you watching the Summit today? If so, what did you think?