This was the question Bill Hybels posed to hundreds of thousands of leaders around the world at this year’s Global Leadership Summit.
And I’d have to answer with a resounding YES!
Over the past few years I have attended the Summit in Durban, South Africa, and every year I am always blown away by the caliber of leaders and speakers from the businesses, education, government and social sectors that Willow Creek seem to be able to pull together. The content is always fresh, challenging, well-balanced, and inspiring to say the least!
Nothing recharges my personal leadership “batteries” like the Global Leadership Summit.
Now I know there are some people out there who are skeptical of the summit and battle with idea of mixing corporate strategy and church work. To quote Brian LePort, “I tend to distrust the Church-as-Corporation model. While I am sure there is much that the church can learn from the world of business, it seems that our problem in North America is that many churches have adopted too much of that paradigm.”
And I get this fear to some degree.
But here’s the deal for me. When I see how Bill Hybels handled the extremely delicate situation of CEO Howard Schultz pulling out of the conference with such incredible grace and humility. When I hear a saint like Mama Maggie tell her story of personal sacrifice for the sake of the poor. When I listen to the passion and resolve of a women like Michelle Rhee, and the authentic and open way in which Jim Mellado asked her about her own faith journey, then something inside of me rejoices.
And my leadership bell starts ringing!
I am challenged to step it up. To use what God has given me. To be a humble learner. To take risks. To maximise my gift of leadership. To lead where I am!
The way that the Summit has handled over the years with such generosity and grace the contradictions and tensions that so often exist within our faith – between Christianity and our culture, between the Church and the corporate world – is something that resonates with me and inspires me.
And you know what the best part of the Summit is?
I can invite my non-Christian business friend whom I’ve been trying to get to church for years! And not only do I know he’ll learn a lot from the speakers, but I also know that he’ll hear something of the Gospel message, and maybe, just maybe, he’ll be touched by God!