Recently, I attended the Willow Creek Leadership Summit. This summit has been around for almost 30 years, but this was my first experience and I was excited to attend. This year’s focus was on our influence. We were encourage to recognize the influence we have in our lives to grow boldly in our development as leaders in the one church of God.
Each of the national speakers provided authentic insight into how our leadership is the salt to change the world for all that is true and good. Because of the diversity in our world today, it is more important today than ever before for us to consistently develop our leadership. We can no longer lead the way leaders have led in the past. Our leadership is tied to a world that is changing rapidly in technology and globally. The bible reminds us iron sharpens iron. As I intentionally absorb and challenge the words of the summit leaders, I was blessed to walk away with new ideas, visions, and goals for my continuing journey in leadership. In both sacred and secular places, there is always room for me to learn and grow.
During these times of renewal and growth, I always have the opportunity to meet others who are doing incredible things in God’s kingdom. This brings me to my “new” friend, Kinzie Brinson. Kinzie and I met on the second day of the summit and had a brief conversation about our worlds.
Her ministry is a morning Christian radio talk show here in Eastern North Carolina. As a result of our meeting at the summit, she asked me to be a guest to talk about my passion for intercultural ministry. We had a great on-air conversation and she was a generous host. It is always a blessing to meet others who are not only committed to their work, but they also reflect joy in their ministry.
One of the topics we discussed was our takaways from the summit. I thought I would write down ten of my takaways here. One reason is to red flag these new ideas from the summit and how they will benefit the people and churches I will serve over the next twelve months. These new moments in Christ will be fed through my desire to grow through continuing education, spiritual formation, and ministry goals. Another reason to write a few of my takeaways here is this. When I write down my thoughts, they become a prayerful committment to grow my leadership. The final reason is to acknowledge the influence I have in the lives of others who are growing in their own spiritual formation and their own ministsry calling. Here are my major takaways from the Global Leadership Summit 2017.
- Live to Lead Well & Love Well. Write down and commit to my 12 month personal leadership betterment plan. Spend at least 30 minutes each day to read, reflect and pray on my leadership and ask the questions? Who are we doing this for? Are we getting better?
- Commit to an organization connected to a deep human need.
- Remember to hire skills over experience. Hire for the people I am going to need.
- When I know someone is suffering, I will show up and do something specific instead of asking “What can I do?”
- Make it easy for people to give me feedback on my leadership. This will help me with my own leadership development.
- Give a kid a chance and recognize leadership when I see it in children by offering access to people, processes, or the product.
- What is an idea? An Idea is using two known things combined in a new way.
- Be creative in my leadership. It gives others permission to seek their creative solutions.
- Create healthy enviroments in proximity with others. Change the narratives behind the practices of our companies. Remember fear and anger are the source of the problems we see.
- Be transparent about my own brokenness. I do what I do because I am broken too. Close minded leaders have closed minds. Keep my eyes and mind open to listen to outsiders – who are not bound by my assumptions. We are called to pay attention to the frontiers of our ignorance.
- When someone tells me about an idea, before I say, How? Say…Wow! Acknowledge their creative moment.
There were so many more takaways from this Global Leadership Summit. It was an awesome opportuinty to learn alongside other leaders in my community, share our common goals, and recognize our influence to serve our community. I will continue to pray for the leaders of this summit and support their efforts to raise up leaders to make the world a better place for each of us.
Awaken Our Hearts!