Leadership Summit – Part 1
In my humble opinion, the Leadership Summit hosted at Willow Creek Community Church is one of the greatest leadership conferences on the planet. There is no shortage to the high quality, professional work that is put into this conference. Willow Creek has gone out of their way to put on a fantastic and very meaningful leadership experience. For the last 4 years my leadership gifts have been challenged and I have been strengthened and encouraged to grow as a leader. If you are a leader in the church, business world or other non-profit setting, I would highly recommend and encourage you to get into the Leadership Summit next year. Most likely there is a site near you where you can participate. The Summit is broadcast to dozens of countries around the world and reaches more than 100,000 leaders. It is a truly innovative and amazing opportunity.
I wanted to take a few of the key concepts, practices or quotes that I learned throughout the Summit and share them here. Over the next few days or weeks I will blog about different things that impacted me at the Summit. I want to share some of the stories from the amazing people that were there as well. I think you can be inspired by them also. I want to start with the man behind it all, Pastor Bill Hybels.
Each year Summit is kicked off and concluded by Mr. Hybels. There is no shortage to the challenges that he has to offer. Just when I think I have heard it all and that the Summit can’t possibly offer anymore, he words something in just the right way and I am being impacted all over again. This year was no different. I want to begin with the end. Traditionally, he has concluded with a much longer lesson time. This year the conclusion to the conference was more short and sweet. Mr. Hybels shared a few simple things that he wanted to challenge the leaders with. I want to share one of his simple ideas that has really impacted me and will be with me for the rest of my life.
Mr. Hybels said that we should challenge ourselves to obey the Spirit of God every time He prompts us. When he began to explain it the quote came out this way, “God, the answer is yes. What’s the question?” The challenge is that upfront we simply choose to obey God no matter what He asks us to do. The answer is yes, now what was the question.
This was so powerful to me. I have yet to fully wrap my brain around it but my mind has been dominated since the end of Summit by it.
How will this change me?
How will this impact my leadership?
What does this mean for the people that come into contact with me?
How will something like this change my relationship with God?
This is a powerful statement that begins to dominate my entire day. My mind is now racing trying to absorb and break down every single time I feel that God wants me to do something. Then my thoughts turn to something more drastic, something bigger. My thoughts turn to every single person who calls themself a Christian.
What does this mean for them?
How would something like this change their life?
How would doing this one simple thing change the lives of everyone around them?
What will this mean for the homeless person on the street?
How will this change the life of the AIDS victims around the world?
What does this mean for the children who will die because they can’t even get a meal?
What if the leaders of our churches did this? Then by example what if all the Christians that were in their churches did this? And that flowed out to the communities and organizations around them. And what if it flowed right out of our country and into the world?
What would it look like?
What could it mean?
Does it mean what I think it means?
Oh yes! It does. It means that we might be able to change our world for the better. It means that our generation could leave its mark on the world. It means that the issues facing our world today (poverty, AIDS, hunger, lack of clean water) could all be impacted and most likely solved in our lifetime. Can you imagine what that would look like? Thousands…no, more. Millions of Christians following the promptings of the Spirit of God to move in their world, to change it for the better. To offer all of themselves radically to the service of God. To give all that they have in obedience to the One who has saved us by His marvelous grace. To give themselves to a world in need, a world that is physically and spiritually dying. What a great task. What a great vision. What an opportunity.
That’s what I want! That’s what I want to be a part of. A group of Christ followers who are following every prompting of God. Yes God! The answer is yes. What’s the question?
Africa? Done. Consider the plane ticket purchased.
Reconcile with my brother or sister in Christ? Picking up the phone right now.
Hand that man a $5, even if he spends it on booze? All I have is a $10, that will have to do?
Foster a teenage child? Just call me daddy.
Volunteer in the local school? I’ll clear my calendar.
Share Jesus with my friend, co-worker or family member? Give me the words to say.
Skip my vacation to serve in Mexico? No problem.
Give up my favorite TV show and in place spend time with you? Consider it You and me time.
God, the answer is yes. Yes God, I will do whatever You want. Yes, oh Lord my God, the answer is yes. Now ask me anything. Anything you want and the answer is yes.