Each August members of Grace attend the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, right here in Wichita. That introduction alone might be confusing. Willow Creek is a church in Illinois, but they put on a leadership summit that is broadcast all over the world. We attend at Pathways Church in West Wichita.
When I got here five years ago I was skeptical of this event. What could a mega-church in Illinois have to say that would relate to my life at Grace? And (this is what I was really skeptical of), why would I go sit in a church and watch a screen for two days?
Well, it turns out that Willow Creek does a really good job with this event, and there’s a lot I’ve learned. Once I decided to open my mind, I realized that this was an incredible chance to hear from amazing leaders and thinkers. Willow Creek spends at least a year putting together each summit. Their philosophy is that everyone benefits from better leaders: churches, businesses, homes, everyone. With that in mind, they compile a diverse group of speakers. Each year I am energized and challenged by what I hear, and I always leave with ideas about how what I experienced relates to my role as the pastor at Grace.
To my second concern of watching a screen for two days, it’s always a little strange at first, but then I don’t really even think about it. This event is really well done, so much so that the technology is seamless, and somehow the atmosphere created is that we are really there hearing the speakers in person. It helps that it’s a live event, and so it’s neat to know that we’re watching along with hundreds of thousands of other people.
If you’ve never attended the Leadership Summit, consider joining us this year. The dates are August 6-7. If you can’t attend both days, it’s possible that someone might split the ticket cost with you and attend one day. There is a cost, but don’t let that deter you. Please contact Martin Burch, firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.