Savor The Day – Thoughts + A Giveaway from Shauna Niequist


If you’ve attended The Global Leadership Summit, Shauna Niequist is no stranger to you. Shauna is the author of Cold Tangerines,Bittersweet, and Bread & WineHer newest project, a 365-day devotional called Savor, released in March. She is married to Aaron, and they have two wild & silly & darling boys, Henry & Mac. They live outside Chicago, where Aaron leads The Practice and is recording a project called A New Liturgy. Shauna also writes for the Storyline Blog, and for IF:Table, and she is a guest teacher at Willow Creek Community Church.

Below is an excerpt from Shauna’s new book – it’s a timely challenge for all of us to savor the day. And, be sure to enter below to win a copy of Savor!

It seems like I keep having the same conversation over and over—at preschool pick up, at coffee with girlfriends, around the table at our small group gathering. It’s about being busy, about being tired, about wishing we could find more hours in a day, more days in a week.  We’re aching for a way of living that feels rich instead of one that runs us ragged, longing for connection instead of competition, yearning to dwell deeply in prayer instead of racing through the days.

What I want to do is savor this life—my life, my children, my community, this gorgeous world God created. That’s what we all want, right? To soak up the goodness all around us, to be aware of holy fingerprints everywhere, to walk through each day expecting and noticing those glints and shimmers of the divine right in the daily—in a hug, a tomato sandwich, a quiet moment, a text from someone we love.

That’s what I want, and so often I miss it. I lay in bed at night frustrated with myself that I allowed the minor annoyances of life to obscure the rich melody underneath it. I rush and push and don’t even see the beauty all around me. I let my fear about the unknowns in our future or my desire to control everything and everyone around me cover over the deep beauty and grace and peace that are playing like a drumbeat under everything.

I’m trying to learn how to pay attention, to clear away space and noise, and to invite you to hear the drumbeat, too. God’s always speaking, always. He’s always moving, always present, always creating, always healing. The trick, at least for me, is paying attention. The trick is savoring.

I tend to live in my head—analyzing every word of that last conversation, regretting what I did, anticipating what’s coming, worrying about what could go wrong. Whole plot lines unfold—beginning, middle, end—in the time it takes me to brush my teeth or for the toast to pop up out of the toaster.

I’m trying to get out of my head. And I’m trying to get right down into the raw soil of my own life. Because it’s happening whether I decide to notice or not. These children are growing taller each day. I peeked in at Henry last night, and it seemed his legs stretched all the way down his bed, as though he’s a teenager and not a seven-year-old.

Things will not always be as they are now—there will be new things, other things, good things. But I don’t want to miss this, this right now, this sacred everyday. And I don’t want to only see the surface. I want to see the depths—the work of God all around me, in conversation and prayer and silence and music. I want to connect with the God who made me from dust, on purpose and for a purpose. I want to walk through my days in a warm conversation through prayer, aware as I walk that he walks with me, that as I speak, he hears me, that as I rest, he carries me.

I forget so easily that there’s a bigger picture. I’m easily seduced by the bustle of the day—lunch and laundry, deadlines and dinnertime. I forget that it’s all held together by a holy, loving God, and that we get to be his partners in restoration and healing. I forget that there’s more than I see, more than I can dream.

When I begin the day in prayer, I find that it’s easier to continue that way. When I begin the day with God’s word, with silence, with a grounding sense of his love for me, then I find it’s easier to bring those things with me throughout the day, and it’s harder for me to locate them if I didn’t pause with them at the start.

So let’s begin together. Let’s clear away space together, trusting that what we’ll find in even small moments of prayer and silence will transform us. Let’s savor this day, the beauty of the world God made, the richness of family and friendship, the good gifts of creativity and work. All the things that populate our days are worth savoring. Let’s walk together.

Savor Giveaway

Liz Wiseman on The Difference Between Coaching Rookies and Veterans

liz wiseman 2

The Willow Creek Association is pleased to announce that Liz Wiseman, President of the Wiseman Group and Best-selling Author, will be returning to The Global Leadership Summit in 2015.  Her previous Summit talk, Multipliers, was one of the most memorable talks from TGLS 2013.  Since then, she has been named to the prestigious Thinkers 50 list as one of the top Business Thinkers in the World.

Earlier this year, she connected with us regarding her new book, Rookie Smarts.  It didn’t take long for our team to review the content and agree that this information would be a win for the Summit.  Liz’s research examines the advantages that rookies bring to a team as well as some of the pitfalls of experience. Her conclusion: all leaders, rookies and veterans, can gain a more agile learning mindset.

Most of us have both rookies and veterans on our teams. Below is Liz Wiseman’s recent post from the Harvard Business Review on “The Difference Between Coaching Rookies and Veterans”.

After years of playing at the top of his game, Tiger Woods hit a rough patch, struggling to win major tournaments. In February 2015, he pulled out of the Honda Classic, declaring his play “not tournament-ready.” Paul Azinger, ESPN sports analyst, claimed that Woods had become mechanical and “over-engineered himself out of being great.” The commentators suggested that Woods didn’t need learning; he needed un-learning.

Depending on where a professional athlete is in his career — a rookie new to the game, a star at the peak of his career, or a seasoned player, like Woods, who is struggling to get back on track — he requires very different coaching. The same is true in business.

Experienced professionals have deep knowledge, credibility, and confidence. But their knowledge can interfere with their learning. They can miss important shifts in the market simply because the telltale signs don’t fit nicely within their models. Having seen the patterns, they can easily overlook errors or dismiss aberrant results. They also receive little feedback because they’re performing relatively well and others assume they’ll figure out how to improve the less-than-effective portions of their work on their own.

On the other hand, when someone is new to a task, they have lower levels of confidence, which means they will tend toward caution, taking small steps. They lack knowledge but are more willing to ask questions, listen, and seek expertise and guidance from their colleagues. They are eager to act, but can make rookie mistakes.

Both scenarios can lead to top performance. (In fact, my research has shown that in knowledge industries, rookies tend to outperform experienced staff in innovation and speed). But, they necessitate very different coaching styles. For example, your inexperienced people need support to channel their efforts, while your more experienced team might need encouragement to get out of a rut. Here are several ways you can adjust your approach based on where someone is on the learning curve:

1. Giving feedback. It goes without saying that both rookies and veterans need feedback, just different types. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research suggests that rookies seek and respond to positive feedback, whereas veterans seek and respond to negative feedback. Inexperienced staff are desperately looking for clues that they’re on track. So shower them with messages that they’re headed in the right direction. Tell them what they’re doing well, reaffirm their actions, and help them build confidence.

While your rookies need validation, your experienced employees need calibration – corrective coaching to let them know when they’re veering off course. Just like a thermostat receives periodic readings of actual room temperature, experienced professionals require a steady flow of information to maintain high performance. Give your seasoned staffers more feedback than they appear to need and let them know where they are missing the mark and need to make adjustments.

You can read the full article here:

HBR Blog: Liz Wiseman

The 2015 Global Leadership Summit Faculty Announcement

2015 Speaker Lineup Instagram

The WCA is pleased to announce The Global Leadership Summit faculty for 2015!

The Summit is unlike any event in the world. We scour the globe for a unique blend of top-level faculty from diverse backgrounds in business, academia, non-profit and the church. Because of the Summit’s unparalleled global reach, we have been blessed to attract a level of business faculty that are generally only seen at the most prestigious business conferences. We place them alongside some of the world’s most effective church leaders. Summit fans know that the combination is inspiring and impactful.

This year’s faculty is no exception. Come to the Summit prepared to sharpen your leadership toolbox with insights from the following experts:

Bill Hybels
Founder and Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church

Sallie Krawcheck
Chair, Ellevate Network; Former President, Bank of America’s Global Wealth & Investment Management

Adam Grant
Professor, Wharton School of Business; Best-selling Author

Brian Houston
Founder and Global Senior Pastor, Hillsong Church

Ed Catmull
Co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios; President of Walt Disney Animation Studios

Sam Adeyemi
Founder and Senior Pastor, Daystar Christian Centre in Nigeria

Sheila Heen
Founder, Triad Consulting Group; Faculty, Harvard Law School

Jim Collins
Nationally Acclaimed Business Thinker, Best-selling Author Good to Great

Albert Tate
Founder and Senior Pastor, Fellowship Monrovia in Southern California

Horst Schulze
Chariman and CEO, Capella Hotel Group; Founding President and COO, The Ritz-Carlton Group

Dr Brené Brown
Research Professor, University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work; Best-selling Author

Liz Wiseman
President, The Wiseman Group; Best-selling Author

Craig Groeschel
Founder and Senior Pastor,

Go to The Global Leadership Summit website here for full bios and additional information.

Who are you most excited to see at the 2015 Global Leadership Summit? Tell us in the comments section below.

Guest faculty members are invited to participate in The Global Leadership Summit based on proven leadership abilities in their field of expertise.  Their beliefs may not necessarily reflect those of Willow Creek Association and Willow Creek Community Church, and their presence at the Summit does not imply blanket endorsement of their views or affiliations.

Summit Leadership Theme for April 2015: Mountains (Vision) & Next Steps (Strategy)

In April, our Summit leadership theme centers on the skills of Vision and Strategy. We kick-off the monthly theme by introducing it on the WCA blog and then, mid-month, we release a 30-minute Defining Moments resource where Bill Hybels will discuss this topic with more depth to help you continue your learning.

At the 2014 Summit, Louie Giglio’s Take the Step talk included the following memorable quote. “You don’t have to know everything about how to get up the mountain in front of you to take the next step.” Here is a short clip from that talk.


Watch the video and reflect. What stood out to you? Are you clear about your vision and your plans to achieve it?

Take it deeper:

Grab your journal and name the central vision(s) your team is pursuing right now. How clear are you on the vision?

Make time in a team meeting to revisit your vision(s). Is the passion on your team still hot? Do you have your focus right? Are you tackling too many visions or the right amount?

Bill Hybels says mile-markers and deadlines are the tools that move a vision forward. How are you at tracking your team’s progress to be sure you are on track to achieve the vision?

Watch for the Defining Moments release mid-month and listen to Bill’s insights into how he develops vision and strategy with his teams at Willow Creek.

Interact with others by writing your thoughts in the comments section below.

Enjoy the video . . . and let’s take this month to lead with both vision and strategy.

Mama Maggie: ISIS Victims, New Biography and Book Giveaway

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Few Summit attendees will ever forget Mama Maggie (TGLS 2011), the diminutive Coptic leader whose very presence on the stage created a holy moment.  A multiple Nobel Peace nominee, she has been called the Mother Theresa of Cairo for her ministry to the poorest of the poor who live in the garbage dumps of that city. As she described her “Tough Call” – her journey from privileged child to college professor to founder of Stephen’s Children – she expanded and deepened our understanding of what leadership looks like and how to connect more deeply with God.

Recently, this remarkable woman has made the news again.

Cable News Interview

We now know that Mama Maggie’s ministry had connections to the ISIS victims in Libya. “The brutal beheadings of 21 Coptic Christians at the hands of ISIS terrorists shocked the world. But almost as worldview-shattering was the strong faith of the victims, even in the face of certain death. Now we know where their faith may have came from. Her name is Mama Maggie.”

Last weekend, Lauren Hill interviewed Mama Maggie on this and other topics for her cable news show. Watch this inspiring interview here:

New Biography Released

The news coincided with the recent release of Mama Maggie’s authorized biography by bestselling authors Martin Makary and Ellen Vaughn – which chronicles her unexpected and inspirational life journey.

Visit to learn more.

Book Giveaway
Mama Maggie Giveaway

Energy: The Leader’s Edge


Dr. Jack Groppel is the co-founder of the Human Performance Institute and an expert in the relationship between energy management and leadership performance. In 2005, hisThe Mental Toughness of a Leader became an instant Summit Classic that literally changed the way that many of us steward our leadership energy. 

In the intervening years, Jack’s research has gone deeper into this topic.  And recently, Anne Loehr, contributing writer for The Huffington Post, wrote an article describing the findings.  Check out the article below.  Enjoy!


Grab a pencil because we’re going to start with a quiz created by Dr. Groppel. Before you start the quiz, take a look in the mirror and be totally honest with yourself. How many of the following statements apply to your life? Put a checkmark next to those that apply.

  1. I often feel overwhelmed
  2. I usually feel that I don’t have enough time in the day
  3. I struggle with being present, or in the moment
  4. I struggle to prioritize self-care (e.g., exercise, eating well, etc.)
  5. I have to multitask to perform at a high level
  6. I have incredibly high pressure with my job
  7. My work/life balance is not very good
  8. I have way too many emails and projects to navigate
  9. I’m tired of being tired
  10. I often struggle with being fresh and creative in my job

If you checked four or more, fall in line. This is the state of our lives in today’s world, and never more so than in business. Add to this the imperative of leaders to lead. Yet, how can we lead effectively if we are checking boxes in the above list? And, how can we lead groups of high performers who describe their lives with these same thoughts?

* * *

Human energy is our most critical resource. Without it, where are we? One only has to look at how fatigued we are, as well as the data on how disengaged we are, to understand the truth in these statements. In today’s 24/7 world, the constant pressure to perform means organizations are asking more of their employees than ever before. The demands on employees’ energy inevitably exceeds capacity, resulting in sub-optimal performance, lower productivity, and disengagement. With proper training, though, this need not be our fate.

You can view the entire post HERE.

Jack Groppel will be the featured speaker at Taste of The Summit Live, where he will present these findings and more.  Check with your Premier Host Site for when this content will be available at your location. 

Summit Faculty in the News


We love following previous GLS Summit Faculty and keeping up-to-date with their work and what they are doing around the world. Here’s a quick update on some of our Summit faculty in the news!

A new Bible-inspired series by  Mark Burnett (TGLS 2013), A.D. The Bible Continues, will premier on NBC April 5, 2015, Easter Sunday.  Check out the website here for the preview video.

Liz Wiseman (TGLS 2013) and her new book, Rookie Smarts, were featured in Fast Company Magazine

Christine Caine (TGLS 2012, 2010) launched Propel: Women Who Lead, a global initiative aimed at connecting, equipping and empowering Christian women leaders.

John Ortberg (TGLS 2012, 2007, 2002, 2001) released a new book. All the Places to Go.  Here’s the trailer.

Brenda Salter McNeil (TGLS 2011) and Efrem Smith (TGLS 2008) were named on the Huffington Post’s list: Black Christian Leaders Who Are Changing the World.

Michelle Rhee (TGLS 2011) stepped down as CEO of the education reform organization Students First.

A biography of Mama Maggie Gobran (TGLS 2011) was released on March 10, 2015.

Adam Hamilton (TGLS 2010), senior pastor of largest United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas (the largest Methodist church in America, broke ground on an innovative new sanctuary on March 1, 1015.

WL Gore & Associates and it’s CEO, Terri Kelly (TGLS 2010), were named to Fortune Magazine’s Best Company to Work For list – for the 18th year in a row.

Blake Mycoskie (TGLS 2010) and TOMS launched the TOMS Bag Collection to promote maternal health and safe births.

Catherine Hoke (Rohr) (TGLS 2008), CEO of Defy Ventures, was featured in Fast Company Magazine.

Carly Fiorina (TGLS 2014, 2007) appeared at the Iowa Freedom Summit and other key political events, fueling speculation that she may run for president in 2016.

Guest faculty members are invited to participate in The Global Leadership Summit based on proven leadership abilities in their field of expertise.  Their beliefs may not necessarily reflect those of Willow Creek Association and Willow Creek Community Church, and their presence at the Summit does not imply blanket endorsement of their views or affiliations.

Highlights from the WCA Youth Conference in Germany


Last weekend over 4,000 students from across Germany gathered in Erfurt, Germany, for the Willow Creek Association’s Youth Conference, #JPK15. Guest speakers Lukas Augustin, Jefferson Bethke, Leo Bigger, Keith Cote, Derwin Gray, Beki Grissom, Brandon Grissom, Megan Fate, Evi Rodemann, and Eric Timm were a part of the fantastic weekend.

Derwin Gray said, “The young people at the Willow Creek Leadership Conference gave me great hope for a great evangelical Christian future in Germany. Let’s pray for them.” (Read more about Derwin’s experience here.)

This fun video features some of the American speakers as they were asked, “How would you describe Germans without words?”

Check out highlights from the event here:

Please keep the youth of Germany in your prayers. We believe God sparked something at #JPK15 and pray He will continue to move in the hearts and lives of these young people.

The Trinity of Top-Notch Leadership

Bill Hybels

Over the past few weekends Bill Hybels has been doing an intense study of the book of Nehemiah in a series entitled Unwavering at Willow Creek Community Church.
Throughout this series, he’s shared insights about leadership from the life of Nehemiah and how they can impact all of us and how we lead.

This weekend Bill shared what he called “The Trinity of Top-Notch Leadership.” He said that top-notch leaders have three common characteristics:

  • Self Awareness
  • Learning Agility
  • Emotional Intelligence 

Click here to watch the whole message on

21 Christians were murdered. This is the legacy they leave behind.

21Christian_coverThese Christian men died for their faith, but this is what they lived for.

In February 2015, 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians were brutally murdered by Islamic State terrorists while working in Libya. When a video surfaced late one Sunday showing Islamic State fighters beheading 21 men in Libya, it seemed no family in the Egyptian town of Al Aour—three hours south of Cairo—was spared. But the families here celebrate the lives of their martyred loved ones with sadness, but with hope and a bit of pride.

“To the last moment, the name of Jesus was on their lips,” says Hana Aziz, who witnessed the kidnapping and was almost taken by ISIS militants himself. “As they were being martyred, they were calling God’s name, saying, ‘God, have mercy on us.’ The entire village is proud.”

The tight-knit village of Al Aour remembers each victim fondly, including the following testimonies given by family members:

Yousef Shoukry, 24, had “the heart of a child,” according to his family, and had gone to Libya to find work. His family, concerned for his safety, asked him not to go, but he felt assured that “I have one God, he’s the same here and there.” Yousef’s brother watched the video of his beheading even when other family members could not. But her other son says he made himself watch it. “I saw that he had strength in his last moments,” the 27-year-old man said, insisting that there was a heavenly light shining on his brother’s face, even after he was decapitated. “And that consoled me.”

YousefShoukryShenouda Shoukry holds up a photo of his brother, Yousef Shoukry (right).

YousefShoukry2A mother and son mourn Shoukry.

Towadros Yousef, 42, accustomed to laboring elsewhere to provide for his family, was called a “fighter” by his loved ones. A father of three, Towardros was said to be a quiet introverted man, happiest when he was with his family. His younger brother Bebawi Yousef, 34, was ready to do anything to help save his brother, even up to the last moment. He traveled from Al-Aour to Cairo to talk on an Egyptian television show to raise awareness about the case of the kidnapped Copts. Five minutes before going on air, he received the fateful call from his local priest.

TowadrosYousefBebawi Yousef holds up the ID of his brother, Towadros Yousef.

TowadrosYousef2Bebawi during a funeral service for his brother and the other men killed by ISIS.

Maged Suleiman Shahata, 40, a father of three, was determined to change the history of poverty that had plagued his family for generations. Maged’s brother Emad spoke with him just hours before he was kidnapped; Maged was worried about another group of Christians who had been kidnapped. Emad sadly remembers that Maged’s last words to him were that his phone credit was out. “I didn’t know what that would mean,” he said, upset that he didn’t get a chance to say goodbye or tell him how much he meant to him.

MagedSuleimanShahata2Emat Suleiman Shahta during a service to honor his brother, Maged Suleiman Shahata.

MagedSuleimanShahataEmat holds up a copy of his brother’s ID.

Hani Abdel Messihah, 32, had four young children and a wife, Magda Aziz, 29. Aziz says he always had a joke on his mind and a smile on his face. “There was a prayer in anything he said,” she added. She consoles herself and her children that “he is in the sky, in the heavens.”

21Christian_coverMagda Aziz, 29, holds a photo of her late husband, Hani Abdel Messihah.

HaniAbdelMessihah2Messihah with his young son.

According to The Huffington Post, here are the names of the other murdered Christians:

5. Milad Makeen Zaky

6. Abanub Ayad Atiya

7. Kirollos Shokry Fawzy (Kirollos Bashree Fawzy)

8. Bishoy Astafanus Kamel

9. Malak Ibrahim Sinweet

10. Girgis Milad Sinweet

11. Mina Fayez Aziz

12. Samuel Alham Wilson

13. Samuel Astafanus Kamel

14. Ezat Bishri Naseef

15. Loqa Nagaty Anees

16. Munir Gaber Adly

17. Esam Badir Samir

18. Malak Farag Abram

19. Sameh Salah (Sameh Salah Farug)

20. Girgis Sameer Maglee

21. Unknown

In memory of the victims, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-­Sisi announced plans to build a new church for their relatives in the village. “It will be named the Church of the Martyrs,” said one of the relatives. The 21 Christians killed will be entered into the Coptic Synaxarium, the Coptic Church’s leader Pope Tawadros II said. This procedure is similar to canonization in the Latin Church. A banner showing the faces of the victims hangs from the painted ceiling of the Coptic Church in Al Aour, Egypt.

This article was originally posted on So see the original post click HERE.