The Key to Unlocking Exponential Growth in India

With more than 20 officially recognized languages in India, GLS leaders took a signifi­cant step forward this week in being able to serve these groups by launching the first 2 non-English speaking GLS sites. This year, close to 1,000 new leaders are expected to experience the GLS in their native language and plans are in place to expand this num­ber exponentially. In addition to having world-class leadership training easily accessible to them in their own language, the highlight for many was being able to discuss in groups how they were going to apply what they learned to transform their organizations and communities.

The GLS vision for India is to grow to 49 cities over the next three years, reaching more than 15,000 Christian leaders. Thank you for your prayers for this grand vision!

Please pray for our friends as they hold their GLS events this week.

· NigeriaPray that the GLS would be used as a tool to encourage, strengthen, and unify the church.

· South Africa—Pray that the GLS would create a platform for unity and peace in the midst of diversi­ty as they seek strategies to address the issues of their country.

· Northern Ireland—Pray that each leader that attends the GLS would be encouraged, inspired, and blessed.

· United Kingdom—Pray that leadership skills in every sector of society would be sharpened in ef­fort to create a future God has imaged  in this region.

· AustraliaPray that leaders would come out of the GLS with a sense of God’s blessing on their work and ministries as they seek to impact their communities.

· New ZealandPray that leaders would leave en­couraged and energized to continue lead the change they wish to see in their communities.

· CameroonPray for unity in the church as they reach their country for Christ and seek to address issues of poverty and corruption.

· Kenya—Pray for each leader attending from differ­ent backgrounds, that they would be able to take what they have learned and see God move mighti­ly in their country.

· NamibiaPray that leaders would be blessed with fresh ideas and perspectives on how to share the true Gospel in their communities while continuing to address the needs of the people.

Visit to learn more about the work of the WCA around the globe.

20 Leadership Quotes from Louie Giglio


We were honored to have Louie Giglio with us at The 2014 Global Leadership Summit. He challenged us to identify the mountains in front of us and courageously begin the journey that God is calling us to take with our leadership. Here are some of the quotes from his session that inspired us; we know they will inspire you, too.

God will not only give you the strength to make it to the summit, but for you take many other people with you.

You don’t have to know everything about the mountain in front of you to take the next step.

None of us have a guarantee beyond this moment.

Life is short but God is good.

Most people don’t feel a great sense of urgency about the great things of life.

The stakes are too high for us to die with a small vision.

Life is short but God is big.

God is able to do anything.

The biggest idea of my life is that Jesus’ fame is the biggest fame in time and eternity.

Take the next step.

God’s power is sufficient enough to take the next step He is calling us to take.

Embrace the darkness because God is preparing you for a greater role in His unfolding story.

Sometimes you’ve got to take a step into the unknown.

We rest because what we do depends on God, not on us!

Humility is what makes great leaders.

Humility is not a character trait we develop, it’s a byproduct of spending time with Jesus.

It is a luxury to do certain things but it is a calling to do God’s work and making Jesus the focal point of our lives.

The goal isn’t for us to lead great things, it’s to get into the arms of Jesus.

A leader can’t have a Plan B, they have to be committed to the finish line.

Don’t stop walking in the confidence that Christ is enough to fulfill everything He is calling you to do.

Be sure to follow @LouieGiglio for more.

Nigeria Kicks Off and Full Hearts in Myanmar

Nigeria Kicks Off the Summit at the First 5 of 40 Sites!

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The GLS in Nigeria kicked off last week at five of the forty events they plan to hold this season. More than 2,000 leaders were richly blessed by the fresh ideas and train­ing they received. As the GLS continues to grow in Nigeria, encouraged leaders desire to share it with even more people. As a result, people are catching a vision and taking on additional ownership of the event. In their communities, they reflect the belief that when a leader gets better, everyone wins. 

The GLS has changed my leadership journey. Best of all, I became a servant leader through the impact of the GLS. Thanks so much for making the GLS a global move­ment. The Lord’s bless­ings be upon you. – GLS leader, Nigeria

Leaders are encouraged by the high impact of the Summit in my country. The GLS team has given my church and my family a platform to fulfill God’s mandate upon our lives by being part of the leadership mentors in my country. The media and technical department of my church got a lift from the experience that the GLS brought to us. Thanks for being there. May the Lord bless you richly. – GLS leader, Nigeria.

Full Hearts in Myitkyina, Myanmar

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Myitkyina, Myanmar is not a modern city. In fact, it is just the opposite. A battle for inde­pendence has resulted in a civil war with the government, which has left Myitkyina’s economy unstable. While there are no modern amenities, nice restaurants, air condi­tioning, or fancy cars, the Kachin people of Myitkyina are rich in spirit, reflecting God’s presence. Their sense of longing, devotion, gratitude, and faith in God is a powerful witness.

More than 450 leaders attended the GLS in Myitkyina this year. Their hearts are soft and open to learning and understanding new ways to improve their leadership skills. They have no other access to the kind of training offered by the GLS and engaged with the sessions with rapt attention. Keep these leaders in your prayers as they seek to transform their communities.

View more pictures and stories at

Grabbing the Reigns

The following is an excerpt from Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul by Bill Hybels. The book is now available wherever books are sold. Visit to learn more, download a free chapter, and purchase your copy!

Often when people describe their too-busy lives, they make it sound as if the over-scheduling happened to them unwittingly, like they had no choice in the matter. “It’s not my fault. It’s my boss’s fault. It’s my family’s fault. It’s my teammate’s fault.” They truly believe they are mere victims of the very responsibilities and commitments they said yes to.

News flash: You are the boss of your schedule. It’s your responsibility to keep command of your calendar—and you must, in order to simplify your life.

Many people I know are doing the best they can to control the mayhem. Yet despite their valiant efforts, their lives show little change. No doubt you, too, have tried to simplify your overscheduled life. You bought a new planner. You installed a new calendar app on your phone. You attended a time-management class or listened to an audiobook about being more organized. You even managed to sync your work calendar with your home calendar, trying to corral everything into one system, hoping this would solve the problem. But reshuffling the same deck of cards will faithfully deal you the same too-busy hand.

What if you could grab the reins of your runaway calendar? What if you could turn your schedule into a powerful tool to help you live out your endgame priorities?

A simplified life begins with well-invested hours each day. You can harness the true power of your calendar by filling in each square holistically, creating room for both the outward activities and inner priorities in your life. Your calendar is more than merely an organizer for what needs to get done; it’s the primary tool for helping you become who you want to become.

Summit Host Site Wins “Give Back Challenge”

Summit Host site New Covenant Church in Clyde NC has won the Ty Pennington Give Back Challenge.

Summit Field Team Member Dave Wright, had a chance to visit with Senior Pastor Nick Honerkamp last week and had a tour of the prison they are turning into a half-way house, soup kitchen and shelter for the homeless. Pastor Nick put together a team of folks from the community including the Sherriff and won $50,000 for the renovation project. In a couple of weeks they will have a few hundred volunteers along with the “Give Back Folks” on site for the rebuild.

Congratulations New Covenant Church!! It is amazing to see Summit leaders impacting their communities and leading where they are.

Here is Pastor Nick’s video presentation to Ty Pennington,

7 Leadership Quotes from Truett Cathy

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Earlier this week we lost a leadership great, S. Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-a.

Armed with a keen business sense, a work ethic forged during the Depression, and a personal and business philosophy based on biblical principles, Truett Cathy took a tiny Atlanta diner, originally called the Dwarf Grill, and transformed it into Chick-fil-A, the nation’s second largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain with more than $4.1 billion in sales in 2011 and nearly 1,620 locations. His tremendous business success allowed Truett to pursue other passions – most notably his interest in the development of young people.

We honor his memory and leadership and share these 7 quotes from Truett:

1. “No goal is too high if we climb with care and confidence.”

2. “Nearly every moment of every day we have the opportunity to give something to someone else – our time, our love, our resources. I have always found more joy in giving when I did not expect anything in return.”

3. “I’d like to be remembered as one who kept my priorities in the right order. We live in a changing world, but we need to be reminded that the important things have not changed, and the important things will not change if we keep our priorities in proper order.”

4. “You have to be very careful about what you say. More importantly, you have to be very careful about what you do. You never know how or when you influence people – especially children.”

5. “It is when we stop doing our best work that our enthusiasm for the job wanes. We must motivate ourselves to do our very best, and by our example lead others to do their best as well.”

6. “I believe no amount of business school training or work experience can teach what is ultimately a matter of personal character. Businesses are not dishonest or greedy, people are. Thus, a business, successful or not, is merely a reflection of the character of its leadership.”

7. “Loyalty of your people is a key to most any business success.”

Thank You OX Creates

logo-home-1Willow Create Association wants to give a BIG thank you to OXCreates and the amazing work they did for The Global Leadership Summit behind the scenes. OXCreates is a boutique creative agency. They partner with individuals and organizations working to do good.

Some of the videos created by OXCreates include The 2014 Summit Promo, Super Early Bird Message from Bill Hybels, Early Bird Message from Bill Hybels, Who We Are, Summit Opener and the Summit offering video. To refresh your memory on some of their amazing work, you can view some of these videos below!


To learn more about OXCreates, check out their new website

Remembering Warren Bennis


A former Global Leadership Summit faculty member and leadership guru Warren Bennis passed away a few weeks ago. Many of us remember his challenging talk and have been inspired by his thoughts on leadership and management. To remember his great legacy, we’ve compiled a small list of some of his great quotes.

The leader who communicates passion gives hope and inspiration to other people.

The leader never lies to himself, especially about himself, knows his flaws as well as his assets, and deals with them directly.

The leader wonders about everything, wants to learn as much as he can, is willing to take risks, experiment, try new things. He does not worry about failure but embraces errors, knowing he will learn from them.

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.

Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens, people feel centered and that gives their work meaning.

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.

Failing organizations are usually over-managed and under-led.

Leaders know the importance of having someone in their lives who will unfailingly and fearlessly tell them the truth.

The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born — that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.

Read more about Warren Bennis and his life here.

5 Commandments of Succession Planning

Post by: William Vanderbloemen

The truth is that we are all interim pastors. There will come a day when you are no longer the pastor of your church.

The key to a successful pastoral succession plan is to start planning now, no matter your age or tenure.

I spent the last year studying hundreds of pastoral successions along with Warren Bird, Head Researcher at Leadership Network. We co-wrote a book called Next: Pastoral Succession That Works to help pastors, church leaders, and church board members to understand what they can do now to start preparing themselves and their church for the day their church will need a new pastor.

There is not a singular pattern or set of rules for succession planning because there are many differentiating factors that make each succession process unique. However, throughout our studies, we’ve seen a few cardinal rules pop up. They’re stunningly clear and universally applicable, no matter your situation or stage of planning.

These are steps you can start taking right now. These ideas can apply whether you’re 32 or 62, whether it’s your second year at your current church or your twenty-second, and whether you’re in a denominational appointment system or not.

You shape your future more than you might think. Start by taking ownership of your future succession.

Everyone wants to talk about succession planning until it’s his or her own. Too many pastors push away ideas of succession planning, because they think it is an unrealistic and overwhelming task.

The unknown variables can be scary: not knowing the future burdens and dreams that God might develop in your heart, the health and growth momentum of your present church, the ongoing “fit” between you and your present church, what your church board or district superintendent might do, or how your health or family circumstances might change.

However, in reality you can take these steps now to begin planning your future.

Chapter 2 of Next, is called The “Ten Commandments” of Succession Planning. We provide a ten step guide for every pastor and church leader on successful succession planning. Here are five of the ten steps for planning your pastoral succession plan.

1. Read this checklist with those around you.

Ask your board to read this. If you’re a young pastor thinking about succession, you are already headed in the right direction. Whatever your age and no matter how long you’ve been at your church, your board will appreciate knowing that you want to plan for your church’s future as well as your own.

Additionally, find a trusted friend or colleague to read through these ideas with you. More of your colleagues are seriously contemplating succession than you might expect. Having a trusted group of friends around you to discuss the nuances of your unique succession plan will help ease the potential fear of the unknown future.

2. Pace yourself for the long run.

Establish a sabbatical policy with your board. The most common practice for sabbaticals is a three month paid break every seven years.

Additionally, consider mandating a policy that requires you and your pastoral staff to actually utilize your days off and vacation time. Too many successions are on the heels of a moral or financial failure, and nearly every one of those failures happened because the pastors were tired and didn’t have anyone to talk to about their personal fatigue. If you’re not in an accountability group, find one. It is an essential safety net for your emotional health as a pastor.

3. Prepare an emergency envelope.

What would happen tomorrow if you were hit by a bus today? It’s important to formulate an emergency succession plan and share it with the proper parties. This isn’t as difficult of a task as you might think. Start by thinking about emergency planning on two levels: personal and church.

Is your family provided for? Do you have adequate life insurance and disability insurance? You’re seven times more likely to be disabled than to die during your working years. If you have children, have you named a guardian?

On the church side, how prepared is your congregation if that bus should take your life or incapacitate you for an extended season? Is the church prepared by knowing who would be in charge in your absence?

Form a plan, write it down, and have your board collaborate with and/or approve the plan. This plan should be revisited on an annual basis.

Ask each of your staff members or key volunteers to create their own “hit by a bus” plan for their own succession and encourage all of them to actively develop one or more apprentices.

4. Annually measure the state of your succession plan.

Place “succession planning” as the first item of your own annual performance review and schedule a full board meeting once a year to discuss the state of your plan. Succession planning is an ongoing process, not a singular event. The discussion can include many of the points in these “ten commandments.”

5. Develop a plan for an unplanned departure.

Succession is not reserved solely for retirement scenarios. It’s also not just about emergency planning. You might sense God’s leading to leave your current church for another one. You might decide to leave ministry for another profession. Trends are showing this to be more and more common.

Does your church have a plan for how to handle a vacancy outside of your emergency plan? Who would determine how a search team would be created? Have you developed internal candidates from your current staff or perhaps from a key volunteer? Are there rules (or bylaws) you need to establish now such as whether you would allow your current staff to be considered? Do any other board policies or church bylaws need to be created now to preclude a future crisis or conflict? Would you hire an executive search firm like Vanderbloemen Search Group to consult your church during the search?

Develop your unplanned departure succession plan in the same way you developed your emergency envelope. Write out your process. Have it board approved, communicated to the appropriate people, and accessible by more than one person.

Great leaders are planning for succession now. Are you?

William_VanderbloemenWilliam Vanderbloemen is the founder and CEO of Vanderbloemen Search Group and the author of Next Pastor. Learn more about William HERE.

#GLS14 Highlights

Over 90,000 church leaders across North America experienced The Global Leadership Summit last week. What happened across those two days is just the beginning of a new era for the GLS as we celebrated 20 years of inspiring and equipping over 2 million church leaders. Check out our highlights video below to catch a glimpse of what happened!