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.

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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!

From Exhausted to Energized :: An Excerpt from “Simplify” by Bill Hybels

Below is an excerpt from Bill Hybels’ brand-new book, Simplify. Adapted from a series he taught at Willow Creek Community Church last fall, this book presents ten practices to help unclutter your soul. We’re also giving away 5 copies today, enter to win at the bottom of the article.

A good portion of my work these days involves coaching and men- toring leaders, both here in the United States and around the world. Increasingly, whether I’m speaking with leaders at home or abroad, at Willow Creek or in other circles of my life, I hear the same words repeated over and over: exhausted, overwhelmed, overscheduled, anxious, isolated, dissatisfied. It’s a bipartisan issue—young and old, rich and poor, professionals and parents, women and men, Republicans and Democrats. And it’s a global issue—I’ve heard these words in English and in countless foreign languages.

It was startling to hear these words so often. I began to realize that, as leaders and Christ followers, we needed to address this situation. So whenever I had a chance, I began openly discussing burnout, stress, and dissatisfaction. My gut told me the topics might strike a chord with people, because they certainly struck a chord with me.

I grossly underestimated the impact.

As I explored the concerns that leave people feeling isolated, overwhelmed, and exhausted, and as I sought to formulate a framework for how to tackle the diverse complexities of these issues, I began using the term simplify. How do we simplify our lives? The term stuck. The very word seemed to energize people.

Perhaps they hoped I would unveil a closely held secret, a key to the universe that would help them uncomplicate their frazzled lives. Perhaps they assumed I was well beyond these issues in my own experience and hoped I might whisk some crumbs of wisdom off the mahogany table of my life into their waiting and eagerly cupped hands.

Not so! Those who know me well can tell you I’ve spent the major- ity of my adult life wrestling with the same dark swarm of words I’ve lately been hearing from leaders across the globe. I am nowhere near immune. I know far too much about being overwhelmed and over- scheduled and exhausted. I know all too well what it feels like to be anxious, dissatisfied, wounded, and spent. As I’ve talked about these issues, I have been both a student and a teacher, to be sure. You’ll see in the pages you’re about to read that I’m a serious fellow learner on the topic of simplifying our lives.

I am not naturally inclined to lead a simple life. I feel a strong sense of responsibility to the calling God has entrusted to me—not just at work, but also with my family, the relationships I invest in, the recreation I need for my mental health, and the travel my work requires.

I don’t foresee my life slowing to a lounge-by-the-pool pace anytime soon, if ever. Can you relate?

Simplified living is about more than doing less. It’s being who God called us to be, with a wholehearted, single-minded focus. It’s walking away from innumerable lesser opportunities in favor of the few to which we’ve been called and for which we’ve been created. It’s a lifestyle that allows us, when our heads hit the pillow at night, to reflect with gratitude that our day was well invested and the varied responsibilities of our lives are in order.

If we don’t change how we live, our overcomplicated world will begin to feel frighteningly normal. We will become accustomed to life at a frantic pace, no longer able to discriminate between the important and the unessential. And that’s the danger: When we frit- ter away our one and only life doing things that don’t really matter, we sacrifice the things that do matter. Through more misses than hits, I have experienced the high cost of allowing my life to get out of control. My desire is to spare you some of the pain of learning these lessons as I did—the hard way.

What if your life could be different? What if you could be certain you were living the life God called you to live and building a legacy for those you love? If you crave a simpler life anchored by the priorities that matter most, roll up your sleeves: Simplified living requires more than just organizing your closets or cleaning out your desk drawer. It requires uncluttering your soul. By examining core issues that lure you into frenetic living, and by eradicating the barriers that leave you exhausted and overwhelmed, you can stop doing the stuff that doesn’t matter and build your life on the stuff that does.

In my experience, a handful of key practices are vital to keeping my soul clutter-free. These practices help me overcome the barriers that keep me from living the life “to the full” that Jesus promises in John 10:10. In each chapter of this book, I invite you to examine one of these practices, assess what Scripture has to say about it, hold up a mirror to your own life, and then take action.

There are no shortcuts to simplified living. Untangling yourself from the overscheduled, overwhelming web of your current life is not for the faint of heart. It’s honest, rigorous work. As I tell leaders whenever I speak on the subject, action is required.

I can tell you from my own experience that simplifying your life will produce immediate rewards. Each day will have a clear purpose, and each relationship will receive the investment it’s due. And with- out the needless clutter clanging around in your soul, you’ll be able to hear—and respond to—each whisper from God.

This is what I know: Change is possible. Whether you’re teetering on the edge of a cluttered collapse or you’re just starting to realize that some minor life adjustments are in order, you can simplify. You may well have to simplify to live the life God is inviting you to live. As you begin to implement these key practices, they will become habits that create simplified days, then months, then years, and eventually a lifetime that brings satisfaction and fulfillment. Making these course corrections will produce a life you’ll be glad to have lived when you look in the rearview mirror.

You’ve been warned: This process is not for the faint of heart. Action on your part is required. Still game? Let’s dive in.

Read More of Chapter 1 and Purchase Your Copy of Simplify Today

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GLS 2014 Session 8 | Louie Giglio

by Chuck Scoggins


Doorposts in the Kingdom of God: Humility & Honor

Reflecting on “the summit.”
“What is your mountain?”
What are the heights you want to attend? Who do you want to take with you?

A lot of times I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m not going to let that keep God for doing something great!

Sometimes you’re just trying to lead…but you just – don’t – know – what – to – do.

You don’t have to know everything about getting up the mountain ahead of you to know how to take the next step.

1. Life is short.

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

What is it that God wants you to accomplish in this life?

2. God is big.

The entirety of life is about the fame and the glory of the person of Jesus Christ. Knowing it’s all about him is the most important thing I can know about life.

3. Take the next step.

Whatever your next step is, you can do it. But you can’t unless God does it in you.

The Passion Movement was born out of a dark season in Louie’s life (the death of his father).

In 1964 Louie’s dad made the Chick-fil-a logo. In Jan 2014 he spoke to 64,000 students at the Passion which was on top of the Chick-fil-a logo on the field because of a football game a few days before.

“It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.” ― A.W. Tozer

“We rest because what we do depends on God. Not on us!” ← Why Passion City Church takes some Sundays off.
It is a luxury to do some types of things, but it is a calling to make Jesus famous.

Humility is what makes great leaders.

God’s grace is sufficient for you. In our weakness, WE are made strong.