10 March 2010

The Global Leadership Summit

The Global Leadership Summit. Sounds like something that could have been going on next door to the Climate Change summit in Copenhagen last year, doesn't it? But as most of you probably know, this Global Leadership Summit is, allegedly, not at all political but religious. Yes, it's the highlight of Bill Hybels' year over at Willow Creek Community Church. According to the website,
"The Leadership Summit exists to transform Christian leaders around the world with an annual injection of vision, skill development, and inspiration for the sake of the local church."
I don't know about you, but I don't want Bill Hybels injecting me with anything! But I'm glad to see that the Summit doesn't exist to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If it did, there would be a lot of explaining to do in regard to this year's speakers (and speakers from years past as well). I'm going to include below the biographies of some of the speakers of the 2010 GLS. Please note that these biographies are taken directly from the GLS website. My comments are "injected" throughout in blue italics.

Best-selling Author
Chief Pastor, The Potter's House

Named by TIME magazine as one of the "25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America," Bishop Thomas Dexter (T.D.) Jakes is an entrepreneur, global advocate, philanthropist, and pastor of The Potter's House. Located in Dallas, Texas, this multiracial, non-denominational congregation has more than 30,000 members. Known for his service to both the church and the global community, he's led initiatives to combat domestic violence, homelessness, poverty, and AIDS. A prolific writer, Bishop Jakes has authored more than 30 books, including two New York Times best-sellers. A past and popular Summit speaker, he will close our 2010 gathering with a powerful and moving reminder of the greatness of God. I could write a whole series of posts on T.D. Jakes! For now, let me give you the short version: this "pastor" denies the Trinity. Yes, that's right. Oh, and he has succeeded in eroticizing the practice of communion and calls it "the most romantic ordinance between two lovers."

Best-selling Author
Former Chairman and CEO, General Electric

Said to be the most studied CEO of the 20th century, Jack Welch began his 41-year career with the General Electric Company in 1960, and in 1981 became the company's eighth chairman and CEO. Fortune named him "manager of the century," and the Financial Times named him one of the three most admired business leaders in the world. He teaches at MIT's Sloan School of Management and recently launched the Jack Welch Management Institute at Chancellor University, offering advanced management degrees online. A prolific business writer, he authored the internationally best-selling autobiography, Jack: Straight from the Gut and also wrote The Welch Way, a widely read BusinessWeek column. Can I at least see a mention of this man's profession of faith? Does he even have one? If not, then should he really be teaching leadership principles to thousands upon thousands of supposedly Christian pastors? Forgive me, but the basics of Christianity weave themselves into ALL aspects of our lives. A non-Christian and a Christian will very rarely approach a situation--even a business situation--in the same manner.

Senior Pastor, North Point Community Church
Founder, North Point Ministries

Under the leadership of Andy Stanley, North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, has become one of the largest and most innovative churches in the United States. Founded in 1995, the church has grown to three campuses and a weekly attendance of more than 22,000 people. They have also helped plant more than 20 strategic partner churches across North America. Stanley is a dynamic speaker and author whose books include Visioneering, Next Generation Leader, and Communicating for a Change. His latest volume, The Principle of the Path, explores a basic truth that can eliminate regret, as it helps to successfully move people from where they are to where they want to go. Ah, yes, Andy Stanley. Let's see, where do I begin? From his apparent friendship with many emerging/contemplative/mystic personalities (evident from his appearance at the 2009 National Youth Workers Convention) to his latest appearance at Rick Warren's Radicalis conference, this "pastor" should feel right at home at Willow Creek.

Founder and Senior Pastor, The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection

Adam Hamilton is senior pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. One of the fastest growing, most influential mainline churches in America, the adult membership has increased from four to 13,000 since 1990. It is all about the numbers after all, isn't it? Leaning on personal leadership experience, Hamilton provides perceptive insights into how and why leaders fall—and how to help preempt such failures within a team before they occur. The author of several books, including Leading Beyond the Walls, 24 Hours That Changed the World, and Making Love Last a Lifetime, he was identified as one of the top "Ten People to Watch in America's Spiritual Landscape" by PBS's Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. Well, after all, if you can grow your church that quickly God must be blessing it, right? I mean, it's not like the gate to Jesus is narrow or anything! Wait a minute...

President and CEO of W.L. Gore & Associates
Innovation Leaders and makers of GORE-TEX® Products

Terri Kelly is president and CEO of W.L. Gore & Associates, a 50-year old, multi-billion dollar enterprise that is often profiled as an example of the future of management. A pioneer in lattice-based management structure, Gore's "associates" become leaders based on their ability to gain the respect of their peers and to attract followers. Kelly became president and CEO in 2005, after she was elected by her peers to serve in that role. Employing more than 8,000 associates in 45 plants around the world, Gore produces many unique products, including Gore-Tex® fabric, and is perpetually named on lists of "the best places to work." Kelly will explain how this unique culture works on a practical level. Oh, goody, more secular money-driven success principles!

Author of Director of Equip & Empower Ministries
Founder of The A21 Campaign

Known for her ability to communicate profound messages of hope and inspiration (but can she communicate the only message of hope that matters, the Gospel?), Christine Caine has a heart for reaching the lost, strengthening leadership, championing the cause of justice, and building the local church globally. Part of the leadership team and pastor at Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia for 20 years, she also directs Equip & Empower Ministries. Recently she founded The A21 Campaign, an organization dedicated to the care and healing of victims of human trafficking. An avid believer in the hope-giving power of the local church, she is the author of A Life Unleashed, Stop Acting Like a Christian—Just Be One; Run To Win, and her latest book, Can I Have (and do) It All, Please? Hillsong Church is notorious for it's Word-Faith heresy. You hear little about this, however, because they happen to have some talented singers in the congregation that travel the world singing "praise songs" that are supposedly about God but really are only causing people to sing about themselves! Hillsong also teaches the social gospel, placing works above faith because, maybe if we feed enough poor people God will think we're good enough for Heaven. Ms. Caine should also feel right at home at Willow Creek where the social gospel abounds!
These are just a few of the speakers who will be descending upon Barrington, IL for the Global Leadership Summit. This conference will be broadcast worldwide, which means thousands of pastors will flock to a local venue to absorb the business principles that will be taught. And it will be all business. Like Rick Warren, Hybels operates his church like a well-oiled machine, focusing on numbers and growth above his true purpose as a pastor, sharing the Gospel. I should know, I attended Willow Creek for awhile. There is no conviction of sin preached in that church, and therefore there is no presentation of the Gospel. There's no need for Gospel if you never tell the congregation why they need a Savior in the first place! But there are many appeals to the heartstrings for the poor, starving children in Africa. There's lots of upbeat music and a few warm, fuzzy stories in lieu of a sermon. I don't know if Bill Hybels could offer a truly Biblical leadership summit even if he wanted to. Sadly, it doesn't seem as if that's anything he desires.


  1. Another speaker mentioned is one Daniel Pink, wh, according to the site, was a "White House" speechwriter. In fact, he was chief speechwriter for Al Gore. I wonder how many lies Mr. Pink wrote for him.

  2. Excellent point, Jack. Thanks for calling that one out! But again, I suppose that only means that Mr. Pink will be right at home at this conference!


Please keep it pithy (in other words, if your comment is long enough to be its own blog post, don't bother), pertinent (please don't go off-topic), and respectful (to the author, to the other readers, and to the subject of the post). If you can't do that, your comment will not be posted.

If you haven't already, please read the Comment Policy in its entirety.