Leadership Summit - Bill Hybels


Bill Hybels is the senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, and chairman of the board for the Willow Creek Association. He convened The Leadership Summit in 1995 following a God-given prompting to help develop the spiritual gift of leadership in the local church. A highly sought-after conference speaker on issues related to Christian leadership, Hybels is the best-selling author of more than 20 books including Courageous Leadership, The Volunteer Revolution, and, most recently, Holy Discontent.

“Vision to Die For”

As usual, one of the best sessions ever. Hybels always hits a home run on his first talk and makes you feel like you can just go home and implement what he said and have enough to work on for the next year.

The first session began with an incredible overview of church history using three speakers/singers and multimedia. I want to see if we can order this somewhere. Honest, inspiring, humbling and challenging.

Highlights from Hybels' talk:

  • Hybels described, in humorous fashion, the perfect fantasy week in a pastors life that includes getting a vision from God for the next five years, presenting it and everybody singing his praises.
  • A vision that’s not forged with others won’t be owned no matter how inspired and powerful.
  • Vision is the most powerful offensive weapon of a leader.
  • Congregations love having destination and purpose but do we as leaders understand the ownership factor.
  • John 10 presents two kinds of shepherd/leaders: hired hands and owners. Huge difference when a pack of wolves come. Owner protects, sacrifices for, will die for.
  • Example of Bloody Sunday and it’s impact on the civil rights movement when people saw the willingness of the people to be beaten and die for the movement.
  • The way to get ownership is summarized in one word leaders hate: PROCESS. Four letter word to leaders. What they yell at people when cut off in traffic.
  • Publicly process before declaring vision.
  • Three phases in getting ownership: Vision Formation; Vision Refinement; Vision Declaration.
  • Vision formation: use team approach; engage top people, slow and inefficient but necessary; people don’t have to have their way but to have their way considered
  • Vision refinement: Themes emerge in formation stage and now get first draft; work on subsequent drafts; ask lots of questions in series of meetings; people feel valued
  • Vision declaration: great leaders spend more time trying to get ownership than credit.
  • Would you be willing to die for what God has asked you to do? Are you a hired hand? Or are you an owner?
  • Acts 21: Paul gets vision from God to go to Jerusalem; prophet tells him he will be bound and suffer; Paul goes on because he’s willing to suffer and die for the vision; “when the prophet realized that Paul couldn’t be dissuaded…”
  • Single most determining factor of ownership is the extent they feel you own it and are willing to sacrfice for it.
  • Vision is exciting at first, but at some point come to a fork…ownership or hireling? Choose ownership. Get back on that road.

This is one to own and see it and see again (or listen to it). A+ information and inspiration.