The Global Leadership Summit in Melbourne was kicked off today with a high octane session by Senior Pastor Bill Hybels of the Willow Creek Community Church. Amidst a world class line up of leadership speakers, Bill Hybels never disappoints with the opening session each year, setting the tone for the rest of the Summit!
Here are just a few of Bill's quotes that fueled my leadership engine today:
"Courage correlates to every component of leadership."
"Vision is a picture of the future that creates passion in people."
"Every significant vision that is birthed within you is going to put your courage to the test."
"Visions are holy commodities...treat them with utmost respect...don't kill them off with cowardice."
"Your team already know what reality your organisation is in, they are just waiting for you to declare it and have the courage to step up and lead them out of it."
"Staff culture will only ever be as healthy as the CEO or Senior Pastor wants it to be."
"There is a time when you have to transition from casting vision to establishing an inviolable value in the church."
WOW!! Each one of these quotes deserve a blog post of their own! Nevertheless, I will contain myself for the moment to one statement that really stood out to me today.
"There is a time when you have to transition from casting vision to establishing
an inviolable value in the church."
Casting a vision gives the church a picture of a preferred reality, however, establishing a value puts flesh on that vision. It is relatively easy to stand before a congregation and get them all revved up about an exciting new vision, but it takes an enormous amount of courage to stand before the same congregation and redefine the values and behaviours that underpin the vision. It takes courage to challenge behaviour that is contrary to where God is leading and courage to disciple people in a counter-cultural way to build a kingdom culture in the church.
Bill's reference to God's exhortation of Joshua to "Be strong and courageous" resonates with my experience as a leader making the transition from vision to values in my current leadership role. The vision is clear, but some of the values of our church are not in alignment with that vision. The challenge before me is to have courageous spiritual conversations with our leadership team to define the values that are necessary to drive God's vision for our church. We must be prepared to model the values that will define the right culture to turn vision into reality.
I agree with Bill that there are inviolable biblical values that need to be central in every church and the lives of every Christ follower. Today, more than ever before, we need "strong and courageous" leadership in God's church!