Today I had the exciting opportunity to meet and sit under the ministry of Bill Hybels at a Leadership Masterclass in Melbourne. Bill has been one of my closest mentors for the past 11 years, even though I have never met him in person until today. It has been through the Willow Creek Association that I have been able to engage with Bill's leadership and teaching, which has enabled me to really get to know him and feel as though he knows me, as he openly shares his leadership journey and the Holy Spirit connects his with mine.
I am immeasurably grateful for the privilege of attending the Willow Creek Leadership Summit in Chicago in 2003 and the opportunity to share this experience with my leadership team locally every year since through the Global Leadership Summit. The Summit was the catalyst for a life changing leadership journey that has exposed me to world class leaders from a church, business and political context; some of whom have also become a part of my network of leadership mentors - John Maxwell, Patrick Lencioni, Andy Stanley, Erwin McManus, Jim Collins, Wayne Cordeiro, to name a few.
The Leadership Masterclass with Bill Hybels was a Q&A format with a gathering of 110 church leaders from around Melbourne covering a wide range of leadership topics as questions arose. Below is a selection of some insights that I was able to takeaway from today's session with Bill:
- Leaders fundamentally have to believe that with their giftedness and the power of the Holy Spirit that they can move the "needle" [referring to the needle on gauge from empty to full].
- Nothing significant in your church will change unless the senior leader's heart is changed. The senior leader needs to be passionate about the issue.
- There has to be someone else on the team who owns the ongoing responsibility to keep the momentum going.
- Senior leaders need to mix up their rooms so younger leaders have their ear more regularly.
- It is our job as senior leaders to provide as many opportunities as we can for younger leaders to play at a higher level in the game.
- One of the best weapons in the arsenal of a senior leader is to have some short term projects to assign to aspiring leaders to test their readiness for longer term leadership responsibilities.
- You owe them [younger leaders] real time coaching that will keep them on a track to success.
- Anybody who has ever helped you build something in the church you have to honour them.
- Remind people working in the marketplace how fortunate they are to be ministering alongside unchurched people. Commission them to pastor or minister where they are in their work place.
- How many people care as much as you do that there are empty seats in your church? Who is helping you to fill those seats? [Bill shared his vision for section pastors in the church to plant micro Acts 2 communities in each section of the auditorium - more to be said in another blog...]
- We decided we were done being content with the current level of giving in our church and engaged with more intentional teaching about stewardship.
- "Winds of the Spirit" fund - set aside % of offerings to form a reserve to bless ministry opportunities that arise outside of the budget, without the red tape.
- Bill has multiple mentors for different areas of his life. The idea that one mentor will meet all your needs is naive.