More General Thoughts from the Summit…
1. Every Reader is not a Leader, but every Leader is a Reader.
There were so many remarkable sound bites, especially from Gergen’s session. This one hit home, because I’ve found it to be so true!
Well, at least it’s been true of the mentors I’ve been around, namely Pete Scazzero, Ken Shigematsu, and Leighton Ford. I also hear that Tim Keller is a voracious reader – there are books and bookshelves all around their apartment to prove it. Rich Villodas and Mike Keller are like mini-mes of these guys. Grace Yu also comes to mind – she’s a walking encyclopedia.
I don’t think this quality has to do with nerdiness (actually, I take that back. There’s a hint of nerdiness here). Instead, I think it speaks more to an appetite for learning, exploring, etc. Gergen had another incredible quote about how someone who can see far into the past, can see far into the future. That just oozes of wisdom, doesn’t it?
I would probably add a comment from the wisdom of Good Will Hunting – just because I’ve read Oliver Twist doesn’t mean I can understand what it’s like to be you.
Experience helps inform and sensitize knowledge.
2. Some pains can be Re-Named “Valleys of Insight”
This was from the interview with the Heath brothers. I must admit, I was fading by the afternoon of Day 2, but this was a takeaway that I think was reiterated several times in different ways.
Bill Hybels talked about the lessons learned through this painful transition of the economic crisis. The scars are probably still being felt (100 people let go at willow in one week, I believe he said). Dave Gibbons mentioned the pain of going through his pastor mid-life crisis and all that it taught him while the numbers went down and to the left. Keller spoke of criticism being a revealing catalyst for when it comes to how well I believe the gospel. In all of these examples, pain led to progress… it’s true for organizations, people, relationships, etc.
I was so mesmerized by this point.
Then I realize it’s all over the Bible (James 2 comes to mind). And then I realized it sounds a lot like the cross.
That’s a great book, the Bible.
And that’s a great principle, the cross.
3. I was Glad to see Minorities as Speakers
Harvey Carey was super-inspiring, as were Rugasira and Gibbons. Jackley was really cool. She’s like a poster-child for the up and coming generation of young leaders – articulate, fun, hip, crazy, & good with technology.
Normally I would have wanted more minority representation… but I learned so much from each presenter!
*Plus, Stafford is a black man trapped in a white man’s body. If you heard his testimony you know what I mean!
I’d still like to see some more representation of the Next Evangelicalism, so perhaps they can get Barack and Michelle Obama next year.
4. I’m a big fan of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality… and apparently, so is the Leadership Summit
A theme that appeared everywhere was being a contemplative and replenishing one’s soul. Keller’s talks always have a contemplative theme too, because they’re so darn insightful.
I’m not talking about the binder-contemplative type a la Carey’s comments, I’m talking about thinking, praying, or going fishing, as Gergen would say.
I’m so glad to be at New Life and to have learned from the Scazzeros… they really have ntroduced principles and practices that I believe will help shape the soul of leadership in our frenzied generation. There are many others who are leading the way in introducing emotional health and contemplative spirituality, but none in the context of a church that is multi-cultural and serving the urban poor in the heart of a city.
I’ll probably post more reflections as they come later…