The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Norfolk leaders inspired at Christian global summit 

The Global Leadership Summit was held in Norwich last week and was an opportunity for local leaders to invest in their own development and to be inspired by high profile speakers including Bill Hybells and Sheryl Sandberg.

By Helen Baldry


The auditorium at TLC church in Drayton was packed with leaders from local churches and organisations, including some leadership teams from churches who came to the event together as a group.
The Global Leadership Summit (GLS) took place in Chicago during August but is recorded and then hosted as video cast events in 128 countries and translated into 60 languages, meaning that over 400,000 people will engage with the event worldwide. The event at Drayton Hall on November 9 and 10 was facilitated by Lighthouse Community Church, Sheringham and Norwich Youth for Christ.
Pre-recorded talks from the summit were played to the gathered viewers. I wondered if it might be a bit of a disappointment to watch the speakers on a screen, who were clearly addressing an American audience who were well used to this annual event. However after a while, I found the fact that they were not ‘live’ didn’t detract their impact. A live worship band helped as well as introductions to each speaker by the Norwich hosts.
Speakers at the two day event included Gary Haugen, founder of International Justice Mission, peace advocate and best-selling author Immaculee Ilibagiza and Laszlo Bock, senior advisor at Google. Founder of GLS Bill Hybels, who is planning to move on from his role as pastor of Willow Creek church, spoke about succession planning for when a person transitions out of a job and also about how to end things well - he remarked that leaders like to focus on beginnings and launching new things but rarely consider what happens at the end of a season.

Some of the speakers did not focus on faith at all and the conference would have been relevant to anyone in business as well as those who lead churches and ministries. Bill Hybels did talk about God's direction on his life. He said, "God writes a customised story for each of our futures and gently invites us to step into it."

Sheryl Sandberg, who is the Chief Operating Officer at Facebook said that she didn't consider herself a leader until well into her career. She talked about the importance of encouraging women and girls to be leaders. She values honesty and candour in the workplace and has a passion for equality. Sheryl also talked about the tragic loss of her husband and the incapacitating grief that overwhelmed her following his death. Through this experience she has learnt the importance of friendship and 'showing up for each other' during times of trauma.
There was time for personal reflection and group discussion on the points raised. The talks and the speakers were varied so it seems that everyone came away with some ideas to ponder or a piece of advice to put into practice.

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