Amid Scandal, the Global Leadership Summit Continues to Shrink

UPDATE: Just this morning, Willow Creek has deleted two more sites. I suspect this will continue through the beginning of the conference.

As the beginning of Willow Creek Association’s Global Leadership Summit nears, the number of host sites continues to decline. Despite the promotion of 600 sites on the conference website, a count of the number of publicly available sites has now fallen to 485. According to Willow Creek Association, there are additional private sites and some in prisons. However, for people wanting to sign up for the GLS, the number of options continues to decrease as the conference draws near.

Willow Creek Association continues to say that only 111 host sites have dropped out over the sexual misconduct allegations against Bill Hybels (e.g., to Christianity Today). However, a check of the sites posted on the GLS website indicates that more sites have dropped since I last checked.  At the beginning of 2018, Willow Creek promoted the GLS with claims of 700 host sites for the conference simulcast.

Leadership Reset

Sometimes in leadership, a leader must lead by not leading. What I mean is that followers simply won’t follow under some circumstances. I believe Willow Creek leaders are now in that position. I don’t think it matters what they do, they are compromised and their best leadership move is to step down. They may not believe it is fair and they may believe they have done their best. Nonetheless, the perception is that the situation is getting worse and that a reset is needed.

The GLS will be tainted by the Hybels’ controversy and the failure to handle it properly. Much of what is presented in the sessions will be compared to what has happened at Willow Creek. Maybe I’m wrong, but I sense that a situation is being set up where it will seem that the GLS speakers will talk about leadership without actually leading.

Christianity Today on Willow Creek and GLS

New York Times Sunday article with new allegations against Hybels which he denies.

Scot McKnight’s response to Willow Creek.

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Photo: By Ianphilpot at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

7 thoughts on “Amid Scandal, the Global Leadership Summit Continues to Shrink”

  1. I just re-read the blog section on Vonda’s firing how Bill had organized Willow HR and 12-15 people to bear false witness essentially against her, leading to her reassignment to a different department and subsequent dismissal after Vonda rebuffed his advances and rebuked his behavior. These people need to repent and apologize to Vonda, besides Bill.

    In a cynical way, it beats Bill’s mentors, the Clintons, for how to defame and permanently remove political enemies.

    While Bill was mentoring Clinton and the Lewinski affair was exposed Jan 1998, Bill was inviting Vonda into his hotel room in Sweden with open wine admiring her figure in Feb 1998. Bill’s super star buddy was just taken down by sexual misconduct and yet Bill pressed on to pursue his own predatory behavior. Could there have been any sensitivity to conviction over this as it was all revealed and seeing the direct consequences?

    How many Holy Spirit stop signs did Bill Hybels blow thru, hardening his heart, to continue to believe God could continue to empower him in the pulpit and in the Conferences?

    Many will remember sermons over the years, Bill’s teaching with personal experience of his reliance on leadings from the Holy Spirit. Many will remember his sermons describing his journalling and prayer posture as an example of maintaining his relationship to hear from God. … All while the predator was grooming and abusing in his church, slandering and firing those who spoke out or resisted.

    Is it possible to be sensitive to hear promptings from the Holy Spirit to take up timely conversations or give pinpoint encouragement while engaging in an active campaign of abuse, deceit, and violation of the women God has privileged you to lead?

  2. So much focus has been on how the Willow Creek Association, the Summit, the main church should repent, refresh, start over, renew all leadership, etc.

    Where is the same fervor calling for the exact repentance/restitution/actions BH has required of others for a fraction of his predatory behavior? Is the church in contact with Bill to bring him in to make his confessions/restitution? What did his small group members observe? Did Dr. B. caution against this behavior as early Willow Creek took off?

    Maybe Bill can attend a Clinton Foundation leadership meeting and ‘repent’ in front of them as he facilitated the orchestrated rehabilitation of President Clinton at the 2000 GLS.

    1. There are times when it is hard to remember that the Babylon Bee is attempting satire.

    1. I’ve only recently become familiar with the Global Leadership Summit, but the little that is available on their own website suggests this is primarily yet another opportunity for U.S. White Evangelicals to talk to other U.S. White Evangelicals about “global leadership,” a topic they seem to know little about.

      I’m not interested in what they have to say about leadership. Dismantle the Global Leadership Summit and replace it with a long-overdue National Repentance Summit.

      1. WHITEY is so evil!

        You are so obviously a paid shill trying to start a race war.

        Fortunately, most people of ALL races see through racist rhetoric like this.

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