Tuesday, November 30
We want you to be among the first to hear that our movement of churches was highlighted in the latest edition of Fast Company magazine. The article, “What Would Jack Do? How Willow Creek Is Leading Evangelicals by Learning From the Business World” quotes several WCA pastors and leaders and describes the kind of churches we aim to lead.
> Read Full Article
By: WCA (@wcagls)
Wednesday, November 24
I have often wondered about some of Jesus’ prayers. What did He really feel? What did He really pray for? What can we learn from His prayers?
The one I’ve wondered about most (and likely projected myself into) is a prayer Jesus offers after what appears to be a particularly frustrating series of ministry conversations/teaching episodes (don’t we all pray like crazy at those times?!). Now, you may have a hard time accepting that Jesus was ever frustrated as a teacher (and I suppose you would be correct). But if we evaluate teaching effectiveness according to the “results” of students who get it, I think you’d agree this was a failure along our current lines of evaluation. (Matthew 11, MSG) They are questioning if he’s really “the guy”, they’re criticizing whatever he does, he’s dishing out harsh warnings against those who won’t listen, and then, abruptly, he prays. Prays? Yes, prays. Abruptly. I always wonder what motivated that prayer.
How do you respond when an actual ministry outcome is frustrating? When it doesn’t correlate to your plans or desires? Jesus responds by praying and thanking God for what had been hidden from His listeners, “Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: 'Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You've concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that's the way you like to work.'”
It's a prayer of thanksgiving.
But what for? It seems there was no “progress” as we would measure it… so why did Jesus pray like this? I like to think this was a supreme act of faith, where Jesus is trusting himself to God’s mysterious ways, “Yes, Father, that’s the way you like to work.”. Jesus prayed—THANKFULLY. I have to believe that He actually felt gratitude, recognizing that God’s ways are trustworthy and good, despite the dismal evidence of human response to His effort.
So on Thanksgiving eve, my question for you is this:
What’s a troubling circumstance or frustration for you this Thanksgiving?
What would it mean for you to offer thanks… FOR that situation, naming it exactly as Jesus did?
Perhaps there’s no time like Thanksgiving to express in faith your trust in God’s sovereignty and love.
By: Mindy Caliguire (@MindyCaliguire)
Transformation Ministry Team, WCA
This post was inspired by Matthew 11.
Thanks to a broken hot water heater, a friend recently had NO hot water for several days. Though she tried to convince her family that taking a cold shower could be seen as an act of solidarity with folks around the world who didn’t have clean (much less hot) water, her family nonetheless felt deprived and angry.
Some days later she spent time serving at a homeless shelter in which, because of plumbing problems, the showers were completely out of order. What she heard from the residents was not complaints about the lack of showers but how grateful they were for a place to stay.
Blessed are the materially poor for they know what it is to be grateful.
By: Dick Towner
Executive Director, Good $ense Stewardship Movement
Tuesday, November 23
Every business, regardless of tax-exempt status, applies strategic planning (well, at least in theory!). However, in a ministry, strategic planning has a different dynamic, because someone else is at the table. God.
In the secular world, the answers needed for success must be pulled out of you and your team—from your knowledge, experience, and abilities. In ministry, that same strategic planning process acknowledges that our plans are not good enough alone, nor does our success depend solely on our own skills and abilities. God is the difference maker.
In a church or other faith based organizations, our job as the leader responsible for strategic planning is to be student #1 of where the Spirit is leading us. We live with questions like:
- Where is God active?
- Where is He moving?
- How do we align others around our best strategies, tactics, and activities to join God?
That’s the never-ending challenge—to look for evidence of God, act consistently with where God is moving, and fight off our own agendas. The strategy and solution of where we need to go is best found outside of ourselves and in God’s activity.
By: Jim Mellado (@JimMellado)
Thursday, November 18
During the six Global Summit events in Nigeria in October, we witnessed something that had never happened in the history of the GLS. We saw senior pastors of various denominations coming long side other church leaders to attend the GLS. The testimonies are unique. Below is just one of them.
"The message on Holy Discontent really moved upon my spirit. I have become recently uncomfortable with the mass failure of students in secondary schools in Nigeria. I discovered that they actually have little access to the basic textbooks of their subjects. I have therefore decided through my organizations to supply textbooks to schools, especially in rural areas, and also encourage school library development. Thank you for the opportunity to be part of The Global Leadership Summit 2010. I promise to make it an annual fixture of my calendar."Francis Olumbambi sharing about the impact of the GLS in Nigeria.
This weekend, The GLS will take place in 20 sites in 17 countries (listed below) with about 4,800 projected attendees.
Albania – Tirana
Belgium – Brussels
Brazil – Goiania, Itabuna, Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo
China – Beijing
Costa Rica – San Jose
Czech Republic – Hradec Kralove
India – Hyderabad
Mexico – Puebla
Nigeria – Kaduna
Peru – Lima
Poland – Wroclaw
Portugal – Lisbon
Romania – Huneodoara
Ukraine - Odessa
USA – Korean language
By: WCA (@wcagls)
Wednesday, November 17
One of the most critical tasks of leadership is saying “Thank you.”
As leaders, we often spend so much time focused on the future that we forget to look back and appreciate the people and the goals that we’ve accomplished together.
In Luke’s gospel, Jesus seemed surprised when he healed ten men, yet only one person returned to say thanks (17:11-19). Only one. 10%. I sometimes wonder if the percentage is any higher among us leaders. As leaders, we’ve got to discipline ourselves to say “thank you” as well as we say “follow me”.
One of our leaders was going through inventory and saw some great leadership resources that were just sitting there. They weren’t blessing any leaders, changing any churches, or helping to make the world a better place.
So, we came up with a plan: let’s basically give them away to our members. For only $1 per item (yep, shipping is FREE), you can access resources to thank volunteers, team members, and friends. Browse $1 resources.
On behalf of the WCA- Thank You!
By: Andy Cook (@wca_andycook)
WCA Membership Leader
Tuesday, November 16
The journey into a profound spirituality for Geri Scazzero began when she said, “I quit.”Refusing to continue pretending everything was “fine,” she told her husband she was quitting their church –and he was the pastor!
The powerful journey they took together – to “quit” the things that really don’t belong to God’s kingdom and embrace the things that do – changed their personal lives, their marriage and their church. Take the following assessment below and see if you need to quit:
- You need the approval of others to feel good about yourself.
- You are angry, sad, or disappointed and feel guilty about it.
- You believe you don't have choices.
- You do for others what they can and should do for themselves.
- Your rarely consider your own hopes and dreams because of your focus on others.
- You say “yes’ when you would rather say “no”.
- You have difficulty speaking up when you disagree or prefer something different.
- You’re becoming a less instead of a more loving person.
- You are resentful and tired because you regularly “try to do it all.”
- You are afraid to admit your weaknesses and flaws.
When we quit those things that are damaging to our souls, we are freed up to choose ways of being that are rooted in love and lead to life – both for us and others. Quitting goes hand in hand with choosing. Something breaks inside of us when we finally say, “No more!” The following are 8 "Quits" essential to all genuine spirituality.
Quit Being Afraid of What Others Think. (Choose Freedom)
I am willing to cut through the disapproval of others and do what is good, true and loving. I no longer ignore the values I hold dearly. Who I am “on stage” before others is the same person I am “off stage” when I am by myself.
Quit Lying. (Choose Truth)
The degree to which I live in the truth –with myself, God and others- is the degree to which I am free. Learning how to speak the truth respectfully, honestly and clearly is one of the most significant ways I can respect the image of God in myself and others.
Quit Dying to the Wrong Things. (Choose Delighting in God’s Gifts)
I will no longer set aside or devalue activities or relationships that cause my soul to feel fully alive (e.g. music, dance, art, the outdoors, travel). I will take the time to explore my internal world of thoughts, feelings, values, loves, beliefs and motivations.
Quit Denying Anger, Sadness, and Fear. (Choose Embracing Your Humanity)
When it comes to feeling, I will avoid extremes –neither neglecting my emotions nor allowing them to run my life. I will allow myself to experience them in the presence of God, calmly think them through, and then take appropriate action.
Quit Blaming. (Choose to Take Responsibility)
As a human being made in God’s image, I recognize that no one is responsible for my life but me. I reclaim my freedom to choose my own life and help others do the same. I can’t change others, but I can change myself – with God’s grace.
Quit Overfunctioning. (Choose Letting Go)
I will no longer do for others what they can and should do for themselves. I will push through my fears in the face of resistance, asking God for courage and wisdom.
Quit Faulty Thinking. (Choose to Live in Reality)
I will refuse to make things bigger than they are. I will not take offense or blame for something before having all the data. And I will not believe the falsehood that things will never change. I will position myself so that the Spirit can correct my wrong assumptions and align me with the truth.
Quit Living Someone Else’s Life. (Choose to be Yourself)
By God’s grace I will embrace the unique life He has given me. I will listen to my God-given rhythms, set appropriate boundaries with others, and let go of other people’s agenda for me. In this way I will enter into the joy of my own beautifully, God-given life and carry out His unique purposes for me.
By: Geri with Pete Scazzero (@PeteScazzero)
From: I Quit: Stop Pretending Everything is Fine and Change Your Life (Zondervan, 2010)
Geri is a teaching pastor and director of Marriage Ministry at New Life Fellowship Church. Pete is the founder and senior pastor. More info on the topic of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality on Pete's blog and www.emotionallyhealthy.org.
Friday, November 12
I am typing this from my hotel in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. After mentoring pastors and church leaders here today, I will begin the journey back to Chicago. My summarizing feeling about this Latin American speaking tour is gratitude.
What a privilege it is to link arms with so many courageous pastors in this part of God's world. Many pastors I have been mentoring on this 13-day trip have seen a level of human suffering that I have never witnessed. Many have had to lead their churches through devastating earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and mudslides. Several pastors I know in Central America had to take their churches underground when their governments collapsed or were overrun by military rebels. Most pastors here are underpaid and overworked. Yet, hundreds of them show up at the Global Summit and other training events we offer, simply because they want to become better leaders to the congregations God has called them to lead.
I am humbled by their dedication and tenacity. I am grateful to God that I get to encourage leaders and build into leaders for a few weeks each year- and they build into my life as well.
By: Bill Hybels (@BillHybels)
Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church
"There were many key pastors from Buenos Aires city but there was one person in particular, the Intendente (Mayor) of Adrogué County, who was invited to be present for the first session (Bill´s Holy Discontent), he agreed to go and for that session only. During the break after the first session, pastor Lorenzo (senior pastor of the hosting church for the GLS) found the mayor in the men´s restroom crying. Needless to say, he stayed for the rest of the day! Not only that but on the second day of the GLS, when Bill Hybels gave a LIVE message, we spotted that same mayor in the first row with his wife and daughter plus 2 more officials from the city hall!!" - Guest from GLS, Argentina
"The Shanghai team has been extremely busy these past couple of days getting ready for our GLS. Huge praises as we have found a facility and our registration numbers have grown to 455 to date. This is more than double our registration from last year! Praises! We have 12 International Pastors attending this Summit from Suzhou, Nanjing, Xiamen, Hangzhou and of course Shanghai! In addition to the registration, there is a buzz going around this city and we have been contacted by local papers wanting to write an article about the Summit. God is simply awesome!" - Member of Planning Team for GLS, Shanghai
The second day attendance was over 550. We had to refuse more registrations because the hall was crowded. The 2nd day, the National Television and Press people were present for reporting. Here are some of the impressive testimonies of the GLS in Togo:
Mister D'Almeida, who teaches English at Lome University made this comment: "After listening to Bill Hybels on the topic, From Here to There, my eyes opened and only that message was enough for me."
During the break on Friday, there are groups of campus student leaders who were also making comments on the same topic. According to them, it has been eye opening. Pastor Azianvi Francis, one of the leading charismatic church founders said about James Meeks's topic, The Enemy of Growing Church: “By next year, I'll insure that that in every big city in Togo there is a church planted."
"Thanks very much for all your prayers. God moved in our GLS, He filled the CCF sanctuary with his Holy Spirit. There were 3,136 attendees (Alabang stat is not yet included) from the government, business, non-government organizations, and various churches. The number of 2010 GLS DVDs sold was 657, the highest so far." - Member of Planning Team for GLS, Philippines
"I would like to extend a huge thank - you to all parties concerned. The Summit has been an inspiration to myself personally and to our leadership team here at NSC – Norwegian Settlers Church. For many years now, God has used your faithfulness to impact our church in a number of ways: We have seen huge levels of motivation towards fulfilling His purposes. Incredible personal growth and team growth. A constant reminder why we do what we do. Fresh ideas and useful tools to accomplish what God has called us to do. A sense of not being alone in our quest, but rather being a part of a bigger team." - Member of Planning Team for GLS, South Africa
Wednesday, November 10
Gary Schwammlein, EVP of International Ministries at the WCA has been travelling the world throughout the fall. Most recently, he attended The Global Leadership Summit in Lusaka, Zambia. Below, he recounts the stories he encountered at the event.
Greetings from Lusaka, Zambia.
We just finished the third session of day one, Rick Warren’s talk on leadership and stewardship. Yesterday, there were about 200 people registered. There are over 400 here today. There are not enough notebooks and not enough food, but it doesn’t seem to be bothering people at all.
I am sitting next to two women, both of whom have resigned from their jobs in the last few days and are waiting for God’s guidance on what to do next. Joblessness here is 70% so to resign from a job is most rare, and a step of tremendous faith. Both tell me that they are so excited, and that they have received great direction from the talks so far on what to do next.
The facility we are using has a steel roof and looks like an airplane hangar. It has a good number of fans on both sides but no air conditioning. Needless to say, it is hot in here, but most of the pastors come from churches that are quite a cut below this one, so there is no complaining at all. And - a good number of them are sitting here in suits and ties. I don’t know how they can stand it, as I am sitting under a fan near the open window, and am still uncomfortable from the heat. We are very spoiled…
A pastor is just making the offering announcement, sharing a number of stories of pastors that are from distant cities. For people who traveled from hundreds of kilometers away, paying for travel costs in addition to the conference fee made it a very expensive event. I wish we had the funds to be able to provide support for them. We have already decided that we will add one site, or possibly two next year, to allow more people living further away from Lusaka to attend.
Looking forward to tomorrow. Thank you again for your continued prayers for these events.
It was interesting to note the responses to today’s sessions. Jeff Manion was very well received. Jack Welch was a bit of a challenge for a good number of people, and yet the host had difficulties trying to bring the discussion time to a close. The biggest controversy related to the idea of rating people in the workplace, and letting the bottom 10% go if no improvement is seen. Most felt that this could not be done in Zambia, as their culture would not allow such a classification.
Blake Mycoskie was an absolute hit. Two young people mentioned to me that they plan to start a for-profit business that should generate enough income to support teenagers in job training and provide food for children in need. One of them was a young woman whose enthusiasm and passion was incredible. I know she will succeed.
I have heard from other sites that Blake caused similar reactions in their countries as well. Who knows how many new businesses will be started, and there are sure to be large numbers of people who will participate in the April 5 campaign.
Christine Caine ended the day and the conference, and she received by far the greatest audience participation and applause. She was a home run.
The conference was barely over 10 minutes when a tropical downpour occurred and it lasted nearly an hour. Because of the steel roof without any insulation, one could not hear anything but the sound of the rain hitting the roof. Had it started an hour earlier we could not have shown the last session. What perfect timing - thank you, Lord.
All in all it was a good success. Next year, by God’s grace, we plan to expand to 2 additional cities.
To hear more from Gary, follow him on Twitter.
Check this space again tomorrow for a report from several other countries who have recently completed their events there. Your continued prayers are so appreciated!
Monday, November 8
During his opening session at the 2010 Summit, Bill Hybels said, "Leaders, your God-given job is not merely to preside over something, not to pontificate to your underlings how smart you are, not merely to preserve something from its gradual demise; it's to figure out what God wants to get done in this world, figure out what role you play in that, and then move something or someone from here to there."
As the GLS continues in cities around the world, many leaders outside North America are experiencing this session for the first time--and we’re hearing that it is just as inspiring for them as it was for those of us who heard it in August! Right now, Bill Hybels is traveling through Latin America coaching pastors and leaders as a part of Summit events there. The leaders who attend these coaching sessions and the Summit often serve in extremely difficult situations and rarely have access to leadership mentors. Those of you who demonstrated your commitment to leadership development in August with a gift for under-resourced leaders, should know that right now your support is being invested in leaders worldwide who are hungry to be envisioned and equipped.
As a special thanks to those who make a commitment now to be a part of the Summit 2011 experience here in the U.S. (August 11-12), we're giving a full download of the session, From Here to There. This download and our lowest prices for the Summit are available through midnight on Tuesday, November 9th. We’re continually thankful to be in ministry with leaders like you and churches around world!
Learn more about the Summit 2011.
By: The Summit Team (@wcagls)
Friday, November 5
The sun is just rising here in Santiago, Chile and in a few hours, I will be speaking at the Global Summit. Tomorrow, I’ll speak in Buenos Aires and next week, in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and then on to Guatemala and Honduras.
The movement of God in the churches here is palpable and the response to the Global Summit has been awe inspiring—no wonder I have come to love Central and South America. Your continued prayers for the Global Summit are deeply appreciated.
By: Bill Hybels (@BillHybels)
Sr. Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church
Wednesday, November 3
For the next two weeks, Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church and visionary behind the Global Leadership Summit, will be traveling through Latin America serving pastors and leaders there.
He will be coaching small groups of pastors in Q&A sessions and speaking at various Global Leadership Summit locations throughout the region. Below is a schedule of the cities he will be in:
Monday, Nov 1 – San Jose, Costa RicaThe leaders we serve in these countries have been hugely blessed and equipped by Bill’s previous visits. These leaders don’t often have access to leadership mentors. To have access to Bill’s advice and wisdom is an unsurpassed opportunity for most of them who serve in extremely difficult circumstances.
Tuesday, Nov 2 – Managua, Nicaragua
Wednesday, Nov 3 – Lima, Peru
Friday, Nov 5 – Santiago, Chile
Saturday, Nov 6 – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Monday, Nov 8 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Tuesday, Nov 9 – Sao Paulo, Brazil
Thursday, Nov 11 – Guatemala City, Guatemala
Friday, Nov 12 – San Pedro Sula, Honduras
If you have a minute, would you send up a prayer for his trip?
- Pray for the leaders who will be in attendance at these gatherings; that they would be envisioned, inspired and trained well.
- Pray for Bill’s health and energy. As you can probably tell, these trips are long and taxing and require tremendous stamina. Pray that the Holy Spirit would fill Bill with supernatural energy as he seeks to serve these leaders.
- Pray that the logistics of his travel would work seamlessly. International travel can be extremely complex with multitudes of different rules and cultures. Especially given all the countries he will be in, logistics are always a concern.
Thank you Bill!
Tuesday, November 2
For the past months, we’ve been posting a series of wallpaper downloads with scripture. Our hope is that they will serve as a daily reminder to connect and be in a relationship with our amazing God—a Father who meets us where we are.
The highlighted verse for November is "God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped his people and continue to help them." - Hebrews 6:10
Widescreen | Standard
Widescreen | Standard
> Wallpaper for July
> Wallpaper for August
> Wallpaper for September
> Wallpaper for October