Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I was at Cedar Creek Church yesterday which is a very cool church in our city. I was there for a kickoff and introduction to the lineup who will be speaking at this year's Willow Creek Leadership Summit. Cedar Creek is the host site for Toledo as this is shown via satellite at hundreds of sites around the world.

Bill Hybels talked during the webcast yesterday about the speakers for the upcoming event in August and then showed video clips of many of them. It really looks like it will be an incredible event, as it always is.

Hybels mentioned that he is constantly looking to learn from other leaders. He said he especially wants to know what they did when they were in a similar mess to what he is in much of the time.

I thought that was very good. I have heard it said that a smart man learns from his own mistakes while a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.

The interesting thing about the Summit, is that Hybels actually goes out of his way to find speakers who are coming from a different place or have a different perspective. They typically always challenge you in ways you didn't think you needed to be challenged. There have been speakers in the past whom I have dismissed as someone who probably won't be that great, who have absolutely knocked it out of the park.

I have learned that I, and all leaders, can learn from anyone and this was exhibited at the function yesterday in an unexpected way.

After listening to Bill Hybels and video clips from some amazing leaders, a great friend of mine, Bob Borcherdt (president of Midwest Paper Specialties) got up to address the crowd and to promote our upcoming Community Leaders Prayer Breakfast and Leadership Seminar featuring John Maxwell we are helping to organize in Toledo on May 7th.

Because of all the great speakers we had just heard from, Bob was the last person I expected to hear the most memorable line of the day from (although he is filled with much wisdom), yet he said something that stuck with me. Bob said, "There is a lot of fear out there. As Christians, it is our role to help to give people hope."

How true that is; however, it can be very easy to get bogged down in the "doom and gloom." But we know the end of the story--our team wins! So let your hope be infectious!

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
1 Peter 3:15b

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