More than 50,000 leaders and emerging leaders across North America are expected to attend the premier leadership conference, "Leadership Summit 2005." This annual gathering of national church and business leaders runs from Aug. 11-13.
The Leadership Summit originates from the Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., a mega-church with over 17,500 congregants. The summit, now in its 10th year, will be broadcasted live via satellite to 110 locations, throughout the U.S. and Canada.
This conference, unlike others, centers entirely on leadership development. Over the last ten years, it's had an impact on attendants to better serve as leaders, according to organizers.
"We believe that the church is the most leadership-intensive organization in the world," said Paul Braoudakis, spokesperson for Willow Creek Association, an organization with more than 10,500 Member Churches from 90 denominations in 35 countries.
The lineup of speakers features 11 world-class leaders, including pastors of four megachurches - Bill Hybels of Willow Creek, Kenneth Ulmer of Faithful Bible Church with 13,000 congregants, Rick Warren of Saddleback Church and author of the runaway best-seller, The Purpose Driven Life, and Mosa Sono, the founder and senior pastor of 8,000-member Grace Bible Church in Soweto, South Africa.
John Maxwell, one of the worlds most recognized leadership gurus, will also be attending. Maxwell is author of more than 30 best-selling books, including The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.
Ken Blanchard is a nationally recognized speaker and consultant, and he co-authored The One Minute Manager. Maxwell and Blanchard together have sold more than $20 million in book sales.
In addition, Curtis Sliwa, founder and president of The Guardian Angels, an organization that sets out 5,000 volunteers to patrol streets for crime and safety. Though some have called them vigilantes, Sliwa's work has been nationally recognized for the past 25 years.
Eleanor Josaitis is the chief executive officer of Focus: HOPE, a development organization she co-founded in the aftermath of the 1967 Detroit riots, pledging to use intelligent and practical action to overcome racism, poverty, and injustice.
Rounding out the group are two from the science and religion field. Jack Groppel, an adjunct professor at Northwestern Universitys K.L. Kellogg School of Management, is an authority on the science of human performance and helps individuals cope with high stress environments.
Henry Cloud is a clinical psychologist who speaks internationally on biblical models of personality functioning and character growth. His books include Boundaries, Changes that Heal, and How People Grow.
Representing a for-profit company, Colleen Barrett, will speak on managing over 35,000 employees. She is president of Southwest Airlines, the only U.S. airline to report profit consistently.
Leadership matters in business, but even more so in churches. "The stakes are really really high," said Braoudakis.
Registration information can be found at www.willowcreek.com/summit.