Global Leadership Summit still going strong after 20 years

Kevin and Cynthia Cavanaugh are both strong supporters of Global Leadership Summit.

Kevin and Cynthia Cavanaugh are both strong supporters of Global Leadership Summit.

A Surrey church will be the site, October 23 – 24, for a local staging of the 20th annual Global Leadership Summit.

Kevin and Cynthia Cavanaugh, respectively senior pastor of Cedar Grove Baptist Church and speaker/author on leadership issues relating to women, have been spreading the word about the Summit for the last two months. Registration for the event is well over 200 and they hope it will top out at close to 300.

In a phone interview, Kevin made the point that the Summit, while Christian-rooted, is intended to equip potential and renewing leaders in several spheres of activity.

“We want pastors to be able to benefit. But for business leaders, educators, health care givers, politicians – and others – the Summit has depth and breadth and is a fabulous tool. It speaks to every part of the spectrum,” he noted.

Billy Hybels founded the Global Leadership Summit.

Billy Hybels founded the Global Leadership Summit.

The Summits are spearheaded by Bill Hybels, co-founder and senior pastor of Willow Creek Church, a multi-site congregation in exurban Chicago. A dozen or more Canadian sites for the downloaded event have been organized each year by the The Leadership Centre Willow Creek Canada, which recently moved its headquarters from Kelowna to Ottawa, to be closer to the national leadership hub.

Kevin, himself, has been a participant in at least half of the 20 Summits. He has watched its format expand to become increasingly of service to a wide range of leaders. And Cynthia recently authored Unlocked: Five Myths Holding Your Influence Captive. She believes that women with leadership potential and aspirations should find themselves at home in the Summit setting.

The Summit is one of a wide range of similar organizations that have been built, in recent years, on the idea of leadership development based on biblical and Christian values. Other examples are:

  • Leadercast, a simulcast shaped by another multi-site church leader, Andy Stanley. It recently received some national attention when the Nanaimo City Council banned a Leadercast simulcast from the city-owned Vancouver Island Conference Centre. The ban was triggered by complaints from a small group of gay activists who accused it, largely without evidence, of having anti-gay associations. Council reversed its decision under pressure; the city will rebroadcast the event at its own cost, an arrangement worked out with Leadercast’s local sponsor, the Nanaimo Daily News. (Go here and here for our reports on the situation.)
  • Arrow Leadership, originated in the early 1990s by Billy Graham’s brother-in-law and Canadian-reared evangelization leader, Leighton Ford. Arrow today is headquartered in the Fraser Valley and directed by Steve Brown. His predecessor, Carson Pue, is now executive director of First Baptist Church in Vancouver.
  • Many seminaries in both Canada and the United States are offering doctorates in ministry with leadership emphases. Two such are ACTS Seminaries at Trinity Western University and Carey Theological College at UBC.
Allen Kagina is one of the speakers.

Allen Kagina is one of the speakers.

Among the faculty at this year’s Global Leadership Summit are:

  • Susan Cain, who addresses the subject of The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking – based on a book she wrote taking the same title. Her background has been on Wall Street, as a corporate attorney and negotiations consultant.
  • Jeffrey Immelt, president and CEO of General Electric, who has served on US President Barack Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
  • Tyler Perry, a filmmaker, actor and philanthropist. Among other things, he was deeply involved in helping rebuilding New Orleans and Haiti, following the natural disasters that struck them in recent years.
  • Allen Kagina, commissioner-general of the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). In that role, she took on corruption issues and increased the service orientation of URA.

The Summit maintains that over the past 20 years, it has trained over two million leaders in over 100 countries. This year, there will be close to 200,000 participants.

While there are no Canadians on this year’s faculty roster, at least one – Tim Schroeder of Kelowna’s Trinity Baptist Church – has appeared in the past. Cavanaugh self-effacingly noted, however, that he will be making the announcements across the Summit’s network during the two-day event.

And he has a word for senior pastors: The first 10 to register after reading this story will be eligible for a $50 reduction in the Summit registration fee.

For more information and to register, go to Cedar Grove’s Global Summit page.

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