Leadership Summit 07

I know I lost face last year when I made some comments on the Willow Creek Leadership Summit video and pizza party, but seriously folks! (here I go again)
I still don’t get it. For the average punter like me (I know I am a bit simple) but I am reading statements like this…

Commit Today to World-Class Leadership Development… As always, this annual event will deliver all-new content from world-class leaders. The 2007 Summit speakers already includes Bill Hybels, senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church; Michael Porter, Harvard professor and leading authority on competitive strategy; Floyd Flake, senior pastor of Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York in Jamaica, Queens; and John Ortberg, best-selling author and teaching pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California.

…as the main ‘pull’ for the conference, and then looking at the ‘Australian dates’ for the big tour. And I am thinking for $150, I get to hear all these hot speakers, including Jimmy carter and Colin Powell and more!!
No where do I read it is a video. (OK maybe hidden in the line “deliver new content’)

Yep, it’s just a get together to watch a video with some others.
A video I can borrow for free from a range of different places including many denominational offices, the week after the event.
I know that to put on such an event (so Hamo discovered last year when he rang Willow and asked about the costs) there are numerous costs; venue hire (churches charge a packet these days!), food, advertising, salary and travel expenses for the national coordinator, and so on. But I think 9 cities and hundreds (maybe into the thousands) of people can head on up towards 1/2 a million bucks. (OK, even half that is pretty hot for a seat to sit down and watch TV)

You may say – It’s not just the video, it’s the coming together, corporate worship and networking. Ok – but most people I know who have gone, have gone with their teams and they all get together in the breaks and discuss the content. Couldn’t they borrow the DVD’s and do all that in their church and save all that money? ( I know a few large churches who just that!)
I think it’s all good – coming together, corporate worship, quality teaching, nice presentations and so on.
But it just seems a lot of money to spend on sitting and getting filled up (via video) with more ways to build your church and build yourself.

Inspiration has become so elevated, so valued, it costs much it would seem!

*This is another of those posts I just would rather have left unspoken as I know I have friends and people I respect pushing this stuff and heavily invested into it. I mean them no harm, I just can’t sit on some things, sorry guys!


21 thoughts on “Leadership Summit 07

  1. I agree with you 50/50%.

    I dont think it is fair to make people pay a heap of money just to watch a video. But I do think people (pastors) get a lot out of the networking of it.

    Our pastor went last year and got a lot out of getting to spend time with other pastors…i wish my dad had of gone so that he could have gotten the same sort of encouragement (instead he is watching it at home on his own).

    Our church also got together with a Mt Pleasant uniting and watched it together – it cost like $10 or something to cover the cost of buying the dvd’s and we had a great time together watching.

    I think there is good and bad in everything – it just seems sometimes you focus more on the bad – i mean that in the nicest possible way too. (and you know how passionate i am about these things)

  2. Go borrow the video and I will come and give a motivational presentation of my own – “Sermons from An Atheist” which includes a free bottle of cabernet sauvignon a nice bit of King Island Cheddar and some quince paste.

  3. I imagine everyone expects me to disagree with Scott, as per usual, but…..

    Maybe there’s value because reality is that people would just not get around to watch it unless an event was put on….

    But….I agree about the price…No one can convince me it needs to be that expensive.
    $150 for a pastor from a church such as mine means I would probably pay for it myself…and I cant afford it. Maybe these things should have a pricing scale, similar to what they do with 40 days of purpose. And I could mount an argument to say that pastors of smaller churches generally need more resourcing than guys in more resource rich churches.

    Hillsong conference is $150 if you get in early, and you have incredible speakers from all around the world, live.

  4. Thanks Mark, nice to find some common ground from time to time bud 🙂
    Bek, I must admit your “focus on the bad” comment struck me a bit. I do sometimes feel I need to shut up about stuff. I think I need a ‘happy’ challenge from time to time and today it was your time.
    Thanks matey.

  5. Maybe send through some transcripts and previous messages you have preached and I will see if they make me feel all good inside and if they do I might consider a gig for you!!

  6. Bek I have to agree with you. The value in these is related to the networking value. If a team attend together or you are able to catch up and work through issues raised with some colleagues. But Vaws you gotta ask the question $150, someone’s making a good profit.

  7. aaahhhh!! I didnt want to offend! I get caught up in all the negative stuff all the time!! Look at me at church!! Nothing I can ever see there is positive-but I wont let anyone (mainly Russell) tell me any different.

    I think there is good and bad with this…just like everything else.

    I should apply that to church also, I know, but…..

  8. I reckon there is probably some great content in this stuff.

    But by my reckoning it ought to cost no more than $50.00 a head including lunch! Even that’s being generous.

    Unless they are making truckloads of money and giving it away to the developing world, I can’t see any reason for charging this much.

    It also seems to have become ‘normal’ WCA practice now in that the advertising doesn’t tell you its a DVD seminar. Maybe its assumed?

    I spoke with Nat Manager last year about it and he tried to explain the costs, but to be honest i thought he was struggling to justify it (and I told him that)

  9. yeah i agree with that mark.

    heres an idea!! why dont we all chip in $2 to send someone, and then they can buy the dvd – (burn) or pass it around and we can all have a turn at watching it!!

    money well spent i say!


  10. I have 2005 and 2006 summit DVD’s sitting on my TV yet to be watched.
    I agree with all the above; A DVD tour has always seems pointless for the price .

    In 2005 when the summit was first proposed, I was very tempted to go due hearing all these quality speakers until it was clarified that they were DVD only.

    GO for the networking???!!!. We already have so much “networking” happening that it is a wonder that we have time to actually do kingdom work…

    I have actually stepped back from attending a number of networking stuff and found it has given me far more time.

    Though Grendel’s motivation lectures seem attractive but mainly for the Cab Sav (sorry Grendel). You will need to convince me about quince paste but I am sucker for crumbly mature cheddar.

    Big Dave

  11. Dave, I dont know where you do all your networking but I am yet to hear of any ‘networking’ forums other than YVPIN meetings that my husband goes to.

    I’d like to know of all the networking stuff there seems to be…cos I see very little of it.

  12. If you love cheddar then you HAVE to try the quince paste – my sermons would be free of charge, more of an excuse to get together to drink wine really. Quality assurance for content would have to be on a sliding scale however.

  13. Bek,
    I confess I am a full-time minister at a Perth church. My circles in
    Cocwa has plenty of networks that I could be a part of:

    Local Ministers network for Bayswater area.

    Minister Network COCWA central east .
    COCWA Middles size church network

    COCWA missional church network ( just made defunct but would be restarted easily)

    Forge conversations Friday once a month (see Scott or Hamo)


    Childrens ministry network


    and so on…

    Plus I received at least an invitation ever other day to some seminar, training day or summit somewhere. I could spend my time at these things full time if I wanted to.

    Do get me wrong I enjoy networking but I found I was talking more than I was doing. I have found that not going to all these stuff is more beneficial. Simply not networking and going to stuff has released me both personally and in my job.

    If you are looking for a network there are plenty around.


    I will take you up on your quince paste but I am more interested in your coffee roasting.

    Big Dave

  14. Bec

    I have just reflected that being in the “Biz” of doing “church” means I am exposed to things like the leadership summit regularly.It is easy to forget the stuff shown there and the networking of people is not often heard by ‘average Joe christain’ and can be quite encouraging to any number of people. It is to easy to be cynical .

    I went to the Dalia Lama “concert”( sorry lectures)several months ago.
    There were thousands of people there who were lapping it up.
    Don’t get me wrong,it was all good common sense wisdom but I had heard before in various forms and fashions. You could read Proverbs or Thomas Payne to get the same stuff. I was disappointed because this is the virtual head of Buddhism internationally but it wasn’t all that enlightening.

    While I believe there was a bit of celebrity worship going on, there was an aspect that this simple common sense was being heard for the first time by some.

    Is this a symptom of our information rich but wisdom poor culture?

    big Dave

  15. Thanks for clarifying Dave! ‘preciate it 🙂

    I guess I was coming from the angle of the ‘average joe christian’. I dont get to do much networking, and its something that is seriously in lacking. I dont see much networking going on with my dad though. You can have all these different networking ‘programs’, but its never going to make him go. He has a few key people he meets up with, but thats it! I very rarely see or hear of him networking with other pastors, and I think its really sad.

    I guess Im just from one big isolated family 🙂 and thats why I dont see any networking going on.

  16. I believe developing community rather than networking is far more powerful

    Networking seem to bring together like minded people to share ideas around a common goal. Relationship at first is easy but after a while the conversation is much the same and new perspectives and ideas are fewer between.

    Community draws different minded people to a single point and acknowledges the diversity around them. Relationship is harder at first but richer and far more rewarding in the long run.

    I would pray that your Dad find a place of community

    Fortunately if a Christian community is drawn together by the works and person of Christ it is never boring and always rich.

    Big Dave

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