Leadership Summit | Bill Hybels

Leadership Summit Session #1: Bill Hybels

Part 1: Community Impact

Recently, Bill Hybels received a brochure from a local church start up; which required him to think about how his community changed over the years.  The brochure clearly communicated why they existed. Bill thoughtfully wondered if the people in the Chicago area still knew why Willow Creek existed as a church.

Do the people in your community know why you exist as church?
Are people aware you exist?

In Luke 8 Jesus communicates to a great crowd of a sower who throws seed on various forms of soil.  Of the seed, 75% fall on forms of soil that did not produce fruit. But, some the seed fell on good soil and produced fruit.  How do you overcome the 75% rejection ratio? Sow more seeds.

Your whole organization takes it sow seeding behaviors from the sow seeding behaviors of the leader.  At Willow Creek Church they encourage staff members to be incessant tinkerers.  Incessant tinkerers are leaders who constantly tinker with their ministry to ensure they are sowing more seed.  As a leader you must remain curious, stay courageous and experimental. A leader who tinkers with his craft will become better with his craft. And when leaders become better, everyone wins. Remember, you are the most difficult person you will ever lead.

Part 2: The 6×6 Concept

Question: What contributions can I make to the church that you and God will both enjoy?

Want to be more focused and productive? Follow Bill’s 6×6 Concept. Identify 6 areas to focus on for 6 weeks. Ensure these 6 areas will push your organization forward.  After the 6 areas are identified, eliminate second tier challenges and projects.

Keep in mind you cannot sprint for 6 months. But,  you can sprint for 6 weeks. Work hard on accomplishing the 6 focus areas over a 6 week period.

Schedule your time and calendar around 6 challenges and focus areas. The 6×6 Concept allows you to remain focused and fired up. Following the concept helps you focus and stay on target with your execution.

Remember, God did not make you a leader to respond to stuff, everyday.  He made you a leader to move stuff ahead, everyday.

How can you push your organization forward over the next six weeks?

Part 3: Succession Planning

Bill is now 60-years old. So Willow Creek is addressing his transition from the senior leadership role. Every church should properly address the succession of leaders.  Here are two ways to execute a succession plan -

  1. Plan
    Do not avoid the obvious. Create a plan of succession.  Ask the right questions in the planning process.
    • Whose job is to find the replacement of senior leader?
    • What is the timeframe of transition?
    • How will the church honor the senior leader of organization?
    • What role will the senior leader play after succession?
  2. Search
    First, seek a successor internally. If needed, seek a successor externally. Once a successor is in place, the senior leader must increase their responsibility. Do not rush the process.

Part 4: Vision and Leadership

When is the vision of a leader and organization most vulnerable: beginning, middle or end?  Visions are extremely vulnerable, not in the beginning or end, but in the middle. Why? Because, you have energy in the beginning and have a renewed energy as you see the end. Vision casting is critical while your vision rests in the middle of the vision cycle.

This concept holds true with life in leadership and ministry.  While leading in the “middle” of your leadership cycle it is of the highest necessity to spend unhurried time with God.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Church must sow seed over and over within their community.  Consistently and clearly communicate to your community and church why you exist.
  • Remember, you are the most difficult person you will ever lead.  Tinker with your trade and leadership skills.  Do not beat yourself up.
  • Do not avoid the “elephant in the room”.  Succession is a critical part of every organization and must be addressed with planning and searching.
  • Visions are extremely vulnerable (not in the beginning or end) but in the middle. Cast and celebrate vision often.

What part or points resonate with you as a leader?